The “sweet spot” for forum size is 8-10 – large enough to have critical mass and diversity of perspectives; small enough to be manageable when scheduling meetings and sharing air time.
So when should a forum consider adding members?
Tilt towards not adding if the following is generally true:
- Attendance is solid, almost always 7 or 8.
- Members are comfortable with the group dynamics, chemistry, balance between peer quality and diversity.
Tilt towards adding members if:
- One or more members are likely to leave in the next year, for any reason: relocation, dissatisfaction, or lack of alignment with other members’ goals for forum.
- Your numbers are on the low side (7 or 8), and new members could provide an infusion of new energy, different styles, and a wider range of experience to share.
It’s essential to plan ahead. Remember that adding members can take several months between identifying candidates, vetting them, and integrating them into the forum.