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Event Planning for Local Sections


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Event Planning for Local Sections

  1. 1. My Involvement with AICHE Graduated in 1983 from Georgia Tech with Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering Won the AICHE Marshall Award in 1983 for 2nd place in the national designcompetition among graduating chemical engineers. Project dealt with thedesign of a pulp and paper plant Went to work for McDonnell Douglas in aerospace and defense related work.My employer paid for me to attend the national conference in Washington DCthat year to receive my award. Became a member of AICHE in 1983 but had no involvement with the Institute(other than life insurance and reading the CEP) for about 24 years. I have been very actively involved with the local section for the past 6 years. Served as Vice Chair for six months and now as Chair for the last 18 monthswith my term coming to a close. Next year I will continue to serve as the Past Chair in supporting the SaintLouis Local Section.
  2. 2. AICHE Saint Louis Section Been around for many , many years. At least 60 years. Our Section has an affiliate membership with the Saint LouisEngineers Club which is the third oldest in the nation and has its ownfacility which we use for 2 or 3 events each year. 750 AICHE Chemical Engineers are in the Saint Louis region, 200 aredue paying members of the local section. Local section membership has declined over the last 3 years from about250 members. Local dues are $12/year, but are expected to go to$15/year in 2014. Our section has healthy reserves, but expenses have begun to exceedrevenues on annual budgets as membership has gone down. Looking for ways to re-energize the Saint Louis Section with increasingmembership and participation rates.
  3. 3. Why the Local Section is Important? The local section improves AICHE membership value by opening apath for local involvement on a personal level. The local section can provide the forum for technical presentations, PEtraining credits, supplier exhibitions, skill development, networking,social events, and awareness of regional chemical engineering activity. Being involved with the local section keeps you up to date withchemical engineering activities while developing friendships withpeople sharing similar interests and concerns. Local sections are proponents for Science, Technology, Engineering,and Mathematics (STEM) and strongly support their local chemicalengineering operations. Local Sections support Science Fairs, providerecognition for outstanding graduating chemical engineers, andprovide other forms of community service.
  4. 4. Essential Element for Event Planning A strong leadership team for Local Sections is vital to success Work to fill all officer and leadership positions.Treasurer, Secretary, Vice Chair, Chair, Web MasterPast Chair, Staggered Directors, Student Affairs Filling all board positions helps to distribute the work load to amanageable level. Without them, you may be headed for burn outor a failed program. A complete board results in better decision making, and providesideas and contacts that would otherwise not be available.
  5. 5. Things to Never Forget People respond to value. There are unlimited options available for spending theirprecious time, energy, and money. AICHE Local Section Events must compete effectivelyagainst all available options and must appeal to the targetmarket. Consider the 4Ps of MarketingProduct, Promotion, Price, and Place
  6. 6. Scope Considerations Each Section must determine the number of Events it will havein a given season. With 200 members, the Saint Louis Section has 9 major eventsand occasionally will offer special events or tours to ourmembers. (Blues night, Missouri Bridge Tour, Conoco PhillipsTour, Comedy Show, Engineer’s Week Luncheon) A planned event is offered every month from September throughMay. No events are planned in the summer but the time is usedfor advanced fall planning. Smaller sections may want to consider offering fewer events.
  7. 7. Primary Responsibility Lies withChair, but Officers Expected to Help The Chair and Vice Chair Must Attend all Meetings. All officers areencouraged to attend as well. Assign lead roles for planning each month’s event among the officers Saint Louis Section spread responsibilities for 2012/2013 as follows: Chair - John Waldrop , 3 events Director – Sarah Bock, 3 events Secretary – Michelle Piry Haines, 1 event Director - Mike Gentilcore, 1 event Web Master – Tom Blackwood, 1 event Your spread may be very different, but the idea is the same. Spread out the loadso no one is overwhelmed. Let everyone participate to the maximum extentpossible.
