It is not uncommon for Rotarians to raise question of why do we need to attend the district conference, and how important is it?  The answers to these questions can be found in the District Conference Manual where it states clearly that the purpose of the district conference is to provide opportunities for networking, inspirational addresses, and discussions of Rotary related matters.  In addition, a district conference will not be complete without conducting the following businesses:
1. discuss and adopt the annual statement and report of the district finances from the previous Rotary year if it has not been adopted at a previously held district meetings prescribed by RI Bylaws section 16.060.4
2. approve the per capita levy, if not approved previously at the district training assembly or district presidents-elect training seminar
3. vote on conference resolutions
4 elect the member of the nominating committee for the RI Board or Directors, as appropriate
5. elect the districts Council representative during the Rotary year two years prior to the Council on Legislation, if the district chooses not to utilize the nominating committee procedure. (September 2016 Mtg., Bd. Dec. 28)
6. discussing any legislation to be proposed for the next council meeting which take place every 3 years
7. selecting the governor nominee, depending on decision of the conference on which method of selection will be adopted. District must provide vote casting facility when decision is to vote at the conference, or to endorse the winning candidate if decision is made in favor of 'Ballot by Mail', or if the decision is to have a nominating committee then the conference must provide voting session for members of the committee (in this case,the terms of reference for district nominating committees should specify that there should be no fewer than three members of the nominating committee and members should serve for no more than three one-year terms when a district has adopted a procedure for selecting members on the nominating committee for governor under RI Bylaws section 14.020.2)
 
Apart from above required programs, one of their key business to be conducted in this important annual meeting is speech delivered by RI President's Representative who is usually a senior Rotarian who has long years of Rotary experience. The representative will immediately following the conference, complete the confidential Governor's report.  
 
 
This year (2016-17) we have the honor of kind acceptance from RI President John Germ to present at the Multi District Conference (Thailand's 4 districts plus D3310 from Malaysia) on May 12-14 2017 at BITEC Bangna, Bangkok. 
 
The district conference is held annually for not only club officers, but all Rotary members and their family members to attend. Rotarians are in the district conference to get inspired and to have fun with fellowship as well as sharing their understanding on matters of interest. All these add to the meaning of being a Rotarian as ones open up themselves for such experience, knowing new things, acquainting new friends. Those who turn up at this event usually return home with great satisfaction and keep looking forward to rejoining the subsequent year’s conference.
 
Another great experience about going to the district conference is the opportunity to get deeper acquaintance with fellow Rotarians within one’s own club while traveling in the same vehicle to the place where DC will be taking place. The profound moment derived from such togetherness will sustain long after the end of the meeting.
 
Pertaining to my own experience in attending district conferences in many countries, I found that most of the northern countries  such as North America or European countries tend to hold their conferences in October and November as the atmosphere is suitable for organizing such event of which most districts focused their programs not on performance report due to too short operation period from the beginning of the Rotary year.  In some countries, districts prefer to have their convention in March such as in Thailand where performance reports are available to present to the attending Rotarians.  Exception is allowed for the venue in the country where Rotary International Convention is set to take place and mostly in May, such will not allow district conference to be convened within the interval of 90 days before RI Convention is held.  This is the case when I served as district governor and we had our Joint District 3340 and 3360 conference taking place in December. 
 
It is, therefore, not necessary to include presentation of district performance report in every district conference program, but minimum requirement is to cover all 7 programs mentioned above given that timing is right for each of the programs.  For 2017, selection of district’s representative for 2019 Council on Legislation is due and all district must not miss this session.
Lastly, don’t miss the upcoming District Conference.
*Translated from Thai to English by PP Surakit Kerdsongkran,RC Bangkhen
 
 
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