Another challenge many of the larger Toastmaster clubs have is managing the flow of emails that are generated after each week’s schedule is published. Any VP-Education will tell you that after creating and distributing the schedule each week, the next big task is tracking all the emails that come in pertaining to swapped roles, members confirming roles, members who cannot attend, members requesting to fill in if necessary, members informing you about future absences, etc.
That flow of emails and the frustration of keeping track of all of them was one of the key drivers behind making TM Club schedule a self-service scheduling tool. The VP-Education is frequently just a conduit or intermediary to updating the central record, but in most cases members could do that themselves if they were instructed to do so, AND if there were security (separate accounts for each member) to insure that only the member’s information was updated, altered or deleted. With the proper controls, it becomes even easier for users to manage these tasks themselves. Who goes to a travel agent to book trips now? Most of us prefer to go do our favorite travel website (Expedia, TripAdvisor or Travelocity) and just do it ourselves. Why not handle our Toastmasters schedule the same way.
No solution is perfect and there’s always a small learning curve to deal with but once members are able to manage their own activity, everyone has a better experience.