Having an ‘items of interest’ component in a meeting enables members to show recent acquisitions or discoveries that interest them and are likely to interest other members. The items can be very wide ranging and include such material as a new set of stamps, a first day cover, a flaw or variety that has been discovered, a new book or catalogue, a magazine with an interesting article, or just an interesting stamp or other collectable.
- The main objective of including ‘items of interest’ in a meeting is to get participation of all members and allow them to understand and appreciate the collecting interests of others.
- Encourage each member to speak to their item of interest – just a few seconds is often sufficient.
- Careful management is required to ensure one or two regular contributors do not occupy too much of the time set aside at the cost of those who are more reticent.
- If you have other business during the meeting such as a visiting speaker, the time available for presenting items of interest may need to be limited.
- It is important to ensure everyone who has made the effort to bring an item has the opportunity to do so otherwise it may deter them from making the effort in future. In these cases, identify who wishes to present material and, if necessary, limit their presentation times.
- If you are having difficulty getting people to present ‘items of interest’ you might find that a suggestion of a specific topic or type of item for the following meeting or meetings may assist.
- Awarding points for contributing ‘items of interest’ that accumulate towards an annual prize is another form of encouragement.