Distinguished Guests and Basic Protocol
frequently have special guests at our Roundtables and Pack Meetings
(Policemen, Firemen, Speakers on various subjects). It is important that we
remember to ask them properly and treat them properly when they arrive. This
list was in the Circle Ten Pow Wow Book (Thank you, John and Mary) and
presents everything you might have to think about in two short lists. Your
Committee Chair or Cubmaster should keep a copy handy to review and determine
what’s applicable each time you have a guest. (e.g. #9 – Although not usual
for a Pack Meeting, I do have overnight guests helping at Pow Wow) CD
Write or call your guest or speaker when you
have selected your program. If you call, follow up with a written
confirmation. Advise all guests of their particular function at the meeting.
Include a brief outline of the tentative program and a data sheet on our
organization with its aims and purposes. Tell them why the group would
appreciate having them as a guest or speaker.
Let them know the time allocated for their
speech or remarks; the time the meeting will start; and the probable time of
Find out if your guest would like to be
excused early. They may have other commitments and not wish to stay for the
business or entertainment portion of the meeting.
Request confirmation and ask for material that
may be used for advance publicity or in introducing them. Ask if they object
to being interviewed by the press or photographed.
Tell them if they plan a question-and-answer
period following their talk.
Give your guest or speaker some idea of what
you would like discussed.
Let your guest or speaker know the type of
meeting (dinner, luncheon, etc.) And dress (Formal, semi-formal, business).
Let them know in writing, the place of the
meeting, including the address and directions on how to get there.
If the trip requires an overnight stay,
suggest types of accommodations available. Make reservations if they request
you to do so. Find out if they need transportation.
Let your guest know who will escort them and
for whom to ask upon arrival. If possible, tell them who will introduce them
and send them a copy of your program.
A day or two before the meeting, call or write
your guest reminding them of the upcoming meeting.
If they need tickets, see that complimentary
ones are provided in advance.
Check to see that your meeting place is well
lighted and ventilated.
Check to see that the podium light works, as
your guest may wish to use notes.
Check to see that sufficient chairs are
available and that there are seats reserved for your guests both on the
platform and in the audience.
Check the public address system and be sure it
If your guest has asked for special equipment
such as a projector, screen, white board, etc., see that it is set up and in
Have a container of water and a glass
Arrange for distribution of programs in an
Be sure the kitchen or refreshment committee
is seated near an exit so they may leave at a pre-arranged signal without fuss
If you have made arrangements for overnight
accommodations for your guest, allow some time for them to be alone and
relax. Be sure to consult them before arranging parties or other
If you cannot meet your guest yourself, be
sure to appoint someone to escort them to all meetings, as well as their
Arrange to have guests met at the door, if
possible, by the Distinguished Guest Chairman. If they are to be escorted at
the beginning of the meeting, they are seated in a group at the rear of the
room. See that they are introduced to those seated with them.
Instruct your committee to notify you
immediately upon arrival of a guest.
If a gift or corsage is to be presented,
arrange for the bill to be submitted at another meeting, not when the guest is
present. If a corsage is to be presented, one person should be designated to
present and pin it. Arrange to have this done before the meeting starts.
The person conducting the meeting may accept a
corsage, but she does not wear it unless the guest also wears one. (In case
of a male guest, he should be pinned with a boutonniere.) White is a safe
color for a corsage, since it will blend with any color your guest may wear.
If a guest brings a companion, be sure they
are introduced to the persons seated on either side of them. Ascertain their
correct name, and if they have a title. Be sure they are introduced to the
If the speaker or guest wishes to leave at the
end of their part of the program, thank them on behalf of the group and have
the "escort" conduct them to their transportation.
If you are giving your speaker a fee, expense
money, or a gratuity, present it in an envelope before they leave.
Guests should never be expected to participate
in drawings or raffles.
This is basic protocol. You may add to it. Most units,
districts, and departments have traditions and customs that make these basic
rules more personal. The main thing to remember is to use common sense,
courtesy, and above all, never to embarrass any one.
There is, also, a discussion of this topic in “Cub Scout Program Helps”
this month. Check it out. CD