AOB at the start?
Surely AOB comes at the end, right? We don’t think so.
An AOB section near the end of a meeting is like a time-bomb waiting to go off. People can save up really important issues for this section. Just when the chair is winding up proceedings so everyone can get on their way, you end up in an hour or two of protracted debate which should really have taken precedence over everything else you have been talking about.
So, when we set up meetings, we always put AOB at the top. The idea is not to discuss all this stuff at that point, but to ask people if they have any ‘last minute’ additions to the agenda. If so, they request them to be added here and the chair/secretary can decide where to put them in the agenda and how long to allow for them. Alternatively, it may be decided that this is better dealt with outside the meeting or in another forum.
Either way, get the agenda agreed in full at the start; that way everyone knows where the are and you can split your time up according to what is more important to discuss. Try it, it works!