  8. 8. When to Have Your Events Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays Avoid Sundays, Mondays, and Fridays Saturdays can be a wildcard Evening Slots5-9 PM Window Avoid Holidays , Tax Days, Weather for Plant Trips Try to Separate Monthly Events As Much as Possible to AvoidBurn out and Provide a Window for distinct promotions.
  9. 9. Event Types Plant Tours(Typically 5) Technical Presentations and Special Speakers(Typically 2) Social Events(Typically 2)Try to intersperse these event types to change things up a bit.Your mix may be different based on availability of plant tripopportunities, speakers, or social activities.
  10. 10. When Must the Events Be Selectedand Solidified Bottom Line is as soon as possible, but preferably 4months in advance. Absolute latest time to solidify an event is 1 month inadvance. Promotion and planning dictate this. Develop Fall Schedule and Winter/Spring Schedule ifyou can’t get plans together for the entire year.
  11. 11. Officer Meetings Are Necessary E-mail, Google Docs, and other tools can help communicate, but ultimatelyyou need to meet to work out details that require dynamic interchanges. Closure often is not achieved without periodic meetings. We typically hold 5 Officer meetings per year.1 in Summer2 in Fall2 in Winter/Spring Formally prepare for meetings with a well developed agenda. Send the agendato the officers prior to the meeting to get everyone thinking about the issues. Meetings typically last 1 to 1 ½ hours Top of agenda is always event planning. What are we offering to our members?
  12. 12. Consider Reoccurring AnnualEvents to Reduce Planning Load Trivia NightFebruary at Engineer’s Club Awards Night with PresentationApril at Engineer’s Club
  13. 13. Saint Louis Section Calendar ofEvents for 2012/2013 Season Sept. - Lighthouse of the Blind (Plant Tour) 17 Oct. - Gallus Pharmaceuticals (Plant Tour) 37 Nov. - Cee Kay Gas Supply (Plant Tour) 18 Dec. - Mark Trudeau, CEO of Mallinckrodt (Presentation) 38@Engineer’s Club Jan. - Veolia Trigen (Plant Tour) 25 Feb. – Trivia Night @Engineer’s Club (Social) 55 Mar. - Fifth Degree Glass Factory (Social) 12 Apr. – Awards Night @Engineer’s Club with Speaker (Presentation) 36addressing Longevity and Anti-Aging Strategies May – Ameren Meramec Energy Center (Plant Tour) ?Attendance
  14. 14. Early 2013/2014 Event PlanningFor Saint Louis SectionSeptember Monsanto Plant TourOctober Anheiser Bush ImBev Plant TourNovemberDecemberJanuaryFebruary Trivia Night Social EventMarchApril Awards Night Social Event/SpeakerMay
  15. 15. Develop a Pipeline of Event Ideas If you rely on a single idea to fill the needs for a givenmonth, you will likely come up empty handed at somepoint. Carry multiple ideas for a given month, working thepreferred idea the hardest. Remain flexible. If something does not happen for a given month, donot abandon it. Maybe it can repositioned for an eventlater on.
  16. 16. Plant Tour Pipeline forSaint Louis Section Cott Beverages Hussman Refrigeration Koch Brick and Block Monsanto Anheiser Bush ImBev LMI Aerospace Larry Rice Energy Fair PQ Corporation Solutia – Kummerich Plant Energizer Bussman/Cooper Industries Nestle Purina Waterjet Tech Dierberg’s Central Bakery Dr. Pepper / 7 Up Coca Cola Bottling Plant Alpha Industries AvChem Barry-Wehmiller Design Group Burns and McDonald Dial Soap Interstate Baking Company Calumet Jost Chemical Reinhold Industries Carboline Buckeye International Reinhold Industries Chemco Industries Olin Intercon Chemical Company Quality Chemical Company Sensient Technologies Solae Graham Packaging Company Sonoco Logan College of Chiropractic Biomerieux
  17. 17. How to Get A Plant Tour Call E-mail Stop By the Gate Obtain Employee Contacts Establish Networks and Referrals Talk to Insiders who are members of AICHE All of the AboveNetworks, referrals, and insiders are about 10x more effective than cold calling.Cold calling does work. It just requires a lot more time and effort to yield tangibleresults. Have an AICHE business card when cold calling. It helps to identify youand establish contact. Send out your best salesmen. Be sensitive to chemicalplant security and safety protocol.
