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Toastmasters International District 71 District Conference Guide Contents ITEM Contents Objectives Responsibilities Dates Organising Committee Venue Agenda Education Sessions Council Meeting Contests Hall of Fame Saturday lunch Banquet Publicity Check List Booking

Appendix 1 - Booking Form Appendix 2 - Receipt Appendix 3 - Booking Record Appendix 4 - Agenda Appendix 5 - Financial spreadsheet

Revised Dec 2007

PAGE 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 6 6 7&8 9

10 & 11 12 12 13 14

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Objectives. The purpose of the District Conference is to: -

a. b. c. d.

Conduct business at the District Council Meeting (and 2 other meetings) Elect District Officers

- Spring

Present District Awards - Autumn (Hall of Fame). Conduct District Contests - International Speech & Evaluation in spring - Humorous & Table Topics in autumn

e. f.

Provide Educational Opportunities and the exchange of ideas Enable members in the District to get together and have an enjoyable time

Responsibilities Your Club will be responsible for: • • • • •

Venue and Accommodation Food and Drink Social activities Personnel Financial success (See Appendix 1)

District Executive will be responsible for: • Council Meeting • Elections Awards – basic only, Clubs often fund mementos for: • Contests • Educational Sessions The Conference Director has overall responsibility for ensuring the smooth running of the conference - i.e. that everyone is where they should be with what they should have, at the right time of day.

Dates The District holds two conferences each year – 1 in spring and 1 in autumn. Alternate years the conferences are in the same country. i.e.

2008 2009

Both spring and autumn are in Ireland (Divisions A, C, D & F) Both spring and autumn are in Britain (Divisions B, E, G & H)

The ideal time to hold the Spring Conference is in early May,

Revised Dec 2007

Page 3 and for the Autumn Conference in early November. When checking Hotel availability in May consideration should be given to whether it is advisable to hold the conference over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Revised Dec 2007

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Organising Committee This is essential, and should ideally be separate from the Club Committee. It should be in regular contact with, and accountable to the Club Committee, as the Club is responsible to the District Executive for the organization of the Conference. The composition will vary from time to time, according to needs, but should include, as a minimum, the following: a) Conference Director b) Booking Secretary c) Treasurer d) Contest Organiser e) Public Relations Officer f) District Governor or representative (ex officio) Where possible, members should have had previous experience of a District Conference.

Venue a) b) a)

b) c) d) e)

Negotiate with the Hotel for the best deal possible, whilst retaining good value for money. Food need not be exotic, but members do appreciate good quality. Travel to and from the hotel should be considered, as the more difficult this is, the fewer may attend. If a courtesy Coach from the Hotel to the Airport is not available, arranging for a bus may be a good idea. Outings – if possible, some sort of alternative attraction for partners is desirable, but not essential – especially if the Hotel has good facilities of its own. The numbers and rooms will vary according to the events being organized, so keep in touch with the District Executive. A Conference Registration Desk will be needed away from the Hotel Reception Desk.

Agenda (see Appendix 4) a) b) c) d) e) f)

The programme should not be published until the District Governor and Executive Committee have approved it. The Council Meeting should not be scheduled with a simultaneous event, i.e. educational sessions, and should be programmed for maximum attendance (i.e. late morning or afternoon) The timing of the Dinner is often dependant on how long it will take to change the room settings, and how long it will take to serve the meal. Time should never be taken away from contests. Bar extensions may be needed and should be requested in good time. Allow sufficient time between events for room changes.

Revised Dec 2007

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Each event will need its own Sergeant at Arms (S at A) to be responsible for layout of chairs, tables and other equipment as required.

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Education Sessions. The Lieutenant Governor Education and Training (LGET) will be ultimately responsible for these, and may have a theme, or a series of subjects to be covered. Therefore, the programme should not be published without approval of the LGET. However, you may be asked to assist the LGET, in which case it is worth remembering that, to ensure that members gain as much as possible from these sessions, it is important that they are: a) b) c) d) e) f)

Of a high quality. Balanced to reflect the diverse nature of the District. Run on time. Not given over to non-toastmasters. In special cases one ‘professional’ speaker may be acceptable, but not more than one. Time is allowed between sessions for changeovers. It would also help the presenters, if in advance: 1) They are notified of their inclusion on the programme as soon as possible 2) The time allocated to them is clearly stated. 3) Their position on the programme is clearly stated. 4) They are notified as to which member of the club (i.e. Chairperson for that session) will be introducing them, and put in touch with that member. 5) They are notified of the equipment available at the venue. It is possible that they will prefer to bring their own (if so, what is it, and is it compatible with the hotel’s). 6) They are asked if they will require someone to set up and run any such equipment 7) That they layout of the room is confirmed with the presenter.

