Phase II – Strategy and Planning
Step 1 – Hold Kickoff Meeting

Take Action! Plan a Kickoff Meeting

A kickoff meeting helps to establish a shared vision for your coalition. It brings partners to the table to discuss the issues, agree on priorities, develop a plan, and secure commitments to move forward.

Here are some key action items to help you plan a successful kickoff meeting.

Plan A Kickoff Meeting Worksheet

Pre-Meeting Planning

  • Set the meeting goal and objectives (and be solution-oriented)
  • Determine the format of the meeting: virtual or in-person
  • Create an agenda
  • Identify meeting chair and moderators
  • Determine the size of the meeting and invitee list
  • Define what information you want to gather for pre-meeting and post-meeting surveys

Presentations and Speakers

  • Based on the meeting goals and objectives, determine the appropriate thought leaders to speak or moderate on these topics
  • Determine the format of presentations
  • Invite speakers and moderators

Working Groups and Breakout Sessions

  • Identify a task or problem for small groups to discuss
  • Have groups identify a vision and potential priorities for the initiative.
  • Ensure time for breakout groups to report back to the full group for discussion


  • Conduct a post-meeting survey and analyze results
  • Document goals, action items, and assignments
  • Distribute meeting notes to all participants
  • Ask attendees to review a draft of the report to ensure accuracy and to maintain a sense of ownership for the launch of the effort
  • Consider presenting the report in a follow-up webinar to further maintain momentum

Tips and Troubleshooting

This section provides insights from coalition leaders on how to overcome common challenges related to holding a kickoff meeting.

Common Challenge

  • Making sure the kickoff meeting meets the needs of participants


“Participants appreciated a detailed meeting agenda, so they knew which panelists were speaking at specific times. It makes for a busy agenda, but in both the in-person and virtual environments, participants are multi-tasking and need that level of detail, so they don’t miss desired presentations.”

“We all get screen fatigue, so it was important to keep presentations and conversations high-level and fast-paced to encourage engagement. ‘Rapid-fire’ presentations fit this approach nicely. We capped our presentations at 8 minutes to allow for Q&A time at the end of the panel presentations. This is a great way to look at in-person as well. If we keep things exciting and fast-moving, it will keep attendees more focused on the presentations.”