- Details / Sequence of Events
- Launch & Log into the Meeting Manager
- Select Group and Meeting
- Meeting Setup
- Start the Meeting
- Prior to pressing Start Meeting
- Start the Meeting
- Roll Call
- Tally Roll
- Proceed through the Agenda Items in Order
- Discussion Mode
- Request To Speak Functions
- Motions & Seconds by Members
- Voting on Items
- Tally the Votes
- Meeting Manager - Vote Results
- Public Display – Vote Results
- Member App – Vote Results
- Discussion Manager – Vote Results
- Clerks Ability to Change Member Votes AFTER Tally
- Proceeding to the Next Agenda Item
- Agenda Item Edits / Changes (during a meeting)
- Private Note Taking During a Meeting (for Minutes)
- Adding a New Agenda Item During a Meeting
- Ending the Meeting
- Notes / Special Situations
This document will walk through the core components and steps of running a basic meeting. Additional special topics, such as how to add a new agenda item during a meeting, using consent agendas, handling amendments and others are separate topics in this Knowledge Base, which you can find links to in the Notes / Special Situations section at the end of this document.
We’ll start with opening the Meeting Manager and selecting meetings that you have created & prepared within the Groups and Meetings Home screen. If you have any questions about signing into the Meeting Manager or setting up Groups, Meetings or Agendas, please see the following links:
Details / Sequence of Events
The steps below should be followed to correctly select, start and run a basic meeting.
Launch & Log into the Meeting Manager
Enter your User Name and Password you’ve been provided when the following screen appears. Your User Name may pre-load from the last time you were in the Meeting Manager, but you will always need to enter your Password.
If you have questions about opening Meeting Manager and Logging In, please visit this document link: User Access
Click Login after your User Name and Password are entered.
The following Version Update screen may appear.
Select Skip Update / Continue
If you are notified to update the application at this time. We recommend NOT to update if you are currently ready to run a live meeting now. You generally don’t want to introduce a new version just prior to running a meeting in the event there are changes or enhancements you have not yet seen or worked with.
Select Visit the Product Update Site
We recommend updating to the most current version if you are not running a live meeting at this time (i.e., just preparing or making changes to a meeting Agenda you are running in the future). Read the release information provided about what changes and enhancements are included in the new release. If you have any questions about any new release, please call OpenMeeting Support at 320.249.0555 to discuss.
Select Group and Meeting
On the Home / Select Group screen (below), select the Group you want to use by single-clicking the group folder.
A list of meetings will then appear on the right for the Group selected (shown on the screen below).
Select the Meeting you want to use by single-clicking on the meeting name.
NOTE: It is important that ALL MEETINGS be created on the Home/Select Group & Meeting screen and be present as a Meeting on the right-hand side of this screen, to load and run a live meeting.
Next, you will see Step 1: Configuration Setup, Step 2: Load Agenda and Step 3: Load Meeting options on the far left as shown below. Generally, the same Configuration is used for all meetings of this type, but do confirm.
You will also see that the Agenda associated with this meeting will be previewed in the center of the screen. Confirm this is the Agenda you want to use.
NOTE: You may select Edit Agenda (top of screen) for any last minute adjustments to the Agenda (if necessary).
Next, click the green Load Meeting button (bottom left on the screen below) when you are ready to do final preparations for the Meeting you are about to run.
NOTE: By Loading the Meeting you are NOT starting it yet, you are just preparing it to start. You won’t formally “start” the meeting until Members are present and the Chair calls it to order.
Start the Meeting
The next screen you’ll see is a roster of all Members (below). You’re ready for the meeting to begin. At this point, members will be able to sign-in to the meeting from their Member App devices, waiting for the roll to be called.
BEFORE pressing Start Meeting – If there are any last-minute meeting settings needing to be adjusted (generally by this point you have proofed prior), select the 3-bar drop-down menu on the top left of the screen to access the Configuration & Agenda Settings as shown below:
NOTE: We recommend that before starting a live meeting, you’ve prepared the key components properly. If needed, please review the instructional links below for Meeting Preparation.
- Meeting Prep – Create Meetings
- Meeting Prep – Prepare Agenda
- Meeting Prep – Start Discussion Manager App
- Meeting Prep – Start Member App
- Meeting Prep – Start Public Display
Prior to pressing Start Meeting
At this time, prior to pressing Start Meeting, the following will be displayed on the Public Display, the Discussion Manager App, and the Member App devices, while waiting for the Meeting to Start.
Prior to pressing Start Meeting, the Public will see the following opening screen when you click on the Public Display button at the top of the Meeting Manager screen (shown on the screen further above). It opens in another window, and you should drag it to the screen being displayed to the public. NOTE: If you have multiple public displays, work with your A/V specialist before the meeting to present the Public Display on multiple screens.
Discussion Manager App Display
Before you press Start Meeting, the Chair (or assistant) will see the following opening screen when he/she is signed into the Discussion Manager.
Member App Display
Members will see the following opening screen on their Member App devices as they wait for the meeting to start and roll to be called.
