What does being Sergeant at Arms at Spa Speakers entail?
It’s one of the smaller roles on the committee, so would suit members who would like to give back to the club, but might not have lots of time.
In terms of time requirement, mainly it’s arriving early to every meeting (ideally 6:30 pm) to arrange the room and keep the storage boxes containing all our stuff organised and stocked up.
If you are able to attend meetings regularly and arrive early to each one, read on!
The SAA makes sure our meetings are professionally set up every time
When we go to regular meetings, it’s easy to forget that someone has to come in early to set out the chairs, lectern, timekeeper’s table, cafeteria supplies, banner, display items, clipboards, agendas, ballots, post-its, pens, certificates, display materials and other essential bits so we can enjoy a professional, efficient and effective meeting.
That at the most basic level is what the SAA is responsible for.
Why should I take on the role?
For someone who wants to get a taste of playing a key leadership role but doesn’t have masses of spare time, being SAA is a great option. It’s not a time consuming or complicated job, but it is a vital role; if the SAA has not done their job, regular meetings simply cannot happen, and if the job is not done well, instead of having an efficient and professional meeting, we get omnishambles!
The role is very much a leadership role; the ideal is that the holder delegates and leads others in setting up the room rather than doing everything themselves! Therefore, it’s a great learning opportunity for anyone wishing to be more assertive and become a more effective leader and delegator.
Finally, as SAA you get to participate in making crucial decisions for the club by having a seat at committee meetings.
You would be responsible for setting up the room
Chairs, tables, agendas, ballots, clipboards, pens, post-its, lectern, banner, timekeeping lights, certificates, bell, stopwatch, display materials, teas, coffees, biscuits etc. all need to be set out before the guests and members begin arriving in force to create a professional impression to all. The Sergeant at Arms also makes sure that the doors are closed during meetings to ensure speakers aren’t put off by outside distractions. Click here to see a full set of instructions. Phew! That’s a lot to do for one person, but remember, the committee SAA is a leadership role, so the work is to be shared and delegated.
But to whom?
It’s a bit confusing, but there are actually two Sergeant at Arms. One SAA is the permanent member of the club committee and the subject of this post, and the other is a role assigned to a random club member at each meeting to help out with room set up. As committee SAA, you would maintain responsibility for setting up the room in a professional manner, whilst the meeting SAA takes instruction from you to do what needs to be done. Additional help comes in the form of the person designated to man the cafeteria: they can be tasked with taking charge of setting up the drinks and snacks.
In terms of the wider club, as Spa Speakers is a very friendly and collaborative place, you’ll find members other than the meeting SAA and cafeteria person will jump in to help without being asked which is quite nice. In short, you have an army of helpers at your disposal. Your job is to lead them well!
Of course, everything needs to be put away in an organised and efficient way so the next meeting can be set up easily. The system we have for storing the various items required for a meeting can be reviewed by clicking here.
Finally, the Sergeant at Arms is the custodian of our presentation clicker and HDMI cables, and will play the role of ensuring anyone giving a presentation on the HDMI TV is set up, and also to make sure the cable and clicker are returned after the presentation.
You would maintain good stock levels of our consumables
The club requires sufficient quantities of ballot slips and evening certificates to run an efficient meeting; stocks of these therefore need to be monitored and replenished in very good time as they need to be ordered from the USA. The consequences of not having sufficient stocks of these two items in particular are grave: meetings can end up quite shambolic because there is no good way to give feedback or award members at meetings without them. The SAA makes sure we never run out.
Also extremely important is maintaining a good stock of post-it notes, cheap functional pens, teas, coffees, snacks, teaspoons, sugar, milk, guest flyers. Having all of these at each meeting is essential to running a professional club. The SAA therefore makes sure we never run out.
Orders for consumables are made in conjunction with the Treasurer and the President to ensure all spend is undertaken responsibly.
You would monitor and maintain our club assets
The cumulative cost of everything owned by the club is considerable, so it’s important that what we own is logged, tracked and monitored to ensure it doesn’t disappear! A log of all Spa Speakers assets is available on the committee dropbox, and the SAA will maintain this list, ensuring we maintain control of what we own, and by extension how we spend members’ funds.
You would lead the process of finding alternative venues should the need arise
Whilst we have a great venue at Helen Ley, at times the need to find alternative venues arises. The SAA would make sure we always have a venue for Spa Speakers to meet, and any changes in venue are communicated to members in good time.
As you can see, being SAA is a vital role for a well functioning club, but won’t take much of your time. The main requirement is being able to come to our regularly meetings early to set everything up, and keeping tabs on everything so we are always stocked up.
If you are interested in taking on the role or want to find out more, get in touch with the committee at the next meeting OR email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’d love you to be our SAA!