On the day there will need to be an S at A to ensure that all the Presenters requirements are met.

Council Meeting. This is the responsibility of the District Governor and Secretary. They will provide all the agenda, minutes, voting slips, etc. However an S at A should introduce the DG, and counters should be available to collect/count votes, in case they are needed. Notes. a) b)

Presidents and District Officers should be reminded to bring and wear medal/ribbons of office. Suitable fittings will be needed to hang the District and Club Banners, and to hold the District Flags.

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Contests a)

b) c) d) e) f) g)


The Room and any PA System being used should be available to all Contestants before the Contest, for them to try out the acoustics and decide on the layout that will be best for them. At this time the Speaking Area should be defined. Although a recognised seating area for Contestants should be available, they may sit where they choose as long as the Chairperson is aware of their location. The S at A is responsible for ensuring that each Speaker’s requirements are met, before they are called upon to speak, and may also be responsible for attaching microphones if they are to be used. It is best to have a qualified Sound Technician to operate the PA system, if one is being hired for the event. Hotel systems are not always suitable for our use. It is helpful to have someone to pass the certificates, trophies and mementos to those making the presentations. For the Evaluation and Topics Contests a separate room, with an S at A in attendance, will be needed for the Contestants to wait in. This should have tables and chairs, but could be a quiet corner of a larger room, providing that it is private. For the Topics Contest, the topic will be selected by the District Executive and given to the Chairperson before the contest.

Any queries should be taken up with the LGET.

Hall of Fame This is the responsibility of the Immediate Past District Governor.

Saturday lunch This is not usually included as part of the conference package, but charged as an optional extra. If the venue hotels charges too much for this you could investigate whether lunch would be available at other outlets inside or outside the hotel within the time scale.

Revised Dec 2007

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Banquet This format would suit either autumn or spring Conferences: S at A to introduce those sitting at Top Table (optional, but Traditional) S at A introduces Host President Welcome: 5 minutes (Host President) Grace/Invocation: S at A or other host club member Dinner Toasts: - Irish President, The Queen, TI (+Any other as appropriate) District Executive members Acknowledgement of Helpers Host President Acknowledgement of Host Club District Governor Announcement of break for 15 minutes S at A Notes: a) b) c) d) e) f) g) h)

Do check with the Hotel as to how long they will take to serve the number of guests coming, so that the start and finish can be accurately set. Stick to the timetable, especially if a Contest is part of the Programme. If cuts are needed, they should be made in the inter round comments, introductions, and vote of thanks. Time must not be taken off the contest. The TM and S at A should watch the time and warn the Caterers, President, or DG is more speed and cuts are needed, whatever the programme of events. Where possible a Top Table should be included for the Host President, the DG and other Distinguished Guests. (See Appendix 6) Where there are guests from WHQ (e.g. International President) then there is a set protocol, which we are expected to follow. A copy of this is sent to the DG, who will then be able to advise your club in good time of any special requirements. It will help considerably with the timing of the event if the DG is consulted beforehand as to the time to be taken over the after dinner speeches and presentations. If there are presentations to be made, then it helps if there is someone to pass them to the person making the presentation. If there are any queries then the DG should be consulted about them.

