Alliance Conventions
Existing Rules
New Guidelines for Convention Organization
Pre-Convention Activities
Convention Committees
Protocol Guide
Protocol Guidelines for Alliance Conventions
Inauguration Ceremony
Assembly Business Meetings
Alliance Board Meetings
Press Interviews and Photographs
Honoring Flags and National Anthems
Closing Ceremony and Installation of Officers
Visits from Alliance Director General and Board Members
Protocol for National and State Association Conventions
To the Chairman and Members of the Protocol Committee
From the Editor


At all times we have to give appropriate consideration to the rank of each Officer. This is particularly important during introductions, assignment of seats, Director General, as highest authority within our Organization, has priority over State and National Directors and any other elected or appointed officer.


The usual number of persons to occupy the Presidium is twelve. Exceptions may occur. Persons to occupy the Presidium are:

  1. Chairman of the Convention Organizing Committee
  2. Alliance Director General
  3. Representative of the local authority. (Mayor, Governor, etc.)
  4. Associate Director General
  5. Recording Secretary
  6. Historian
  7. Treasurer
  8. Parliamentarian
  9. Translator
  10. Director General Ex-Officio
  11. "Panamerican Woman"
  12. Corresponding Secretary
  13. Director of the National Association of hostess country.
  14. Director of the hostess Table.

The first rows at both sides of the auditorium will be reserved for the Zone Directors, Advisory Board, Committee Chairmen and previous "Panamerican Woman". The Chairman of the Convention Organizing Committee will assign seats at the Presidium. The Committee Members will write ahead of time the cards that will indicate name and rank of each person in the Presidium. They will be placed at each seat.

There will be some members of the Courtesy or Protocol Committee at the entrance to each event. These members will guide each Alliance Officer to her reserved seat or to the Presidium. The Convention Chairman will provide a copy of the Program to the Master of Ceremonies and a complete list of names and positions of persons seated at the Presidium, incorrect order of introduction.

The Director General may request that additional introductions be made, such as that of special guests, other elected or appointed Officers of the Alliance or National Associations, members of the Advisory Board, past & "Panamerican Women" etc. The audience will give a standing ovation to the Director General, when she is introduced. It is not proper to applaud a National Anthem.


  1. March of Flags.
  2. National Anthem of host country.
  3. National Anthem of Director's General country.
  4. Introduction of members of the Presidium and other special guests.
  5. Official Convention Opening.
  6. Ceremony of the "Light of Friendship"
  7. "Welcome" by the Convention Chairman.
  8. Brief Greeting by the Director of the National Assoc. of the host country.
  9. Speech by the Alliance Director General.
  10. Withdrawal of Flags.


The business sessions of the Alliance Convention are always presided by the Director General. The Parliamentarian will seat to her right, followed by the Corresponding Secretary, the Treasurer, The Convention Chairman, and some Zone Directors. The Recording Secretary will seat to her immediate left, followed by the Associate Director General, the Historian, the Translator and the rest of the Zone Directors. The first rows of the right side of the audience (looking from the Presidium) will be occupied by members of the Advisory Board, & "Panamerican Woman", Directors of National and State Associations, etc. The first rows of the left side of the audience (looking from the Presidium) will be occupied by the Committee Chairmen. Table delegates will sit behind them. Thus, all those with a right to vote will be in the same area, except those voters seated at the Presidium. All other seats will be filled by the alternates and the rest of the members.

It is the responsibility of the members of the Protocol Committee of the Convention, to inspect ahead of time the auditorium where business meetings will be held. As members arrive, they should be shown to their seats and someone should explain the use of the earphones. As soon as everybody is seated, the pages will stand behind the Presidium to be available for messages, etc. Before the sessions start, the Convention Chairman should make sure that the professional Interpreters are at their booth, ready to interpret when the session is called to order. The Chairman of the Registration Committee should be ready to present a report every morning, at the beginning of each business meeting. The Chairman of the Alliance Protocol Committee should be available to support the members of the Convention Protocol Committee. Ideally, they should review together the Program and make sure that all details are covered. Furthermore, they should be prepared to face any unpredicted eventuality with dignity and courtesy.


When Alliance Board Meetings take place during Convention time, the members of the Protocol Committee will make advance arrangements for the room where it will take place and they will make sure that everything is in order. Tables should be placed in a U shape. The Executive Board seats at the middle section. The Dir. General Ex-Officio, Zone Directors and some other Officers will be at one side and the Advisory Board members and Committee Chairmen to the other side.

Both the Alliance banner and the flag of the host country will be in the appropriate place. The Convention Chairman will be present before the Meeting starts. She will ascertain whether all Board members have registered and received their Convention materials. She will also respond to any questions and offer assistance, if need be.


