2017 Utah Regional-PDI--Start Early, Dream Big, Ask the Right Questions, and Have a Great Event.

Author:Miller, Douglas
Position:THE CHAPTER CORNER - American Society of Military Comptrollers' National Professional Development Institute program

Phew! There might be a few bumps and bruises, but Utah did it!

Hosting a Regional-PDI is always a bit intimidating, but this year, Utah decided to "go big or go home." Certainly, Utah Chapter took a risk on planning big, but members of the Utah Regional-PDI planning committee are still on a high after hosting a very successful event in March.

However, just as Utah leaned on others for help in planning the event, it feels necessary to "pay it forward" and share with fellow ASMC chapters some of the lessons learned. The idea is perhaps these thoughts will help other ASMC chapters in planning their own events. Utah believes it boils down to starting early, dreaming big, and asking the right questions. Below are some of the questions Utah asked themselves along with the answers:

How soon do we need to start planning?

Start planning the next PDI as soon as the current one is over. The biggest key to a successful event is getting good speakers, as their calendars fill up quickly. As event planners, the Utah Chapter experienced a roller coaster of emotions as they reached out to specific speakers with high hopes only to have those hopes crushed because the speakers were already booked elsewhere. The Utah Chapter found that planning several months in advance provided flexibility in reaching out to dynamic speakers and increased the likelihood of getting on their calendars.

Is there an ASMC chapter out there somewhere which hosted a successful Mini, Chapter, or Regional PDI which we can mirror?

Several months before the event, the Utah committee contacted Mr. Al Runnels, ASMC National Executive Director, and asked who had put on a successful PDI and how to contact them. Mr. Runnels said one of the best he'd seen recently was hosted by the Land of Lincoln Chapter out of the Scott AFB, Illinois area. He gave the Utah committee the contact information for the Land of Lincoln Chapter. As a result, the Utah committee contacted those committee members, who were extremely helpful! Land of Lincoln folks essentially shared their "playbook," which included: the program, lessons learned, list of speakers, task list, one-page flyer to advertise the event, the survey template, and other documents. Why re-create the wheel when someone out there already has a great event template? Thank you Land of Lincoln Chapter!

Whom do we ask to speak and how do we reach out to them?

Dream big when it comes to speakers. In addition to getting speaker ideas from other ASMC...

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