Publicity This is a great opportunity for you to gain publicity for your Club, Area, Division and District. The local newspaper, radio and television should be primed as to when and where the Conference and Contests are taking place. They may not send anyone, but on the other hand if they know about it they might. Arrangements should be made for photographs to be taken, of the Contest winners and other highlights, for onward transmission to the media, and District together with a suitable write up. It may be that you would like to capture the Contests, or indeed the whole weekend on DVD. This can be expensive, and usually needs to be undertaken by a professional. But if you are able to arrange for the filming of the Contests, it can be a valuable educational tool for those thinking of entering in the future, or as an example of the standard to which we should be aspiring. Revised Dec 2007

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Check List There follows on the next pages a checklist of who does/provides what and when. This is by no means all that you will need, so if you think of anything else that may help the Conference to run smoothly, please, contact the DG to discuss it, and allocate responsibility for carrying it out. As mentioned at the beginning, this is the DISTRICT CONFERENCE and the last word on what happens and when MUST remain with the District Governor. Role / Equipment Friday Registration Programme of weekend events Credentials (vote) Registration TME for Social Saturday – Education Sessions Chairperson for each room/session Speakers / Presenters Lights and stopwatch Timekeeper Flip Chart / OHP / Projector Lectern Water and Glasses Seating S at A to check arrangements and move / run equipment Council Meeting Secretary Chief Counter Counters Lights and stopwatch Timekeeper Lecterns – 1 top table – 2 floor with microphones Flip chart, OHP, projector Water and glasses Seating Minutes of last District Council Meeting + Agenda + Officer Reports S at A to see to seating and set out papers

Revised Dec 2007

How Many


2 1 per delegate 1 1

Club Club District LGM Club

1 As Applicable 1 for each room 1 per room At speakers request 1 per room 1 per room To speakers request 1 per room

Club LGET Club Club Club Club Club in liaison with hotel Club in liaison with hotel Club

1 1 2 1 1 3

District Secretary District Governor Club Club Club Club in liaison with Hotel

At request DG 1 set Theatre style with Top Table 1 per delegate

Club in liaison with Hotel Club in liaison with Hotel Club in liaison with Hotel


District Governor and District Secretary Club

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Role / Equipment Contests S at A to set stage for the contestants Doorkeepers TM for Contest Speaker for Evaluation Contest Lights (not visible to audience) Stopwatch and timekeeper Lectern PA System – fully checked Counters Chief Judge Judges Judge – Tiebreaker Judging Ballot Forms Forms for Counters and Timekeepers Biographical information forms Eligibility certificate Spares of above in case needed Trophies – per contest Certificates and folders Souvenir of occasion (optional) Regaining of perpetual trophies from last winners Programme for each contest Banquet TM for event Lectern/Lights/Stopwatch/Timekeeper Speakers as appropriate Programme of event S at A to ensure layout and hand trophies etc. In addition Photographer Video/Audio Recorder Banner/Flag holders

How Many


1 1 per door 1 1 1 1 of each 1 1 2 at least 1 2 / 3 per Division 1 1 per Judge + 1 per person per contest 1 per contestant 1 per contestant 1 per contestant 1 for each of top 3 1 per contestant

Club Club Club Club Club Club Club Club Club District LGET District LGET Chief Judge District LGET

1 per contestant 1 for Humorous, 1 for International, 1 per delegate

District LGET District LGET District LGET District LGET District Governor and Treasurer District LGET District LGET / Club District LGET

1 per delegate


1 As required by DG ?? 1 per delegate 1

Club Club Club Club & District Governor Club

1 1 1 for each

Club Club Club

(Banners should be on display at the Council, Contest, Dinner, where possible. The District, Host Club banners and District Flags should be on display at all times.)

Revised Dec 2007

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Booking A comprehensive system and a reliable Booking Secretary are essential. One of the commonest causes of loss is due to inaccurate records of who has booked which package and whether they have paid. Appendix 1 Appendix 2 Appendix 3

gives some idea of the information that you will need to give on a Booking Form and some idea of the information that you will need from Members making a booking. is a pro-forma receipt, which can be sent to the Member to clarify and record their booking, and the amount paid and to pay. is a pro-forma booking record for use by the Booking Secretary.

A system of coloured badges for delegates has been used fairly successfully. The colour of the badge indicating which events the Member is entitled to attend, and making individual tickets for the event unnecessary.

