November 30, 2011

EUSPBA streams 2011 annual general meeting over Internet

Driving attendance at annual general meetings is a traditional challenge for piping and drumming associations, but the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association partially solved the dilemma at its 2011 AGM on November 5th when it made the entire meeting available via live video on the Internet from San Antonio, Texas.

With the EUSPBA being the world’s largest single pipe band association in terms of geography, the association’s members can be hundreds, even thousands, of miles from the event. The AGM was broadcast live via LiveStream, an increasingly popular service that has already been used by other piping and drumming organizations, including the British Columbia Pipers Association Knockout Final on March 12, 2011.

In-person attendance at the EUSPBA’s event was around the 50 mark, which seems to be the standard approximate number for any pipe band organization around the world, regardless of its size. The most that the Internet streaming video channel attracted was 40 viewers. The EUSPBA’s membership base comprises seven branches, more than 200 pipe bands and more than 2,000 individuals.


The online streaming of the AGM was coordinated by Kenton Adler, a piper and member of the EUSPBA’s Executive Board Officer-at-Large for the EUSPBA’s Southwestern Branch, and who is also Academic Computing Coordinator at Lyon College in Arkansas.

As for the meeting itself, one attendee said, “I can’t say anything of note happened at the AGM.   However, having attended many EUSPBA AGM’s, I must say this one was one of the best.  Not a whole lot of shouting and all the issues were discussed in an open, candid manner.”

The next major association annual general meeting is that of the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario on Saturday, December 3rd, at 1-4 pm, at the Lions Club Hall, in Campbellville, Ontario. Among other items, the PPBSO will hold an election for the position of President, currently held by Charlie MacDonald. The association’s 2010 AGM collapsed after it lost quorum of 30 midway through the event.

Attendance-by-Internet is so far not addresed in any association’s by-laws.


  1. This experimental transmission of the meeting seems to have been successful. Livestream has a chat feature that allowed for member in New York, Virginia, Florida, and other areas of the association to not only watch and listen to the proceedings, but also to comment, ask questions, and sometimes answer questions even though they couldn’t be physically present.

  2. This is the way of the future if you want participation. For me it’s a long day to travel 250km each way for the AGM in Ontario. We need to move forward and embrace technology.

  3. MWPBA needs to do the same. If you’re not from Chicago (where the AGM is ALWAYS held) you have two options: travel or don’t attend. A bit of technology would go a long way to putting the Chicago Pipe Band Association” label to rest.”

  4. The Saskatchewan Pipe Band Association has 13 or 14 member bands most years, and for the last few years we have been using teleconferencing services so that people from anywhere in the province can dial in to attend the meeting, vote and contribute ideas. It’s not ideal, but it works well, and attending via teleconference has prompted more than one person to take up a board position, or take on other roles. Also, smaller bands with limited budgets, and their volunteers with limited time, don’t have to commit to a lengthy highway drive to attend a meeting.



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