FAQ’s – Regional Meetings
What’s changing about the delivery of Regional Meetings?
A few things are changing in the way we deliver Regional Meetings. Here’s the rundown:
- We’re spreading the meetings out over the course of several months, rather than hosting them all together over an intense six-week period in the spring
- We’re hosting seven locations in 2019, and seven different locations in 2020
- We’re visiting brand new locations in 2020 (Timmins, Guelph and St. Catharines)
- We’re building in more practical learning on issues that members have said matter most to them
- We’re adding more digital opportunities for engagement and regular updates
Why the new approach?
Last year, ONPHA went on a listening tour. We asked members how the association can best support you in your work. What we heard loud and clear was that you need ONPHA to do more and be more. So this year we’re focused on building up the association just as you’ve asked. This means we need to change the way we do things, and that includes Regional Meetings.
In past years, we’ve done a big blitz around the province in the spring to 14 different communities in six weeks. Hosting the meetings all at once like this means that there are only two points in the year where we connect face-to-face with members (during Regional Meetings in the spring and at the annual ONPHA Conference in the fall). It also means our team is spread thin when it comes to providing other important member services during that six-week period.
We want to be more consistently connected with members throughout the year and use our resources more effectively. The new approach will help us achieve both of those things.
Will the content and flow of the day change?
Earlier this year we surveyed members to find out what you want from your Regional meetings and how you’d like the day to go. You told us that the updates around ONPHA and the sector are helpful, and also that you appreciate the networking with colleagues.
We also heard that you’d like more opportunities to brainstorm practical strategies for navigating tenant issues, funding opportunities, new development, and other timely topics.
Rest assured that we’ll still be offering the valuable content members have told us they want, plus building in the practical learning you asked for.
You also told us you wanted fewer sponsor-run presentations. While sponsors are an important part to ensuring we can offer these meetings at no charge to you, this year, each meeting will have just one key sponsor. We are also working closely with this sponsor to ensure the content they share will be both relevant and practical to your everyday work.
We’ll also be cutting down on the number of sponsor-run presentations and switching up the format of these to ensure the content is valuable and relevant to members.
Why are you visiting fewer locations each year?
In the past, ONPHA hosted 14 meetings across Ontario over the span of just a few weeks. This meant our team wasn’t available to members who needed support during this time. It also put a strain on our financial resources and spread us too thin for other daily operations.
We are committed to ensuring our team is able to deliver high-quality supports to you throughout the entire year. And, like any strong organization, we also need to ensure we are financially stable.
You’ve told us that we need to do things differently to serve you, so we are looking at every one of our programs and seeing how we can be better as a whole. And while we will be in fewer locations for Regional Meetings, we are adding other new ways to engage you, such as a new video series, quarterly webinars packed with ONPHA updates, new committees and opportunities for you to have a voice, and soon-to-come online communities. So stay tuned. There is more to come.
Why isn’t ONPHA hosting a meeting in my region this year?
The new approach means we won’t be able to get out to as many different communities in one calendar year as we have previously. In 2019, we’ll be visiting seven locations over six months, and then heading to alternate locations in 2020.
If your region is not on the schedule for 2019, that means you’re on the schedule for 2020. We’re excited to say that the 2020 schedule also includes regions we’ve never before hosted. To reach as many members as possible, we’re doing our best to alternate locations every year and extend our reach to accommodate as many members as possible.
Plus, there are still many other ways for you to connect and get the updates you need. For instance, we’re hosting an event at the 2019 ONPHA Conference that will operate much like a typical Regional Meeting and will be open to all delegates. This is where you’ll receive all the key updates and learning you expect from a Regional Meeting.
You can also stay connected through our video update series and quarterly webinars launching this fall, which will be packed with the latest ONPHA and sector news. On top of this, we’ll soon be opening our online communities – a digital space for members across Ontario to discuss all things housing-related.
Why are you spreading the meetings out over several months, rather than hosting them all in the spring like previous years?
There are a few reasons for this.
First, by spreading the meetings out over several months, we’re able to meet in-person with members at different times of the year as the sector and ONPHA evolve. This will help us stay in tune with your challenges and concerns, and allow us to hear your feedback on issues as they happen.
Second, when we hosted the meetings all at once in the spring, our team was spread thin during that time. We want to be able to deliver high-quality supports to members throughout the entire year – from answering your questions on the member support helpline, to hosting webinars and courses, to championing advocacy issues, etc. Spacing the meetings out over several months will allow us do all of that to a high standard.
What else is ONPHA doing to engage with members?
Regional meetings are just one of the ways ONPHA engages with members. As we build up the association, we’re adding new ways for you to stay connected and have a voice. On top of hosting Regional Meetings and our annual conference, we’re adding:
- a new video series for members to hear key updates from ONPHA’s leadership
- quarterly webinars packed with ONPHA updates so you always have the latest about what we’re doing for you, from advocacy, to training, and more
- more opportunities for members to have a voice and shape the association, including new committees such as the Conference Content Committee and others dedicated to specific advocacy issues
- Wrap-up reports and webinars from every Regional Meeting to ensure that valuable learning and updates are captured
- A session at the annual Conference which will operate much like a Regional Meetings and be open to all delegates
- *soon to come* online communities to give members a platform to discuss all things housing-related