Social and Networking Events

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.

Social and networking events

Social and networking events are a great way to build your local institute community and provide members with the opportunity to network with colleagues and peers in a more informal setting.

Some institutes choose to have social committees who will put together the social events programme, whilst others may just have one person responsible for this - the Social Officer - and some are lucky enough to be able to delegate its social programme to a Young Professionals group.

Your institute may already have established social events in its calendar, such as award ceremonies and presentation evenings, or a golf day and annual quiz. Have you ever thought of having a wine tasting or BBQ? Or maybe even something like an end of exam social?

Social and networking events are a great way to raise money for your chosen charity/charities.
Awards events are also a great way to engage with your studying members and reward their hard-work.

A local institute’s social offering is a great way for your members to engage with the wider business community. It also gives your local institute the opportunity to pass on its key messages to an audience in a less formal manner.

Social activities also offer a valuable networking opportunity for your members.

A key challenge for your local institute will be deciding on what social events and activities you want to offer your members as part of your social events programme. Have you considered the following:

Treasure hunt
Quiz night
Local brewery tour
Carol service
Ten-pin bowling / 5-a-side / Pool / Golf day
Summer BBQ

Events such as these can often be fertile ground for recruiting future council members ideal for future succession planning and are a great way of raising money for the President’s chosen charity.

Awards ceremony

Many local institutes now co-ordinate an awards ceremony or a presentation event, as part of their overall events programme, or annual dinner, to mark their members' achievements at a local level.

This ensures local talent and progression is recognised, bringing together like-minded achievers, whilst demonstrating the strength of the local profession and hopefully building foundations for future recruits to your institute council.

Most institutes offer awards for the best completions of the following qualifications:

General Insurance: FCII, ACII, DipCII, CertCII

Financial Services: FPFS, APFS, DipFS, CertFS

You can request this data from your Regional Membership Manager who will be able to provide you with the top three candidates for each relevant completion.

Charitable support

Each local institute normally uses its annual dinner, and other social events, to raise funds for a chosen charity; this may be a charity or charities local or personal to the current President.

Charitable support can include activity such as collections, raffles or auctions and may involve more specific charity-focused events.

As well as choosing a local charity, local institutes also support The Insurance Charities

The Insurance Charities is the charity for the UK and Irish insurance profession, providing support for current and former insurance employees and their dependants since 1902. The Insurance Charities relies heavily on local institutes to publicise their work and provide financial support.

Local representatives may personally carry out the tasks of promoting the charity and visiting those who have applied to the charity for help, or divide the role between two or more people.

Local institutes can help The Insurance Charities by:

Planning a structured fund-raising and publicity programme which can provide appropriate support
Ensuring that an effective dialogue exists between the institute and the Charities' Secretariat
Getting involved with the annual Insurance Charities Awareness Week in June

For more information of the work undertaken by the Insurance Charities visit

How the Insurance Charities Helps

The Insurance Charities helps hundreds of insurance employees and their families each year. They provide more than £1 million of help annually.

One of the families The Insurance Charities helped is Laura and Pauric and their daughter Cara. Cara was born at 31 weeks and diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 17 months. The family were told she would never walk and would need constant care. As well as the emotional shock there were practical considerations, their house would need to be adapted for a wheelchair and they would need new car; the emotional and financial burdens kept mounting up.

Pauric heard of a surgery that can help children with cerebral palsy walk, but it was expensive and not available without travelling to America. Determined to try and do anything that could help Cara, the family started fundraising and contacted The Insurance Charities for help. The charity looked at the families’ case and agreed to fund Cara’s surgery costs in full.

The charity helped the family throughout the process and Cara is now at a mainstream school and able to walk independently, she is getting stronger all the time.

This is just one example of the many ways The Insurance Charities can help and support insurance employees and their families. Visit their website to find out more


Insurance Charities how to show support at annual dinners

Usually annual dinners show support of the president's chosen charity and then the Insurance charities.

In the event that your institute wishes to raise money for the Insurance Charities they have made this as easy as possible they use a platform called Wonderful. Institutes can set up a page for a specific event such as a dinner or create a general Institute page to keep open all the year round if they are intending on fundraising more than once (although you know no ask on our part). You can see examples here of existing pages and people can create a page easily on the RHS. ( on this link there is a link that says “create a fundraising page” this is what you need to use to create one for insurance charities)

Once an Institute has a page (with a dedicated URL) they can create a QR code for free which could then be printed on event materials such dinner menus etc

Awards certificate template

The CII has created a branded certificate template which can be used when providing awards to members at award events.