How to Plan a District Convention
The simple event-planning process outlined below will assist your team in hosting an amazing convention for the Lions of your district. Work with the District Governor Team, which handles the district business required to be completed at convention: resolutions, reports and elections, as well as recognizing the accomplishments of the Lions and clubs in the district.
Convention planning includes these components: People, Preparation, Planning, Program, and Promotion
The documents and sample forms provided below are in a format which you can easily adjust to meet your district’s specific needs. Many of these tools came from districts that already hold successful conventions each year.
PEOPLE: The Convention Committee
There are two main groups; the Business Team and the Production Team. Below are suggested job descriptions to help you build your team. One person may fill more than one position.
The Business Team
- The Convention Chairperson: serves as the District Governor’s operations officer for the convention.
- District Governor: the specific role as a member of the convention committee is to be the presiding officer of the business meeting, provides recognition to district Lions and hosts guest speakers and presenters.
- Finance Chairperson: manages the budget and works with the rest of the team to keep finances on track and in order; from managing registration to final reporting.
- Host Committee Chairperson: leads and manages the group of local Lions eager to welcome the rest of the Lions to their home and provides ready volunteers for the event.
- Marketing and Communications Chairperson: This Lion plans and executes a promotional plan, event signage and the convention guide booklet.
- Program Chairperson: leads the Production Team to handle the logistics of every program function, from the opening reception to the closing key-note speech.
The Production Team
The Production Team is led by the Convention Program Chair, who works closely with the business team to provide the best speakers, entertainers and fellowship events. The Host Committee also works closely with this team or works directly in these positions to cover the logistical aspects of all functions.
- Plenary and Business Sessions Coordinator: assists the logistics of the large group sessions featuring guest and key-note speakers. Works directly with the district governor to ensure that the business of the district, resolutions and elections occur according to international and district policy.
- Break-Out Sessions and Seminar Coordinator: brings relevant workshops to the Lions in a small-group setting.
- Banquet/Meal and Entertainment Events Coordinator: coordinates menus and meals with a purpose, whether social, recognition or celebratory. Works closely with the host committee to bring great local talent to entertain the district Lions.
- Audio Video Coordinator and Data Specialist: leads the special effects team including lighting, sound, video and media presentations to add pizazz to all functions. Also serves as the computer/technical support for convention staff and assists guest speakers with presentations.
- Fundraising and Service Project Coordinator: ensures that fundraising is “fun” raising
- Companion Program Coordinator: plans fun activities or side trips for the families and companions of the Lions, which may be offsite.
PREPARE the Convention Team
Gather information to serve as a directional compass to a successful event. Get feedback from both attendees and non-attendees of previous conventions.
- District Convention Questionnaire: for those who attended
- Non Attendee Questionnaire: for those who did not attend
The responses and insights provided by the Lions of the district may provide the team an opportunity to brainstorm on new ideas for the convention program and logistics.
Provide a Relevant PROGRAM for the Lions
Work closely with the district governor team to create a program that is relevant to the Lions of the district. Inspire Lions to go back to their communities energized to provide needed community service, improve their own personal leadership skills, and share Lionism with other fellow community leaders.
From the goals set by the committee for your program, start the planning process with the tips and tools provided below.
PLAN an Amazing Convention Event!
Your team is formed and ready to go and your district Lions have let you know what they are seeking to gain by attending the district convention. The business and production teams need a master plan; a timeline to keep priorities in place including a budget, and a task list to assist each chairperson, coordinator manage their accountabilities.
The tools below are suggested templates to help you get started. Pick and choose areas where you would like to focus.
- Convention Committee Contact List
- Tips for Successful Committee Meetings
- Sample Timeline of Key Benchmarks
- Sample Master Event Schedule
- Certificate of Insurance
District Governor Business Session/Election Team
- District Election Guidelines
- District Constitution and By-Laws
- International Constitution and By-Laws
- Speaker Request Notification Form
Finance Chair (and Registration)
- Tips for the Finance Chair
- Planning the Convention Budget
- Sample Convention Budget
- Convention Registrant Information
- Certificate of Insurance
Host Committee Chair and Host Committee
- Host Committee Roles and Responsibilities
- Tips for the Host Committee
- Working with a Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Presenter Information Sheet
- Speaker Tracking Form
- How to Find Great Speakers
- Tips for Break-Out Sessions
- Session Evaluation Form
- PowerPoint template for volunteer presentations
- Eco-friendly template for volunteer presentations
PROMOTE the Event
- Tips for Event Promotion
- Promote Your International Officer’s Visit PR 752
- Play Videos from Lions News Network
- Lions Public Relations Guide
- The International Visitor, a Hosting and Protocol Guide PR 768