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Event Planning Tools and Templates from the CIC

For meeting and event planners, several planing tools have been created and continually updated by the convention and exhibitions industry that every meeting or event planner should know about. Established as an initiative by the Convention Industry Council (CIC), APEX stands for “Accepted Practices Exchange,” and it includes a series of standard event planning templates that can be helpful during the planning and execution of any event.

More than 2,500 industry members in 60 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada participated in hands on discussions, and several hundred industry professionals have been involved as hands on volunteers since 2001. Through collaboration, those involved in APEX hope to define industry-wide accepted practices. This has evolved into the creation of the APEX tools, which includes the following resources:

  1. The On-Line APEX Industry Glossary.

    This interactive, on-line tool is the comprehensive reference for the terminology, jargon, and acronyms used throughout the industry. A great resource to ensure consistency of terms and is a useful training tool for new employees! Free.

  2. The Event Specifications Guide (ESG) Template.Event planners use the term “resume” to reference meeting specifications. ESG replaces this term with a standardized tool to use in preparing and sharing complete instructions and details for events of all sizes. It’s a best practice format in Microsoft Word. Free.

  3. APEX Housing & Registration.

    These accepted practices are for the collecting, reporting, and retrieving complete housing and registration data for meetings, conventions, and other events; and, for housing issues such as housing providers, internet issues, international housing, and disclosure. Available in Microsoft Word. Free.

  4. The PER (Post-Event Report) Template.

    Replacing the current “history” reports, the PER is the industry’s accepted format for collecting, storing and sharing accurate and thorough post-event report data on events of all types. It’s a best practice format in Microsoft Word. Free.

  5. Request for Proposal (RFP) Templates.

    These accepted practices provide us with standard RFP formats that address the core information and unique needs for a variety of RFPs (hotel, AV, transportation, etc.), making it easier to solicit the right information, compare responses, and make informed decisions. Five different RFP templates are available online. Free.

  6. APEX Office Ready for Meeting and Event Planning.

    A user-friendly software program containing a collection of more than 200 event management templates. Produced in partnership with KMT Software, and available for purchase through the CIC or any of the member associations.

The idea began in 1997, and the CIC focused on the conceptual stage from 2000-2004. Several working panels were established and have an ongoing mission to recommend industry best practices.

May Not Be Reproduced


About Rob Hard

Rob is editor of Business Travel Destinations. He reviews international destinations for meetings and events -- where business travelers go, the hotels where they stay and their lifestyle preferences on the road. Rob was previously the event planning guide for About.com (owned by The New York Times Company) from 2007 - 2011. His articles also appear in business travel publications and travel sites internationally.

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