Start the Meeting
Select the green Start Meeting button on the Meeting Manager screen (shown further above) when the Chair calls the meeting to order.
This will automatically create (behind the scenes) a results / minutes file, into which all your meeting outcomes will be written.
When all Members are present and the Chair is ready for Roll to be called:
Select the green Roll Call button on the top of the Meeting Manager screen (shown below).
Members will now see a green PRESENT button on the Member App and should note their presence by touching this button on their device. As members do this, you will see members “Present” appearing on the Meeting Manager by each name.
NOTE: The Meeting Manager, the Public Display, and the Discussion Managers device will ALL indicate who is present.
In the event a Member forgot his/her device or is having an issue with the device, simply click the P button to the left of their name on the Meeting Manager to mark that member “present” and all displays will reflect this.
Select Tally Roll, when all members who are present and have indicated their presence electronically or you have done so manually on the Meeting Manager.
All displays (Meeting Manager, Public Display, Member Apps, and Discussion Manager App) will display the Tally (number of members present & absent).
Proceed through the Agenda Items in Order
Your agenda is loaded and managed on the top-left side of your screen and will bring up each item in order.
Directly after Tallying the Roll, the first Agenda Item will display, ready to start Discussion.
When you see you are on the first Agenda Item, select the green Discuss button (shown on the screen below) to begin discussion on the item.
Request To Speak Functions
The item is now in Discussion mode and Members can Request to Speak, Motion and Second (if enabled to do so) via their Member App devices.
NOTE: You can view the operation of the Member App via the following links:
- Member App – Settings
- Member App – Operation
While the Chair will likely moderate conversations verbally, you will see (on the Meeting Manager) numbers in the gray box just to the right of the M (Motion) and S (Second) buttons by each member name when they have Requested to Speak. This indicates their order in the speaker queue. When the Chair recognizes each speaker, via the Discussion Manager device, this box will turn red and flash, indicating that this member has the floor.
In the example screen below,
- Mathis is currently speaking (RED block)
- Jones (1) and Cornish (2) are in-line to speak in the order noted
Motions & Seconds by Members
When Motions and Seconds are placed by Members from their Member App device, you’ll see M & S indicated next to the members’ names as shown below:
Voting on Items
With a Motion and Second in place, the Chair will call for a Vote.
Select the green Vote button (shown below) on the top-right of the Meeting Manager screen.
Members will see voting options on their Member App devices and should select their desired vote. As Member votes are cast, you’ll see Vote Locked next to their name, as shown below:
Once everyone has voted, it’s the last chance for anyone to change his/her vote before it’s tallied. If everyone is pleased with their selections:
Tally the Votes
Select the green Tally button as shown below:
NOTE: Depending on the Vote Settings you have pre-established in your configuration file, the Tally may present itself to all devices “immediately” upon the last vote cast.
The clerk may be presented with the following screen on the Meeting Manager to manually display the Tally when ready. In this case, the Chair may ask if anyone wishes to change their vote prior to the final tally. Pressing Cancel here will allow all to re-vote or change their votes.
The Vote Tally Results will appear on ALL Devices as follows:
Meeting Manager – Vote Results
Public Display – Vote Results
Member App – Vote Results
Discussion Manager – Vote Results
Clerks Ability to Change Member Votes AFTER Tally
There are times when after Votes are Tallied and displayed, that a Member may note that the vote they chose was a mistake and they would like it changed. The Clerk can accomplish this on the Meeting Manager.
The following example shows that Adam Cornish “abstained” from voting, but this was NOT what he intended. He can voice this concern to the Chair and upon approval, the Clerk can change the Vote on this item.
PRIOR TO Selecting Next to move to the next item, the Clerk can;
Select the drop-down arrow next to the Members vote choice and the following choices will display:
The Clerk selects the requested vote choice in the drop-down and the vote tally is immediately re-displayed as follows:
Upon Selecting Next, the above is logged as the final vote tally.
Upon Selecting Next, the above is logged as the final vote tally.
Proceeding to the Next Agenda Item
When voting is completed for the current Item, vote results are displayed on all devices, and the chair declares the results and closes discussion, then;
Select the green Next button on the far right of the screen (below) to proceed to the Next Agenda Item (in order).
Continue the process of Discuss, Vote, Next as you proceed through the agenda, item by item.
NOTE: For No Vote Required Items (which you indicated for each item as you created your Agenda) the Discuss and Next buttons will be active, but the Voting button will NOT display.
Proceed with all other steps noted above for these Agenda Items, except you will not be prompted to take Votes.
Agenda Item Edits / Changes (during a meeting)
There are times when you wish to change the narrative or spelling in an Item Name, Summary or Details OR (for example) you may have accidently marked a Voting Item as a No Vote Required Item and need to quickly change it to a Majority Vote item while the meeting is in process.
Select the yellow Edit button in the upper left of the screen.
The Agenda Item Editor will open. You can make changes to the Agenda Item on this screen. For the example of changing Voting Criteria, select the dropdown menu for Voting Criteria and change from No Vote Required to Majority Vote.