  18. 18. Typical Plant Tour Offerings Location could be anywhere in the city. Special planning is requiredfor more remote locations. Meet at plant location between 5 and 5:30 PM. Provide clear directions Tour should last from 1 to 1½ hrs. Offer Dinner Option to participants at carefully chosen location nearthe plant. Dinner builds friendship and fosters bonding. Be sure tomake group reservations at restaurant in advance. Pay for your Host’s dinner and give a token of appreciation. Everyone should be home by 9 or 9:30 PM. 10 PM at latest.
  19. 19. Presentation Type Events Where to Find Speakers?University Professors, AICHE members, AICHE’s Speaker’s Corner, various professionals Must get presentation release authorizations in many cases so plan well in advance. Mostspeakers are willing given plenty of notice, but if you give short notice they will decline. Topics can range from specific technologies to general interest subjects. Topics can be onesquare off from traditional chemical engineering.Reverse Osmosis, Spreadsheet Analyses , Maintaining Health, Finances, Chemical PlantSafety, Starting-Up Chemical Companies, Biological, Chemical, and Radiological Weapons ofMass Destruction, Patent Protection, Forensic Science, Corrosion Consider joint meetings with other societies and organizations. We had an outstanding jointevent with the American Chemical Society (ACS) on Hazardous Exothermic Reactions. Offer PE training credits and certificates when appropriate. Events are typically held in reserved rooms at restaurants or club facilities.
  20. 20. Promoting Your Events Advertise all your events on your dedicated website Write concise flyers and send out e-mail blasts periodically. All relevant information must be clearlyand accurately provided. Distribute draft letters to officers for review and comment before release. E-mail flyers can present multiple events but the nearest event has dominance at the top of the letter. Send out flyers a day or 2 after last event was held to announce the next upcoming event. Some of your older members may require traditional mailings. Don’t ignore their special needs. Some people require multiple notifications, warm up to ideas slowly over time, intentionally wait tothe last minute, or are immediate response early birds. For these reasons, multiple separateannouncements are needed for each event. Send promotion e-mails to due paying members of the local section and AICHE members at large inthe region. Some national members may decide to get involved with the local section based on thesepromotions. Open your events to family and friends of Section Members particularly when presenting generalinterest topics. Invite AICHE student chapter members to your events. Always promote next months events at your current event even if you don’t have all the details. Wettheir appetite for what is coming.
  21. 21. Pricing Your Events Generally offer at Cost or Lightly Subsidize Cost Maximum Charge - $20/person. Some events may have no a charge option but never advertisefree. This seems to devalue the event and makes people thinkattendance is optional. Discounts for anniversary awardees and guests, outstandinggraduation seniors, students, and young professionals. Best to collect upfront to get follow through commitment. Letmembers know if they RSVP and no show, they are responsiblefor the bill.
  22. 22. Gaging Success and Participation Track Your Attendance Levels for Trends Participation varies from 6 to 25% in Saint LouisSection Average participation is about 15% Talk among officers and members to evaluate whatworked and what did not. Go out of your way to talk and interface with newbiesor irregulars that may feel a little out of place.
  23. 23. Other Considerations Remember printed name tags. List of attendees. Add a personal touch Homemade pies and desserts Special recognition as part of announcements Warmth, fun, interesting subjects of conversation Identify officers with AICHE Shirts Respond immediately to all inquiries or issues Always show appreciation for participation and encourage attendance at nextevent if they can not make this month’s event. Always maintain a positive attitude. Keep ahead of the curve to stay away fromcrisis management. Give new leadership time to get their feet wet and up to speed.
  24. 24. Questions?