The Chairman of the Protocol Committee will notify the Director General and other Officers that maybe interviewed by the Press. She will inform them of the time, place and estimated duration of the interviews. The interviews will take place in a private, comfortable area. Later on, the members of the Convention Courtesy Committee will get some of the newspapers, magazines, etc. where the interviews were published. These should be given to: The Director General, Alliance Historian, Table Historian and each one of the persons who were interviewed.

Usually, the official photographers will bring the Convention pictures that they took at the various events and will exhibit them at the Hotel. It is important that some members of the Courtesy Committee take some of the key pictures to the Director's General suite. Thus, she will have an opportunity to select and purchase some pictures for her personal album. Remember that she is a busy person during Convention and unless somebody saves pictures for her, she will end up with no Convention pictures of her own.

The Convention Publicity Committee will invite the press, radio and TV to the various social events. They should be treated with utmost courtesy so as to enable them to function properly.


Each country has its own protocol rules when honoring their flag and national anthem.

The Alliance of Panamerican Round Tables will respect each custom. It is common to display and honor these national emblems during Conventions, special celebrations, seminars, etc.

When there is a Marchof the Flags, the correct protocol is to have the flag of the host country first, followed by the Alliance banner. The flag of the United States comes next, since it is the country of our Founder. All the other flags follow, in alphabetical order. We should not applaud a flag. As they go by, we should remain in attention. We may salute the flag of our own country by placing the right hand over our heart.

The Alliance banner may be displayed during any Panamerican celebration, such as: Pan American Day, installation ceremonies, Alliance Board Meetings, Conventions, etc. At the closing of an Alliance Convention it will be passed to the hostess Table of the next Convention.


The Gala Dinner and Closing Ceremony of an Alliance Convention is probably the most elegant highlight of the Convention. The suggested Program for this event is:
  1. Dinner
  2. Transfer of trophy to the new "Panamerican Woman"
  3. Appreciation gifts to out-going Director General and Convention Chairman.
  4. Diplomas
  5. Out-going Director's General speech.
  6. Installation of new Board and "Light of Friendship"
  7. In-coming Director's General speech.
  8. Transfer of Alliance Banner to next Convention hostess
  9. Convention Adjournment

Dinner should definitely be served at the very beginning of this event. After dinner, the members of the outgoing Alliance Board should take their seats at the Presidium. The following members should occupy the Presidium:

Director General, Associate Director General, Recording Secretary, Parliamentarian,
Treasurer, Historian, All Zone Directors, Panamerican Woman, Convention Chairman,
Hostess Table Director and any major authority official or special guest.

The Master of Ceremonies should have the names and ranks of each person in the Presidium and he/she will proceed with introductions. The Director General is expected to receive a standing ovation. At her request, the Master of Ceremonies may also introduce any other Alliance or National Assoc. Officer, Members of the Advisory Comm., State Assoc. Directors, previous & "Panamerican Woman"; present, etc.

The Master of Ceremonies will faithfully follow the order of the Program, unless, requested to alter it. The Convention Chairman will be alert and ready to solve any problems. After the Installation of the new Board, the out-going Officers will leave their seats at the Presidium and the newly elected Board members will replace them. The out-going Recording Secretary will take Minutes of this closing Ceremony. During the whole event, members of the Convention Protocol and Courtesy Committees will make rounds and make sure that everything is going well and nobody is missing anything. Small details are important for the success of an event, even if things were well planned ahead of time. The main objective is to maintain a friendly and comfortable atmosphere. It is probably impossible to please everybody, but, the idea is to leave lingering and pleasant memories in the minds of each member that attends a Convention.

IMPORTANT: We have by no means covered every Protocol aspect of a Convention in this brief Guide. It is up to the Convention Organizing Comm. to draw their "Plan of Action";. It will be helpful to adhere to the guidelines of the "Convention Manual" and to delegate responsibilities to each member of the Hostess Table. It is advisable to request assistance from the Director General and from the previous Convention Chairman.


A. The Chairman of the Alliance Protocol Committee should maintain constant communication with the Director General and be aware, ahead of time, of any trips or visits that the Dir. General is planning. She will request a complete list of the itinerary, names of officers that will accompany the Dir. General, times and means of arrival, etc. She will then pass this information to each Zone Director of areas to be visited.

B. The Zone Directors will coordinate plans with the members of the Alliance Protocol Comm. of their respective areas and with the Table Directors of the Tables to be visited. They will make the necessary arrangements to welcome the Dir. Gen. and entourage.

C. The Tables will decide on hospitality details. If the guests are to stay at a member's home, the Table Director will ascertain that appropriate courtesies will be extended. If they are to stay at a Hotel, the reservations should be made and, if possible, the Director's Gen. room should be paid for.

D. The Director's General "Welcoming Committee", at an airport, etc. should consist of at least: Zone Director (if possible), Director of State or National Assoc., member of the Protocol Comm. and Table Director.

E. Members of the hostess Table should be assigned to transport the guests to and from airport and also to and from each event that will take place. Extra cars should be available, in case of excess luggage.

