- FMI - Idea Locker: Never let an idea (good,
bad or half-baked) go to waste, keep them in the FMI-Idea
- Idea-Rodeo: The Edmonton
Chapter ran an idea-rodeo with its members via email and an annual
survey. Twelve new ideas were submitted of which two were accepted
and developed as events for the following program year.
- Event-Idea Document: This is a one- or
two-page document detailing the idea, its value to members,
potential speakers and other details.
Sample: Procure to Pay - Event Idea
- Context for the Idea: the big picture of why this topic is
- What is the idea: a broad brush overview of how the event will
- Value to Members: take away of why the audience should
- Event Management: is responsible for developing the idea.
- Assignment of Event Manager: The most
important planning step is assigning a project/event manager for
each event. Sample job description for the event manager:
- Develop, gain approval and manage the project plan, issue and
risk logs (the plan);
- Monitor and communicate to the organizing group status of the
- Recommend risk-re-mediation activities;
- Coordinate the design of an overall evaluation processes
relating to the plan and the event;
- Working with the sponsoring organizations, ensure that all
costs are covered;
- Calculate the final profit/loss for the event;
distribute/collect monies as required;
- Complete the final accounting and reports to sponsoring
- Develop the program agenda;
- Recruit panelists, moderators and other performers;
- Manage all communications with the panelists;
- Manage the research, preparation and rehearsal of the
- Manage the execution of the program;
- Develop an evaluation process for the program to determine if
it met the expected results;
- Contribute to the final report to the sponsoring
- Prepare a program summary and distribute to sponsoring
- Manage the panelist thank you process.
- Excel Planning Tool: Event managers may find
it helpful to use the Microsoft Excel-based event planning tool.
The template has nine tabs, the most important one being the detail
Sample: FMI Event Planning Tool
- Flag (blue): this controls the name and date
of the event, who are the volunteers and the version for the
- Detail.Agenda (green): is the most important
tab, it allows the chapter to see the flow and timing of the event.
It also provides a level of comfort to your speakers knowing that
you are organized enough to have such a detailed plan.
- Volunteer-Roles (green): this content clearly
describes what each person is accountable for. Given how busy
people are, it is only fair that you clearly spell out their
responsibilities for an event.
- ProjPlan (green): The Project Plan tab should
be seen at a minimum as a memory jog checklist for smaller events
(e.g. Oh Shoot, we forgot to recruit a photographer!) through to a
detailed planning document for more complex events. If your chapter
is using Microsoft Project (or the like) to plan your events, you
are already way beyond this rudimentary tool.
- Cost Estimate (green): this is where we
estimate our profit, loss and break even for the event.
- Venue-Needs (yellow): a listing of equipment
needing to be arranged with venue or audio-visual organization.
Delete this tab for smaller and simpler events.
- Risk-Log (yellow): a listing of potential
risks and mitigation strategies. Delete this tab for smaller and
- Venue-Needs (yellow): a listing of issues
requiring resolution. Delete this tab for smaller and simpler
- Event Registration and Communication Tool: FMI
is developing a registration/database tool for Chapter use that is
scheduled for release in September 2015, but in the interim,
consider using the following:
- Conference Calls for Event Planning Meetings:
Hold bi-weekly conference call of 20 - 30 minutes. The advantage of
conference calls is that they are very focused and
- Presenter Conference Call: This is one of the
most important meetings when organizing a learning event,
particularly when there are two or more presenters. It gives
FMI a chance to set the tone of the event, and it allows the
speakers to synchronize their presentation content. This meeting
also helps the speakers to understand what to expect and how to
prepare. In addition, it is an opportunity for speakers to share
their slide presentation decks to minimize content
- Pre-Event Notes: This is a 2 - 6 page PDF
document providing a summary of the program, speaker biographies,
other relevant content, upcoming FMI events and any other Chapter
news or activities. This document is available 2 - 3 weeks in
advance on the event registration page.
- Promotion: Most events are promoted via three
emails: an early-bird promotion, regular promotion, and a last
minute reminder. An event poster (to download) allows members to
get the news out to their colleagues and associates, both in and
beyond their work area.
- Single Presentation Deck: The advantage of
combining the various speakers' decks into a single deck is that
you can insert biographies, transition and break slides. Post the
presentation deck to the event registration page the night before
so that audience members can follow along on their laptops,
tablets, or other smart devices.
- Time Cards: A Toastmasters technique, time
cards keep the program on track. These are preferred over the red
"STOP" card, which everyone dreads.
- Record the Event: If you are planning to
produce post-event notes, or you are hosting a webinar, consider
recording the event.
- Enable Text-a-Question: Audience members who
are a somewhat shy can text in their questions. Questions are
edited as required.
- Post-Event Notes: After the event, you may
wish to produce post-event notes. These notes are a summary of the
speaking points of each presentation and any discussions or
questions. Due to the editing and layout involved, many authors
consider post-event notes to be a writing credit.
- Event-Debrief: Finally, no event goes
Planning à la Carte
The above resources should be seen as a menu of tools, not a
prescription of activities to follow. Many of the tools can be
ignored or simplified for a simpler single-speaker event. A larger
or more complex learning event may require an online project plan
and possibly a collaboration site to share documents and
Can Ideas and Resources be Shared Outside of FMI?
Absolutely! Please use and re-purpose the ideas and resources,
as this demonstrates the value, networking and leadership of FMI in
our communities. When using the ideas and resources please include
a note of acknowledgement, such as the following:
Organization of this event was partially- (fully-) based on
an event organization methodology developed by the volunteers of
the Financial Management Institute of Canada (fmi*igf) and is used
with permission under Creative Commons (Non-commercial). We thank
the FMI for sharing their methods and will let them know how it
worked out for us.