Wednesday, February 27, 2008

District Membership Seminars

The initial step in planning a district membership seminar is deciding who should be invited to attend. Naturally the first person that comes to mind is the membership chair from each club. How about encouraging future club membership chairs? Or all membership committee members?
Often club presidents are first on the list. While it is always good to encourage presidents to lead by example, they should have a full plate. Perhaps the club presidents-elect and nominees should be invited instead.
The next step is to determine the appropriate seminar program. The principles to keep in mind when planning the seminar’s program is simple:
-1- The program must have substance to assist audience needs.
-2- The program should inspire the audience to action.
If your seminar does not contain inspiration and substance related to membership development, chances are it will fall short of expectations and undermine the district’s purpose of existence - assisting clubs to advance the Object of Rotary. A well-planned program takes time to develop and finalize.
Selecting the place, date, and time depends on your district’s program schedule and membership seminar program. Often, for many reasons, districts plan concurrent membership and TRF seminars. But remember your projected audience – plan your seminar based on audience convenience, not presenter or district officer convenience. And remember, in small clubs it is not uncommon one Rotarian to be the TRF and Membership chair.
The sooner the expected attendees can pencil in the seminar date, the better your attendance should be. Do not be afraid to ask for advance registration and payment. A well planned seminar can be rendered ineffective by having large numbers of unexpected attendees and/or no-shows. Advanced registration and payment, common in professional seminars, reduces both while helping assure that your seminar will have substance and be inspirational.

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