Virtual Branch Events – Co-operative Party

Organising Branch Events

Organising a virtual meeting is a great way to keep in contact with members and make sure that we continue to build a strong Co-operative Party in your local area.

Below are some of the resources we've developed to help get you started, including some of the technology you can use, resources for the topics you might want to talk about, and some other tips to help you along the way.

Step 1: Decide how you want to meet

Our Guide to Remote Organising gives you a summary of some of the main platforms you can use to host your event.

We recommend using Zoom as this allows members to see each other and has some other useful features, including allowing you to show slides about the topic your discussing.

All the platforms we suggest have helpful tips and advice for how to use them, but you may find the best thing is to do a test run with a couple of other members or officers so you can find your way around.

Read more about Zoom and other ways of meeting.

Step 2: Chose a topic

To give your meeting a structure, it's best to chose a single topic for members to discuss - this will help everyone know what the focus for the call is.

You may already have had a meeting planned on a specific topic, but if not we've put together some short guides that will help you lead a meeting on our policy process or some of our campaigns.

As well as these resources, get in touch with Party staff as we should also be able to help organise a speaker to take part in your event as well.

Step 3: Plan your event

Talk to a few officers or members to see what day and time would work best to host your event. When you've agreed the time, send an email to your members with the details of how you want to meet (e.g. include the link to join the Zoom call). It's best to do this a week in advance to give people enough notice.

Some things to remember:

  • Make sure you have a Chair or facilitator who will be there from the start of the call - they will need to be able to manage the event so that everyone has a chance to speak and that a small number of people don't dominate the conversation.
  • The Chair should start the meeting by setting out what the topic is and how long the meeting should last. For smaller calls, they may want to ask everyone to quickly introduce themselves so everyone knows each other. They should also ask people to mute themselves when they aren't talking.
  • Meeting by video conference is quite different to a meeting where everyone is in the same room. Therefore it's important to keep the meeting short and focussed - we'd recommend no longer than 40-60 minutes, as you'll find that people tend to leave the meeting or drift off topic if it goes on too long.
  • This isn't a traditional meeting - therefore don't worry about agreeing minutes or holding elections. The Secretary or another member should take some notes so there is a record of what's discussed and agreed, but apart from that keep it an informal discussion.
  • If this is your first event this way, don't be put off if you get a low turn-out. It will take time to build and develop new ways of organising - so this is a great first step!

Get in touch

If you're thinking about holding an event or have already planned one, please let us know so we can help - it also means we can show other officers the kind of things that is happening elsewhere in the country.

Email us with the details of your event or for extra support.