What is Overflow?
Victoria Quay has had a big surge in membership. By early July we had 45 members registered. Of course there are always a few members who can’t take part in any particular week, but that kind of membership makes it difficult for the program to give everybody an opportunity to take part and work on their personal goals. So – what can we do?
Split the Club?
We tried that once before when our membership reached 39. We discussed it among our Officers. We agreed it was a good idea. We put it to the full membership. Overwhelming approval. But! Everybody agreed, so long as they remained in Victoria Quay home club. There was only a handful of members prepared to strike out and set up a new club. So we abandoned that project, having learned something important.
That’s when I had the Overflow idea.
How Overflow works
It started at the beginning of July. The regular meetings take place every Wednesday evening at the Fremantle Bowling Club from 6-7.30pm with supper afterwards. They continue. On the 1st and 3rd Thursdays we hold an Overflow meeting. All members are invited to attend, but of course only some do. That doesn’t matter to those of us who are there. Our VP Education is Qin Guo. She handles the Wednesday evening Agendas. I’m the VP Membership and act as the assistant VP Education for Thursday evenings. We meet at the same Bowling Club of course, at the same time from 6-7.30pm with supper afterwards.
Qin and I cooperate closely
I maintain a special page on our website called Next 2 Weeks. It used to have the forward program displayed for the next two meetings. Now it shows the next 3 meetings – there are always 2 Wednesday meetings and one Thursday meeting. When Qin circulates the draft Agenda for the next Wednesday meeting and some key roles for the following Wednesday, I update the webpage to reflect that. Of course I also post the forward agenda for the next Thursday meeting.
How is it working?
It is working very well. Wednesday July 3 (Meeting #885) had 31 present (23 members and 8 visitors) Thursday July 4 (#886) had 18 present (16 members and 2 visitors) Wed July 10 (#887) had 24 members Wed July 17 (#888) had 22 present (21 members and 1 visitor) Thursday July 18 (#889) had 13 members. All meetings have had 4 Manual speeches and 3 of the meetings have had a Workshop as well. About half of the Thursday members attended the Wednesday as well. Clearly all the meetings must be valuable and entertaining to attract this kind of attendance support.
Are Overflow meetings proper Toastmaster meetings?
They certainly are. The same Agenda items appear on Thursdays as on Wednesdays. The Club keeps a careful count of meetings. We have a big one coming on Wednesday, September 18 – Meeting #900!! The Overflow meetings mean we will get there 5 meetings sooner than we would have without them.
We are a very special club
Of course each club should be special to its members and VQ is special in that way too. But we are an innovative club which tries out new ways of solving old problems. Have you heard of Speakathons – or Speechathons as some other clubs call them. We trialled that style back in 1998 and quite a few clubs since then have used it to give more opportunity to members to complete their Manual speeches. Our Agendas are quite innovative also. We use a few Agenda items that are very uncommon, and we don’t use some of the standard Agenda items. We think our meetings are better for our members because of this.
Come along to an Overflow meeting sometime
Go to Next 2 Weeks to see the schedule.
David Nicholas DTM
Victoria Quay Webmaster
and Vice President Membership