If you need more assistance understanding any of the fields when adding an Agenda Item, see the following link:
Select OK, when you are finished – all changes will take effect immediately and no one will see these changes being made but the Clerk on the Meeting Manager screen.
Private Note Taking During a Meeting (for Minutes)
The Clerk operating the Meeting Manager may take private notes during the course of discussion of any Agenda Item for inclusion in your Minutes.
Select Open / Close Notepad (as shown below)
A free-form notepad will open on the right of the screen.
- Begin entering notes you wish to take.
- All notes are private and seen only by the clerk operating this screen.
- Notes are specific to the agenda item currently being discussed.
- Notes are automatically written to the minutes file by agenda item.
- All Notes taken will be logged within that Agenda Item and reviewed/edited within the Results/Minutes file when Meeting Minutes are being prepared.
Select Close Notepad – all notes are saved and written to the results file, for your review later in preparing / publishing minutes.
Adding a New Agenda Item During a Meeting
During a meeting, it’s easy to Add a new Item to the Agenda. An example may be that of adding a new item requested by the Members during the Approval of Agenda item. There are two ways to Add a New Item:
- Option 1 – Add New Item to discuss immediately OR,
- Option 2 – Add New Item to discuss later in the Agenda
Option 1 – Add New Item to discuss IMMEDIATELY
In this example (screen below), we were in Discussion on the Approval of Agenda Item. The Members requested adding a New Item to the Agenda.
Select the red New Item Button (upper left of the Meeting Manager screen)
The Agenda Item Editor dialog box will open to add the New Item as shown below.
Complete the fields with the minimal detail to proceed. You may only need to input a Name / Title
- Be sure to set the proper Voting Criteria.
- Be sure to Select OK to save your changes & add the item.
- The new item will be presented to you immediately as the next item to Discuss.
- It is added to the Agenda just PRIOR TO the Item you were on when you chose to Add a New Item (in this example Approval of Agenda)
Select the green Discuss button for the New Item you’ve just added and are now ready to discuss
Discuss & Vote on the New Item
When you’ve finished discussion & voting on the new item, the next item will come up.
You are now back on track with your original Agenda order and in this case ready to Approve the Agenda with the new item added and completed.
Option 2 – Add New Item to discuss LATER in the Agenda:
In this example, we are also currently on the Approval of Agenda Item, but in requesting a New Item to be added, the Members asked that it is not discussed immediately, but placed later in the Agenda.
First – Select the Agenda drop-down menu (down arrow – see screen below).
DO NOT select the red New Item button YET.
In the drop-down showing all Agenda Items, select the Item you wish the New Item to come BEFORE.
In this example we wish the New Item to come BEFORE the Elected Official & Staff Reports Item, later in the Agenda.
DON’T select Discussion Mode for this selected Item (you don’t want to discuss it NOW)
NOW select the red New Item option (top left of screen).
- The Agenda Item Editor dialog box will open to add the New Item and then follow the instructions shown above on Option 1 to add the item.
- Complete the fields with the minimal detail to proceed. You may only need to input a Name & Title, but be sure to properly set the Voting Criteria.
- The New Item will be added to the Agenda just BEFORE the Item you selected in the Agenda drop-down menu.
- In this example, just prior to the Elected Officials & Staff Reports Item.
- NOTE: It will now appear to be the Item currently to be Discussed as you will see it displayed Ready for Discussion.
- Don’t select Discussion at this time (you don’t want to discuss this New Item as you’ve placed it later on the Agenda)
- Now select the Agenda drop-down menu again and;
- Select the Item you would now wish to go back and discuss (in this example Approval of Agenda).
- You are now back on track with your original Agenda order
- The New Item will come up for discussion in the order where you placed it in the Agenda.
Ending the Meeting
Adjournment should always be the last Item you should place on your Agenda, so that adjournment is discussed & voted on, as normally required by Roberts Rules.
Select the red End Meeting button (lower right of the Meeting Manager screen) always after the Adjournment item has been discussed & voted.
You will be prompted to confirm you are indeed ready to end the meeting.
- Select OK, if you wish to end the Meeting.
- You will not be able to re-open THIS VERY meeting once it is ended.
- Select Cancel if for any reason, it is requested to continue formal discussion and to not end the meeting.
- The meeting will not be ended, and you may go back to select any Agenda Item or add an item to open and discuss, re-vote, etc..
- If the meeting is ended, the Public Display, Member Apps, and Discussion Manager will all be signed out of the meeting.
- Close the Meeting Manager program
- All Meeting Results (Minutes) and Vote Screens have been saved and you can Open Meeting Manager at any time to retrieve these files to finalize and publish your Minutes.
- To access the Meeting Minutes and Vote Screens please visit the following link:
- Access Meeting Minutes & Vote Result Files
Notes / Special Situations
If you are having issues that are not successfully addressed above, please call OpenMeeting Customer Support at 320.249.0555.
The following links will provide more details regarding additional special topics and situations that may be pertinent to you while running your meetings: