We are happy to have the opportunity to welcome chapters back to in-person meetings. Due to the recent relaxation of COVID19 protocols by states where we operate and the CDC, the process will be less awkward than we described in our last email.
First we must note:
Chapters may meet in-person while upholding some safety standards and clear communication with the regional directors and office.
Some chapters will not be ready to meet in-person yet. There are likely some chapters that would like to remain online for a while or even permanently. Remember that an in-person meeting with too many on Zoom may be unwieldy. If you wait a little longer, your numbers may improve each week.
We will have some guidelines, including:
1. The health and safety of each member is most important. Each chapter that meets, does agree to follow state law, local law, CDC Guidelines and BNI rules. By meeting, your chapter is agreeing to operate safely in this manner.
2. Each member must be served. For the time being, this means that if you have in-person meetings with some members not ready to meet in-person, you must offer a Zoom component. Over time those members and the chapter can work on resolving those situations:
Member feels more comfortable and meets in-person or
Member finds an online chapter to apply to.
Remember that this was a very severe situation and will take a little while to sort out.
3. Your BNI Area Director needs to know how and where (if in-person) you are meeting. This is important so that we can help members and visitors find you. It will also be helpful to know your location if there is a short-term COVID19 incident.
4. If there is any situation of COVID19 exposure or quarantine which involves the members, immediate action is needed.
Other things to note:
An acknowledgement of risk notice will be posted at the meeting.
Each visitor must be registered electronically. This will warn them of their risk and create info for tracking, if necessary.
Attendance is, as always, taken. In these times, it is particularly important to enter attendance right away.
What to do now:
Let us know if you think you’re ready. If you’re not, that’s okay; let us know later. Or meet online permanently.
Do an informal survey of your members. If you like the numbers - inform your area director.
Your area director will work with the office to do an anonymous but confidential survey to confirm your results (some members may be intimidated by the chapter leaders/members). We will share our results and YOU will choose if it’s time to meet.
Things are moving quickly. Chapters that are not ready now, may be ready in a few weeks.
Line up your venue. If you have a few members on Zoom, make sure the venue or your personal hotspots can support the Zoom in the meeting - (typically just a few units).
If you do have some Zoom participants, make sure you have a display computer (laptop) and good size screen (large monitor), speakers, microphone plus a laptop for the President and whoever helps with the meeting. Don’t overdo this, it’s not forever.
For some of you, these thoughts may seem scary. Remember that it is time to step into that which we have been hoping for, with respect and care.
We can do this, let’s help each other!