Meeting lists (or meeting schedules or meeting directories) document details of the time, place and identity of a Narcotics Anonymous meeting.. The meeting list is usually arranged so that it can be referred to by day of the week, time of day, city or locality, or any combination thereof. It can detail meeting information for a group, an Area, or a Region. A meeting directory is one of the most common Public Information tools used to communicate the presence of the Fellowship of NA.
A printed meeting list is often a responsibility of a PI/PR committee. It serves the needs of both the Fellowship and the community and is an essential public information tool.
Please go to our meeting list samples page to see and download actual meeting schedules used by the Fellowship.
The Master List
Determine where the master list or will be kept. Depending on available resources, your meeting directory may be kept in one or more of the following places:
- An Area or Regional Service Office computer
- A computer owned by the printing company where the meeting list is printed
- A fellowship member’s home computer
- A master copy should always be kept in at least two locations.
Pre-Planning and Organization
There are many factors in the design and production of a meeting list. Make it easy to update. Good organization and pre-planning will accomplish this goal.
Here are some things to consider when organizing the directory information:
- Decide how to structure your meeting schedule document.
- Some meeting lists are organized first by day and time, then by location.
- Meeting directories for larger areas often organize first by geographical location, then by day and time.
- Use clear and simple language.
- Use both upper and lower case lettering and proper punctuation
Many meeting schedules use one or two letters to specify meeting format, smoking or non-smoking, common and additional needs, wheelchair accessibility, open and closed, etc., which are then defined in a legend. Some meeting directories put the legend in a prominent place to make it easier to understand.
Decide what other information you would like to see appear on your meeting schedule. Many printed meeting lists contain:
- NA Logo
- The month and year in which the directory was printed
- Portions of our Readings
- The Serenity Prayer
- The times and places of other boards and committee meetings
- Name and address of the Group, Area or Region that created the directory
- The local website URL
- Help Line Phone Number
- Surrounding area or regional phonelines
- A place to write phone numbers
- A brief history of the Group, Area or Region producing the directory
- Any other pertinent information which might benefit the reader of the directory
Some areas print personal contact information of committee chairs. Those numbers should be removed from directories distributed by PI and H&I subcommittees in facilities and projects. Take a look at the samples we’ve provided for some ideas.
There are many methods which may be used to gather the information which appears in the meeting schedule.
Determine the information that will be printed for each listing. Here are some options:
- The name of the group or meeting
- The day of the week of the meeting
- The times and length of each meeting
- The physical address (including City and State where necessary)
- Some meeting directories specify the name of the facility while others indicate only the type of building (i.e. church, hospital, community center).
- Whether the meeting is accessible to people with additional needs; wheelchair, hearing impaired, sight impaired, speech impaired, other physical challenges, etc.
- Whether the meeting is smoking or non-smoking.
- Whether the meeting is open to all interested or closed to addicts only.
- What type of meeting format is followed; speaker, participation, panel, book study, eating meeting, etc.
- Cross streets
- Public transportation availability
- Common needs meetings (men’s, women’s, gay and lesbian, different language, bilingual, etc.)
Many locations have chosen to not print group or meeting names on the meeting directory. Sometimes this is done simply because of the lack of available space on the printed meeting schedule. Other times they are omitted because group or meeting names, while descriptive, attractive, or even humorous to those in the fellowship, may not be attractive to or properly understood by the public.
Determine the following, and keep written records of your decisions:
- How many copies, and how often is the directory to be printed and updated?
- How many and which language or languages will it be printed in?
- Who will distribute the directory? How?
- Should a certain number of directories be kept for local mailings or other PR efforts?
- Will the directory stay on the same color of paper with each new printing?
- Develop a budget including quantity, frequency of printing, and cost.
Designing A Layout and Printing
Design a layout of the meeting schedule using all the information gathered and the decisions on the content. Create a draft first to review. Proofread and make sure all the information is accurate and up-to-date. Then, see if a newcomer or a member of the public can read and understand the meeting directory.
Before deciding on a printing vendor, your committee should obtain and consider several quotes. In traditional printing, initial setup and changes to the document may incur additional costs; be sure to inquire about such charges. Investigate both printing and photocopying costs.
Post Production Work
Remember to follow up on the effort by:
- Establishing a single point of accountability for updating the meeting schedule.
- Making update forms available to the groups.
- Establishing procedures for communicating changes.
- Keeping the document/file current.
Your committee may want to develop a mailing/fax/email list in order to send your updated meeting directory to other groups, areas, or regions of NA.
If your area (or region) has meetings in more than one language, it is a good idea to have separate meeting directories for each language. In the following example we will use Spanish or bilingual meetings in a predominately English-speaking area. You will want to list all the meetings on your main meeting directory because that is used by professionals in the community, as well as by H&I staff and phoneline volunteers, to direct people to meetings. However, it is not likely that a non-English speaking person would find the Spanish meetings from that directory. Have an additional directory made that lists only Spanish speaking and bilingual meetings.
All the additional information listed on your regular meeting directory should also be included on the second-language meeting directory. Service committee meetings should be listed on the directory even if they are not in the secondary language, accompanied by a note indicating that those meetings are conducted in English. Although some members attending the Spanish or bilingual meetings may read only Spanish, they may speak English and be able to participate in English service committee meetings. Some mention should be made on the directory about the phoneline, even if only English volunteers are available. See the Phoneline Handbook for further discussion of phonelines in areas where more than one language is used in NA meetings. Be inclusive as best as can be made.
Remember that creating a meeting list is one of the first and most basic of all PI projects. Your second-language meeting directory will help that community within NA grow as it helps members find NA meetings in their own language. Your PI committee may then be able to reach out to that growing community in NA and do other projects in the second language such as hanging posters, or even billboards.
If your area has two or more common languages with many meetings in both languages, you might consider a two-sided meeting directory, one side for each language.
We have a number of sample meeting lists available on our samples page.
Can’t Find What You’re Looking For?There is a wealth of information on NA service and public relations at the NAWS website, take a look at the Local Service Committee Resource area.