We send out news items regularly via our geniepad website, so 96% of our 100+ owners (and many renters) are very well informed that way. They can discuss matters on our fairly active message board as well, which gives us an idea of the kind of news items they might find helpful.
However, our lawyer recommended a town hall on one single very large and controversial project. We spent a lot of time preparing. We opened it with a thorough presentation of the facts and options (with Powerpoint, images, etc.). We stated our our intention to stay until every question had been asked and answered, and we did. And we announced what our follow-through would be.
We had our lawyer and property manager present, but it turned out they weren’t needed as we had our stuff down thoroughly. I agree with the idea of someplace to “park” other issues that may come up. Don’t be taken off topic for long. A town hall is a brilliant solution to a focused, specific problem. I would strongly counsel my board against an open town hall session as a standard means of communications….unless you have either a very small number of owners, or so much time and patience you’re looking for a way to burn it all up.