Author: Paige Marks, Esq.
Arizona law requires associations to hold an annual meeting each year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, holding an annual meeting in person this year has not been an option for many associations and our firm has not advised in person meetings since around March 2020. Our firm is currently recommending that our clients hold their 2020 annual meetings virtually because of the various COVID-19 concerns. There are many different companies that associations can use to hold meetings virtually. Many of our clients have had successful virtual meetings through GoToMeetings and Zoom. Both services allow homeowners to call in or video conference in to listen and speak during the annual meeting. If your association would like tips on holding a virtual annual meeting, our firm would be happy to help. Also, check out our cheat sheet: Tips for Conducting Virtual Board Meetings.
Our firm is often contacted by clients who struggle to reach quorum for their annual meeting year after year. It is my opinion that having virtual meetings may allow associations that typically cannot reach quorum to reach quorum this year. Allowing homeowners to call in or video conference into the meeting from anywhere in the world gives homeowners options that they have likely never had and allows for more flexibility.
Other strategies to increase the turnout at your annual meeting and to reach quorum include: 1) announcing the annual meeting date and time in multiple ways prior to the meeting, including by the annual meeting notice compliant with state law and also by email, bulletin board, newsletter, etc.; 2) conducting a raffle or giving away prizes during the meeting; 3) allowing time for a homeowner forum and discussion to encourage community involvement and provide this portion of the meeting on the agenda ahead of time; 4) aggressively pursuing mail in/absentee ballots prior to the meeting; 5) keeping the meeting positive and acknowledging all of the volunteer work and the Board and committee accomplishments throughout the year; 6) arranging for guest speakers, such as landscapers, the association attorney, or city officials. For more tips on reaching quorum and strategies for planning the annual meeting, check out our cheat sheets: Plan Board Meeting Checklist & Annual Meetings; and How to Conduct Successful Annual Meetings.