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Starting a society – Part 3 – How to run a society effectively

Now your society is completely up and running and you’ve attracted some members, you’ve got to consider the day-to-day operation and management of your society and delivering activities and events that your members want to go to.

If you’re not quite at this stage yet, don’t worry, take a look at Part 1 and Part 2 for all the information you need for starting your own society.

Have regular meetings

Once the craziness of welcome week and the societies fayre is over it can be easy to forget about your society and let it take a back seat when lectures and deadlines become a factor. But to ensure the society keeps going and delivers what the members want, you should plan regular meetings with the other board members. How often you do this will depend on the nature of your society and how often you want to hold events.

Listen to your members

As well as listening to your board members it is incredibly important to listen to the members of your society. They have paid money to be part of your society, so it is important you are aware of their expectations and you attempt to meet them.

You can do this in a variety of ways; you could open up your board meeting to all members or hold an all members meeting as regularly as you see fit. You could also hold special events where members can come and talk to the board about what they want or what they feel the society is doing well. You could also use your social media channels to interact with your members and ask questions or even post polls about the society.

Plan your social calendar

Once you feel as though you have a good idea of what your members want and how often, it is a good idea to start planning out the term (or perhaps even the year) with different events you want to hold. The earlier you plan the more feedback you can take on board from your members and the more time you (and your members) have to prepare for any themes or activities. Big events such as trips can be very complicated to plan and organise, so give yourself plenty of time to get it done.

Keep in mind times when your members might not be able to attend (reading weeks, holidays, exam and assignment periods) and try to plan around them where possible. You can also post polls or questions on social media to find out when your members are available and even which night of the week they prefer to go out on!


There may be other societies who have similar interests to yours and if you’re planning a trip or a big event, you can help manage the cost by collaborating with another society who want to get involved. You could also plan mixer socials with another society or sport.

And it doesn’t have to be another society, you could choose to raise money for a charity partner or volunteer for a good cause together while representing your society.

There are so many options to choose from, and I wish you the best of luck founding your very own, brand new society!