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Appendix 1

Booking Form

Booking Forms have changed a great deal since the advent of the PC, and it is quite common now that instead of having all the paperwork printed that a Member of the Organising Committee will be prepared to run up something on their PC which can then be photocopied quite inexpensively. The following is a suggestion as to what information to give, and what you will need in return. Information to give. Hotel: Name and exact address. How to get there, i.e. which airport is it near, which motorways etc. If possible a small map of the location. Packages: -

A – Complete 2 nights B & B in the Hotel (Friday and Saturday) Includes all events – Friday evening, Saturday Education Sessions, Council, Contests, Banquet and Sunday morning. Includes all meals booked with the Hotel. Friday buffet, Saturday Breakfast, (lunch?!) and Banquet, Sunday Breakfast (and possibly lunch as well) B – Half Weekend 1 night B & B in the Hotel (Saturday) Includes events – Saturday Education Sessions, Council, Contests, Banquet and Sunday morning. Includes all meals booked with the Hotel. Saturday, (lunch?!) and Banquet, Sunday Breakfast (and possibly lunch as well) C – Whole Weekend (as A) but Without Accommodation D – Saturday All Day No accommodation Includes events – Saturday Education Sessions, Council, Contests, and Banquet. Includes Saturday (lunch?!) and Banquet. E – Conference only Includes all events on Saturday – Education Sessions, Council and Contests. Includes Saturday lunch if booked with Hotel. F – Banquet only

Be prepared for Members with special requirements, i.e. vegetarians, and those requiring to be near lifts.

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Booking Form (continued) Information that you will need. The following is a suggestion only as to how and what you might put into a Booking Form. Please Print Name

Telephone No

Address E-mail No

Club Name

If you are an Officer

Club No

Please state Office held

I wish to book package [ persons

] for [

] I would prefer to Share/not to share/a non smoking room (delete as applicable)

Costing …………. Per package Total cost ………………..Enclosed I wish to book No… Saturday and/or Sunday Lunch costing. …………(Only if these are not included in the overall packages. Total extra amount enclosed………………….. Name of accompanying person Name

Please state if you have any special needs, particularly dietary

Address (if different from above) Total Sum enclosed…………………….. Club No if a TM………….. And Office if held………………….. Name, address, telephone no. and e-mail address of Booking Secretary

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Appendix 2

Pro-forma Receipt

Dear…………. Thank you very much for your booking. I have great pleasure in confirming that the following reservation has been made for you: Package ……. For …………. Persons That you will be sharing with………………….. Payment received of ……………………..£ Sterling / € Euro (as required) Balance to pay of …………. Before (enter date by which you would like final payment) On behalf of our Conference Director and Organising Committee I hope that you will have a very enjoyable weekend and look forward to seeing you on ………………. (Enter date that the member will arrive on) Yours sincerely,

Appendix 3 Name


Brown, John Smith, Jane

Pro-forma Booking Record


Friday Buffet

Education Sessions

Saturday Lunch

Contest Table Topics Y

Saturday Banquet


Contest Humorou s Speech Y









Paid £/€

To Pay


Sunda y Events Y











This format can be adapted to suit the events that will be run for your Conference, and provides a handy record to back up any computerized records that you may be keeping. It also provides running totals to pass on to the Hotel so that they are kept up to date with the booking situation as far as rooms and meals are concerned.

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Appendix 4 Autumn Conference Agenda

FRIDAY pm 2.00 5.00 7.30 7.45 10.00 12.00

Room Type Foyer

Reception Desk opens District Executive meeting Opening Ceremony Buffet Entertainment Craic


Foyer Small room Large room Large room Large room Residents Lounge

10 350 350 350 150

Restaurant Medium room Medium rooms Medium rooms

100 150 150

SATURDAY am 7.00 8.00 9.00 10.00 10.45 11.00 12.45

Breakfast available (until 10.00) Division & Area Governors meeting Workshops 1 and 2 (until 9.45) Workshops 3 and 4 Tea/Coffee District Council Meeting Judges and Speech Contestants Briefing

Large room (Large room)


Large room


Large room Bar Large room Large room Residents Lounge


pm 2.00 3.00 3.30 7.30 8.00 10.00 12.00

Lunch break Workshop 5 Tea/Coffee Speech Contest (until approx. 5.30) Pre-Dinner Reception Banquet Entertainment Craic

265 265 150

SUNDAY am 7.00 9.00 9.15 10.45 11.00 approx.12.00 by

Breakfast available (until 10.00) Evaluation Contestants Briefing Table Topics Contest Tea/Coffee Hall of Fame Closing Ceremony

Revised Dec 2007

Restaurant (Large room) Large room

350 350

Large room


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