Event Tips

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This listing comprises the most frequently requested discussion topics at our annual meetings. At each topic, you will find an opening statement regarding common practices or techniques. Some of the topics lend themselves to a “best practices” approach while others will vary according to organizational/management style and/or be dependent upon venue. Following all of these remarks will be links to key contact information within several of our events’ committees (or RI staff) who have expressed a willingness in being a resource for the given topic.

Click each topic to expand or collapse the paragraph within.


The following events have a structured Pre-PETS prior to their PETS.  Chesapeake, Eric Grubb  & Florida, Gary Israel.


Who is responsible for developing the curriculum used at your PETS?  Are you using RI Training Department materials?  A typical role for a PETS Trainer is to determine and coordinate the final curriculum including plenary interfacing, topic clustering and guest speakers.  Chesapeake, Eric Grubb & Florida, Gary Israel & RI Training Staff.

Assistant Governor Training

The following events utilize previously trained AGs in various ways.  Far West, Terri Clark & Chesapeake, Eric Grubb.  The following events offer AG training in conjunction with PE training during their PETS events.  Carolinas’, Jim Stump.

President Nominee Training

The following events offer PN training in conjunction with PE training during their PETS events.  Carolinas’, Chris Jones.

Secretary-Elect Training

The following events offer Secretary-Elect training in conjunction with PE training during their PETS events.

District Learning Facilitator Role

District Trainers participate in events in varying roles.  Some serve on their planning executive committee while some might be considered as PETS DLs.  Some events permit the individual districts to utilize the trainers for planning and implementation of all District breakout sessions during the multi-district PETS event.  Chesapeake, Eric Grubb & Florida, Gary Israel.

Qualification, Selection, and Training of Discussion Leaders

What makes an effective discussion leader/facilitator (DL)?  How do we select the DLs?  How do we train the DLs?  Some events use PDGs, some use PDGs and Past Presidents, some use DLs from the pool of RLI trained faculty only.  Some events invite districts to submit names of DLs from within the district.  Some events only use RLI faculty who have demonstrated superior performance at previous PETS and/or RLI events.  In most cases, a mandatory one-day orientation/training session for every DL is held within two months prior to the event.  Carolinas’, Chris Jones & Chesapeake, Eric Grubb.

Keynote Speaker Sharing & Rotation

In an effort to share sought-after keynote speakers, we encourage (1) not soliciting the RI President, President-Elect or President Nominee each year and (2) sharing the VIP with a nearby events on the same weekend.  Show Me, PRIP Ray KlinginsmithCarolinas’, PRID Ken Morgan.

Treat Your VIPs With Respect

Long before Ray Klinginsmith served as RI President, he was a much sought-after keynote speaker.  The document available via this link is a compilation of suggestions based ion his many diverse experiences at the hands of VIP aides and events leaders.  Show Me, PRIP Ray Klinginsmith & Carolinas’, PRID Ken Morgan.

Organizational Structure

Executive Committee (or part thereof) remains in place versus almost total change every year. Led by PDGs versus DGEs. Florida, Tim Schuler

Venue Contract Negotiation

A critical planning activity, negotiating hotel contracts can help bring costs down and yield consistency in financial and operational results.  Florida, Tim SchulerCarolinas’, Steve Denning

Managing Food Costs & Meal Guarantees

Not applicable to every event and venue, projecting meal headcounts can result in the annual savings of up to $10,000.  Carolinas’, Steve Denning

Website Assistance
Seeking a candid opinion about your event’s web presence or just a peer to bounce an idea?  These event contacts are familiar with web design practices and who the customer is. All Ohio, Michael Brown.
On-line Payment Processing

Many events use on-line credit card payment processing.  Some events process the credit card charge immediately giving the individual registrant instant registration and a receipt of credit card charges.  Other events also include via email, a message that is their receipt and/or a message about the event with some degree of details.  Carolinas’, Steve Denning & Chesapeake, Eric Grubb.

Visit Other Events

Inviting someone from another multi-district PETS event to visit your event is of great value!  Newer events can learn from veterans, smaller events can learn from larger ones and vice versa.  The Alliance encourages each event to accept one visitor per year at no charge (other than transportation) for the purpose of visitng and learning.  The visiting event leader has the opportunity to return to their event new ideas and enthusiasm.  The alternative is to invite an experienced MDP event leader to critique your event.  We all have an opportunity to improve our events via feedback from a skilled, multi-district event veteran.  Carolinas’, Ken Morgan & Carolinas’, Steve Denning & Lone Star, Al HethcockChesapeake, Eric Grubb.

Liability Insurance

All U. S. events are all included under the liability insurance policy maintained by RI.  For details, please consult RI Risk Management.  The following events have additional insurance coverages…


Needed or not?  What is accomplished?  What are the benefits & detriments?  The following events are incorporated …  The following events incorporated as a 501(c)(3) …  The following events incorporated as a 501(c)(4) …  Florida PETS has applied to become a 501(c)(3).  Florida, Tim Schuler

Income Tax Status & Reporting

All U. S. events are all included under the income tax exemption status of Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(4) status maintained by RI. RI recommends that all of our events annually file an Internal Revenue Service Form 990.

Financial Results Review (Audit)

Does your event need an annual audit or will a reivew suffuce?  What is the difference between the two?  The following events utilize a CPA firm to conduct an annual audit whise cost ranges from x to y…  The following events utilize a team of PDGs with finance/business management expertise to conduct an annual review of the receipts, disbursements and financial reporting.  Carolinas’, Steve Denning

Training Resources from RI

Rotary International’s Training Staff provides options when planning to distribute annual training materials.  Each multi-district PETS Governor-Elect should consider coordinating their decision of either electronic or paper training material immediately after becoming a Governor-Elect in July.  RI Training Staff.

PETS Mailings from RI

Each Governor-Elect is ultimately responsible for the PETS-related mailings from RI.  The DGE should coordinate with their PETS committee to ensure proper handling of this material.  The DGE should plan to notify RI staff no later than September prior to the PETS.  Deanna Cankar