F. If the director General is unable to attend an event and sends a representative, such a representative will be given same treatment as if she were the Dir. General, even if higher ranking officers are present.

G. When inviting an Alliance Officer to an event, they should be advised if they are expected to deliver any speeches and about how much time each presentation should take. This should be done well in advance, so as to give them enough time to prepare their talk. They should also be informed whether the event will be formal or informal.

H. In whatever event where the Director General is present, she should be given an opportunity to say a few words to the audience. In her absence, the highest ranking Alliance officer should greet the audience. If the highest ranking Alliance Officer belongs to the hostess Table, the visiting Officer that follows in rank should be asked to present a greeting. It is polite to inform her ahead of time about her participation. These courtesies will emphasize the fact that Tables appreciate the efforts of the visiting guests. We must keep in mind that some of them travel long distances, without any financial compensation. We must also keep in mind that they want to share knowledge and offer suggestions, but they are also entitled to some relaxation and sightseeing.

I. When Zone Directors, members of the Alliance Advisory Board (ex- Directors Gen.), the "Panamerican Woman" or any other Alliance Board member attend an event, they should receive special courtesies. Arrangements should be made to welcome them at airports, etc. and hospitality details should be planned.

J. Any meeting is always presided by the Table Director. At regular business Table meetings, Alliance Board members that belong to the Table need not be given any special treatment. However, during special celebrations, Seminars, etc. the Table Director should introduce the local Alliance Board member, as recognition for her position.

K. It is a matter of Table courtesy to offer gifts to visiting dignitaries. Normally, they are welcome with a corsage or bouquet of flowers and upon their departure they are offered a souvenir gift. It is advisable not to give large or bulky gifts that may cause packing problems.

L. It is important to keep in mind that at ALL events there should be assigned seats for: the Alliance Director General, The National or State Assoc. Director, any other Alliance Board member present and the "Panamerican Woman".

M. After the completion of the Director's General visits to the Tables, the Chairman of the Protocol Committee will send "thank you letters" to each Table visited. Copies of these letters should be mailed to the Director General.


A. The Directors of the National or State Associations will send invitations to their Conventions to: Alliance Director General, Zone Director, other Alliance Board members and "Panamerican Woman". If possible, they will include the Convention Program, the lodging details, registration procedures, etc.

B. Once attendance is confirmed by the Alliance Officers, the Chairman of the Convention Courtesy Committee or the Chairman of the Association Protocol Comm. will ascertain time and place of arrival of each guest and make arrangements for meeting them and transporting them to the hotel.

C. The Director of the National or State Association presides over this type of Convention. The Alliance Director General will be treated as a Guest of Honor and will be seated at the Presidium during the opening ceremony. She should be asked to deliver a brief greeting.

D. Any other Alliance Board members present should have reserved seats at the first rows of the audience. It would be polite if the State or National Director does mention their name and rank during the inauguration ceremony.

E. The Alliance Director General and other Alliance Board members present should abstain from raising issues or commentaries during the Convention's business meetings. Of course, they can intervene if requested to do so by the presiding officer. Any comments may be mentioned during a recess and the presiding officer may asked them to clarify.

F. When convention registration takes place, it would be nice to have a special table for the Alliance and Association Officers to register. Both the Director of the Assoc. and the Alliance Dir. General shouldn't have to pay the registration fee.

G. The Convention Courtesy Comm. should make sure that all Alliance guests have transportation to all events and that somebody will show them to their respective seats.

H. If the "Panamerican Woman " attends National or State Conventions, she should be honored and asked to say a few words during "Panamerican Night".

I. When the Convention concludes, the Courtesy Comm. should offer transportation to airports, etc. to each Alliance guest.


Every member of this Committee has to be very familiar with the Committee "Guidelines". The Chairman should supply the "Guidelines" to each member, at the beginning of the biennium. It is also important to have read this "Protocol Guide", and to be willing to live up to the responsibilities. At all times, common sense should prevail, as well as the idea that our Board members deserve courtesy and recognition. This adds status to our Organization.

You can't just be a Comm. member in name alone. In fact, each Zone representative should initiate fulfillment of responsibilities since the onset of the biennium. Communication with the Comm. Chairman should be frequent in order to facilitate coordination at continental level.

The Alliance Protocol Committee acts as a Public Relations forum for the entire Organization. Consequently, either its Chairman or any of its members may be consulted by Associations or Tables, in matters related to Protocol.


This short "Convention Manual and Protocol Guide" does not intend to cover all details pertaining to the subject matter. For further information, you may refer to the following manuals: "P.A.R.T. Manual for Members", by Emma de Gutierrez Suarez (1966) and "Una para Todas", by Carmen de Barrionuevo (1988). Both authors, ex-Alliance Directors General, have poured their valuable experience and knowledge into their books, thus providing us with excellent teaching material for new and prospective members.

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