Convening Guide

Conveners are generally responsible for making sure the team meetings happen and making it as easy as possible for people to attend the meeting and do the work of the team. The convener role can rotate as the team sees fit.

At its simplest convening is scheduling meetings and telling people when/where they are. The rest of this section is just details.


Clarity and Certainty – The role of the convener is to create clarity and certainty:
Certainty that the meeting is going to happen (or not).
Clarity about when/where the meeting is happening, what will be discussed, etc.

Make questions simple – Most convening happens digitally and providing too many options or asking too complicated questions digitally is very difficult. Open ended questions (like “When do we want to meet?”) are harder to respond to. Keep questions about dates/times very clear and simple (This or that. Yes or no.) Save complicated questions for during the meeting.

Sometimes you need to decide – Sometimes you won’t hear from everyone or be able to reach a digital consensus quickly on when/where to meet. If time is running out, make the best decision you can based on the input you’ve received.

Tasks of convening:

  1. Scheduling / rescheduling meeting
    1. You can use scheduling tools like or to find times that work for a group of people (easier than a bunch of emails back and forth).
    2. Finding a regular day/time is ideal (like the 1st Wednesday of each month at 6pm). Using schedulers for every meeting can get tiring. Often the first meeting can be decided with a scheduler, then decide the regular time at that first meeting.
    3. A regular location is good so people know to always go to the same place.
    4. Eugene Specific: One of the Growers Market rooms can be reserved by writing on the physical calendar in the room. Put “NAC,” the time, and your phone number.
    5. If a meeting needs to be rescheduled, it’s best to figure that out as soon as possible. Last minute rescheduling is stressful and it’s usually easier to cancel.
  2. Draft Agenda
    1. Start a draft agenda as soon as possible on Cryptpad or Google Docs.
    2. It can be useful to lead with a short purpose statement so people understand the main goals of the meeting.
    3. Basic outline:
      1. Check ins
      2. Review agenda
      3. Review previous tasks
      4. [Agenda items]
      5. Review time of next meeting
      6. Process review / Appreciations
    4. Invite people to add items to the agenda
  3. Announcing meetings
    1. Once the meeting is scheduled, announce it in the appropriate communication system (email, Slack, etc)
    2. Include a draft agenda if possible and invite people to add agenda items
  4. Meeting reminders
    1. Send a meeting reminder a couple days before the meeting and the day of the meeting
    2. 80% of organizing is reminders
    3. Include all the important information: Date, Time, Location, Agenda
    4. Make note if anything is different than normal (different location, different time, etc)
    5. Invite those who can’t attend the meeting to send ideas/feedback via email or comments on the agenda document
  5. Ensure there’s a facilitator (See the Facilitation Guide for more)
    1. Conveners don’t need to facilitate meetings themselves but ensure there is a facilitator or ask who wants to facilitate at the beginning of the meeting.
    2. It can often work well for the convener to facilitate the first couple meetings of a new team/group.
  6. Ensure there are notes
    1. Similarly, a convener doesn’t need to take notes, but ensures that someone is taking notes.
    2. A convener also ensures that the next steps and notes are sent out after the meeting.
  7. Check in with people about tasks
    1. Depending on what the team wants, a convener can also send out reminders about tasks between meetings.

This may seem like a lot but remember that convening really is just scheduling meetings and telling people when/where it is. These details about how to do that are intended to help you along.


This guide is part of a community organizing resource series:

Any questions? Additional ideas to include in this guide? Things that could be simpler? Other feedback? Please send them to: