Choosing Meeting Setup when in the Meeting Manager Main Menu will allow you to Setup two specific meeting files: Configuration meeting Agenda, named specifically for each meeting (usually by date).
A Configuration is a separate file with a specific file name created in the Meeting Manager. It contains all the specific details used to define a specific Group.
A Group may be a City Council, County Commission, Public Works, Budget Committee, etc., where each have a unique group of members, as well as unique operational rules for their meetings. Each of these Groups, will then have a different Configuration file. Example: Each configuration will have the names of members in that Group and all voting / display criteria used when running a meeting for the Group. Therefore, a configuration is usually setup one time for each group and used repeatedly for all meetings of that specific group.
NOTE: Different configurations may also be created within a group, each having a different file name. Example: Your County Commission Group may have Regular Meetings, Special Meetings, and Budget Meetings. If the members or operational rules for these meetings are different, you establish separate configurations for each.
An Agenda is the list of items that will be discussed in each meeting a Group has. In the Meeting Manager, you will create a separate Agenda, giving it a separate file name, for each meeting the Group has. Therefore, you will have many Agendas within a particular Group, usually named by date of each meeting.
NOTE: Since most meeting Agendas follow a similar format & order for a Group, we recommend setting up an Agenda TEMPLATE (named that) which is used to create each meeting agenda and then renamed (by date perhaps) for each subsequent meeting.
Details / Sequence of Events
Sign-In to Meeting Manager
If you need help with signing into Meeting Manager OR understanding the Home/Groups & Meetings area, review the following documentation links:
For this document, we will assume you already have a Meeting Configuration TEMPLATE and a Meeting Agenda TEMPLATE. These will be set-up for you by the OMT Support Team during initial training, when helping you prepare for your first LIVE Meeting.
After Signing into Meeting Manager, you will see the Home/Groups screen
Select a Group & Meeting (perhaps the Templates if shown). Upon selecting a meeting, you will see the following options on the left of the screen:
Select Load Meeting (lower left) to Load the selected meeting.
Upon selecting Load Meeting, the following screen will appear as if you were wishing to actually start this meeting, but this document is explaining the process of setting up a New Configuration File and/or Agenda File (if you wish). Thus, Don’t Start the meeting. Rather select the 3-bar (hamburger) menu on the upper left of the screen.
When a screen similar to the following appears, choose the item named Meeting Setup as shown below on the left menu that appears. Again, do not start the meeting.
Upon selecting Meeting Setup, a screen similar to the one below will appear, with the selections on the left showing:
- Step 1 – Configuration Set-Up – This allows you to select, modify/rename or create a New Configuration File.
- Step 2 – Load Agenda – This allows you to select, modify/rename or create a New Agenda File.
- Step 3 – Load Meeting – This allows you to Load & Start a Meeting with the Configuration & Agenda you established in steps 1 & 2.
Further below, we will explain the options you will have in Steps 1, 2, and 3.
Step 1: Configuration Setup (Load / Save As / Create New)
In most cases, especially after going though implementation training with OpenMeeting, you will have a base configuration file (template) established and will leave it as-is and use for all the meetings in this Group.
Select Load under Step 1 to open the Configuration file you wish to use for the meeting you are setting up.
NOTE: A configuration file may be pre-loaded already based on the last time you loaded one. If so, you will see the Configuration file name above Load, Save As and Create New boxes. If this is the configuration you wish to use, no additional action is needed as it is pre-loaded. If you wish to select a different configuration file, press Load. You will be presented with file names of all Configuration files previously created.
NOTE: the Configuration file selected (name in red) previews on the screen (as shown below) with member names and Group’s logo. Normally, no editing is needed at this time for the Configuration as it is pre-loaded as the one you wish to use. Look at the file name (in red) to confirm that it is in fact the one you wish to use.
Select Save As to save the details of the currently loaded Configuration file with a different file name. As discussed in the Overview of this section, you can create multiple configuration files for different Groups or Types of meetings within a Group. You will be provided the option to name the new file.
Select Create New if you wish to start the process of creating and saving a completely new Configuration file for a different meeting Type or Group. You will be provided the option to name the new file.
When you have the Configuration you wish to edit loaded, you can select Edit Configuration (highlighted in gray at the top of the screen). You will be taken to the Configuration Settings, where you can edit and save your changes to this configuration. Please see this document link Configuration Settings, for more details on creating / editing Configurations.
Step 2: Load Agenda (Load / Save As / Create New)
After going through implementation with OpenMeeting, you will likely have a baseline (template) Agenda created for you with an Agenda file name.
Select Load under Step 2 to open the Agenda file you wish to use / modify.
NOTE: An agenda file may already be pre-loaded based on the last time you loaded one. If so, you will see the Agenda file name just above the Load, Save As, and Create New function boxes. If this is the Agenda you wish to use/modify, no additional action is needed as it is pre-loaded. If you wish to select a different Agenda to work on, select Load. You will be presented with the file names of all Agenda files previously created.
Upon loading an Agenda, the following screen will display showing a preview of the Agenda you have loaded (in this example the Council Mtg Template Agenda was loaded) showing the Agenda File Name at the top:
Select Save As, if you wish to save the currently displayed Agenda as a different name (example: name it with the date of the next Council Meeting).
Select Create New if you wish to create an Agenda from scratch.
See the document link Agenda Manager for more details on creating / editing Agendas.
Select Edit Agenda highlighted in gray at the top of the screen. You will be taken to the Agenda Manager where you can edit and save your changes to the Agenda. Please see the the document link AGENDA MANAGER for more details on creating / editing Agendas.
Step 3: Load Meeting
Select Load Meeting under Step 3 (as shown in green) to actually load your meeting after the Configuration and Agenda are loaded.
The following screen will display, waiting for you to select the green Start Meeting button. Upon doing this, the live meeting will be started, awaiting Roll Call.
For specific details on how to Run a Meeting after selecting Start Meeting, see the document link Conduct Meeting – Run a Basic Meeting.
NOTE: You may be continuing to edit / finalize your Agenda and it’s not time to start your actual meeting. That is fine as you don’t have to start the actual meeting until it is time. However, if you wish to do a test run of the meeting, you can load it, start it, and run through agenda items (and even test voting) as much as you want. As long as your Agenda is saved as a specific name, you can come back to this screen at any time to start the actual meeting.
Notes / Special Situations
We recommend you understand the concept of Groups, Configurations, Agendas, and Meetings to set all this up properly. See these document links:
Groups are usually separate groups of legislative bodies (City Council, County Commission, Public Works, Public Health, etc.) each with separate members and special rules (the configurations or configuration files) for operating meetings. There can be different configurations within Groups if that same group potentially has sub-groups with different members & agendas, however, most clients will have just one configuration.
Agendas are “meetings” within Groups. There are usually many Agendas (meetings) within a Group. We recommend that when you create/save Agendas, that you have a date as part of the Agenda file name, to differentiate & organize them.
Example: An Agenda file name may be: CouncilMtg_2021-11-15.oma
Example: The following chart and explanations following it may help you understand the relationships between Groups, Configurations, Agendas and Meetings.
There are two Groups in this City that uses the Meeting Manager for their meetings: City Council and Public Works Commission.
Both Groups have completely different members and rules for how they run their meetings. Therefore, each has a separate Configuration file created and named just for them.
NOTE: Configuration files always have a file name ending in .omc when created & saved.
The City Council has two types of meetings within their Group that may have somewhat different members (perhaps a subset of the whole Council) and perhaps different rules of operating meetings. Therefore, there are separate Configuration files created and named for each.
Agendas are created for each meeting within these Groups / Types and you can see the dates (included as part of the file names) for each.
NOTE: Agenda files always have a file name ending in .oma when created & saved.
Each Group/Type has a TEMPLATE Agenda file. This file is used as the starting point for creating each Agenda for that particular Group or Type of meeting. Most meetings have a consistent order and flow and you can save time (and be organized) by editing the template, adding just the agenda details needed for the new meeting, then saving it as a new name with a meeting “date” as part of the file name.
If you need more detailed instructions on the process of creating Configurations or Agendas, please see the following documentation sections OR call OpenMeeting Customer Support at 320.249.0555.