Activity Planning

Prior to initiating the application process, it is advised that you contact the CME Office to discuss potential dates, program ideas and content.

The planning of a CME activity requires a close working relationship between the Course Director and the Office of CMEt. To facilitate an effective working relationship, we have created the following list of questions for Course Directors. Please review this list with the Director of CME so that you may have a clear understanding of the numerous tasks involved in planning an activity as well as which services you would like the CME office to provide and which tasks will be managed by you and your staff. Who in your department will be on-site on the day of the event?

Applications must be submitted and approved at least three months prior to the activity date.


  • What are the goals and objectives of the CME activity?
  • Does this activity fit within our mission for CME?  
    View ISMMS CME Mission Statement.    
  • Will another organization be involved in planning this activity?      
  • What have you identified as problems or gaps in practice that your activity will address?
  • What data do you have that supports that the problem or gap exists?
  • Who is target audience?
  • When and Where would you like the activity to take place?
  • What is your source of funding for the activity?
  • What fee would you like to charge the participants?
  • What size audience would you like to reach?
  • What geographic area would you like to reach?
  • What role will the CME office play?
  • Whom has the department  identified to submit educational grants?
  • Who are the CME contacts with whom we will be working?


  • Who has the background, credentials, and experience to communicate best as a speaker the goals and objectives of the course?
  • Who will contact the faculty?
  • Who will send confirmation letters to the faculty?
  • Who will confirm titles, affiliations for brochure?
  • Who will request Faculty Disclosure forms from the speakers and where should they be sent
  • Where are speakers coming from, and what are their travel plans?
  • If they are from out of town, will they need a hotel room?
  • Who will arrange transportation and hotel?
  • Will honoraria and expenses be paid?
  • If so, when will they be paid, and what information will be required from speakers to process?


  • What topics will be discussed?
  • How long will the presentations be?
  • Who will make the opening remarks?
  • What is the starting and ending time?
  • How many breaks will there be, and how long?
  • Will lunch, receptions or faculty dinner be part of your activity?

Promotional Brochures/Postcards/html/email blast

  • What is the overall marketing budget?
  • Will a brochure be designed or an invite letter?
  • Will you be doing a save-the-date?
  • How many promotional direct mail pieces will be mailed?
  • Will you be renting email lists, society lists?
  • What date should be targeted for potential participants to receive the mailing(s)?
  • How long will it take for design and printing?
  • What mailing lists will be used to reach the target audience?
  • How long will the mail house take to process the bulk mailing?
  • How long will the post office take once they receive the bulk mailing?
  • What vendors are being used?
  • Will you be doing multiple mailings/eblasts?  


  • How can people enroll (via online, fax or mail)?
  • How will registration be tracked?
  • Who will receive the registration forms?
  • Will there be a dedicated website for the activity?


  • Will there be any special Audiovisual requirements?
  • Should the activity be captured for archiving on the internet?
  • Who will do the Web capture?
  • What will we get for the stated cost?
  • Will CD-ROM, USB or URL link be produced?
  • Will activity be videotaped?
  • Where will it be hosted?
  • Will you be using an audience response system?
  • Will another polling mechanism be used?

Conference Space

  • What size venue is needed?
  • Has a suitable venue been reserved?
  • Will you need a speaker ready room?
  • Is the space ADA equipped and up to code?
  • Will breakout rooms be needed and who will procure them?
  • Will you require exhibit space for vendors?


  • What additional supplies will need to be provided by a third party (e.g., linens, tables, chairs, pipe and drape)?
  • Who is the vendor?
  • Who is coordinating the order, receipt, and return of all rentals?


  • Will there be food service, and if so, who will provide it?
  • Where will the dining areas be?
  • Can the dining space accommodate the number of anticipated guests?
  • What are the menu options and cost?
  • What is included in the catering fee (service, clean-up, flatware, glasses, etc.)?


  • Will you be providing attendee materials? Syllabus? Folders?
  • What will be in hand-out materials: folders, CME page, writing pads, evaluation flyer ?
  • What type of materials should be in the electronic or printed syllabus?
  • Available online for download, on USB drive?
  • What is the deadline for speakers to provide material for the electronic or printed syllabus
  • Who will contact the speakers to request materials?
  • Who is designing the electronic or printed syllabus?
  • What is the budget?
  • Who will coordinate the production and delivery of the electronic or printed syllabus?
  • The syllabus must contain an agenda page, the acknowledgment page, and  the faculty disclosures summary page?


  • Electronic posters at the ISSMS
  • What information should be on the posters?
  • What type of posters: agenda, commercial support, cover of brochure would you like produced ?
  • Who will design and print the posters?