Annual dinner

A local institute’s annual dinner provides an opportunity for an institute to celebrate its achievements over the last year, engage with members and local companies, and promote the local institutes key objectives.

The key organiser of this event is the institute's Dinner Secretary - who will arrange the operational aspect of the evening, along with the President and wider council.

An overview of a Dinner Secretary’s typical responsibilities can be viewed here. We have also provided a key milestones document which has been created to allow for effective annual dinner planning - this can be downloaded below.

One of the key responsibilities of the local institute President is to host the evening, to meet and greet guests, introduce the top table, and give a formal speech that is normally based on the institute’s key objectives and successes.

Most annual dinners follow a trusted running order, but the key speakers and entertainment are the choice of each individual institute – just make sure they are suitable for your audience. It is your responsibility to undertake due diligence, in relation to inclusion, equality, and diversity.

Remember, your annual dinner should be a self-funding event, with an exemplar dinner being one which breaks even or turns a small profit.

We would advise that a risk assessment be carried out, venues should have this in place but if not please find a form to download below.

Running order for local institute annual dinner

The following is used as a guide only:

  • Pre-Dinner Drinks
  • Clap in top table – Not compulsory
  • Grace
  • Speeches - part one
  • Dinner
  • Optional Interval – Not compulsory
  • Speeches - part two

Dinner speakers and speeches

Speakers at local institute dinners can be classified in four main categories:

  • Representative from the local institute – generally the president.
  • Representative from the CII – either the CII President or a CII Board Representative
  • Charity representative / speaker
  • Key speaker / entertainer

Please note you need to request a CII speaker when your secretary submits your institute’s annual returns post your AGM.

There is a trend to reduce the number and length of speeches as far as possible in order to allow guests to network with colleagues and peers.

  1. Loyal Toast – The Loyal Toast is best given by the toastmaster rapping the order and the chairman rising to say, IN TWO WORDS, “The King”. In Lancashire, the words “Duke of Lancaster” are added.
  2. Local institute President’s Address
  3. Toast to CII by the local institute President
  4. CII representative Address
  5. Toast to the local institute by the CII representative
  6. Toast to Guests – usually done by the local institute Deputy President or other council representative who would then welcome the guests.
  7. Toastmaster should then stand up to toast guests – advise guests remain seated but LI members should stand up.
  8. Main guest speaker / entertainer


One of the principal duties of the toastmaster is to assist in eliminating much of the pressure that is associated with organising and running a local institute dinner.

A brief guide has been written by Matthew Biggin FGPT to aid the Dinner Secretary and the President to make an informed choice when engaging a toastmaster, or indeed to be confident that an existing toastmaster is performing all of the necessary functions correctly. The guide can be downloaded below - for more information on toastmasters please visit

Ordering menu covers and place cards

You can order CII branded menu covers and place cards from the regional membership team. Please note these should be ordered at least two months before your dinner is due to take place.

Menu Covers: Cost £30.00 per 100 (30p each)
Place Cards: Cost £10.00 per 100 (10p each)

Contact your Regional Membership Manager for more information.

Central Support

Your Regional Membership Manager is your key contact - any support you require please get in touch and we can discuss how the team can help.

Didn't find that you were looking for? Try search

You can search all our content, news and FAQs by simple typing a question