Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Conference organising

Good trip to Oxford yesterday - lot of work done on the train. Arrived in glorious sunshine and had a couple of hours to kill so went for a walk round the back streets. It is a beautiful city with fantastic buildings and history - but I prefer Sheffield to live in!

Conference Organising Committee in the afternoon - the management conference is one of the biggest we organise - and there's so many interesting things to decide. Who do we want as the after dinner speaker (and more important how much are we prepared to pay), what gift to do we give delegates at the end (there's some super USB tat around these days), and of course - who do we want to speak. The conference is next March, and most of the keynote speakers we want will already be filling their diaries, so we are starting to approach them now. We get a lot of feedback from delegates, and it's interesting how little things can seriously affect their enjoyment of the conference. A couple of years ago the main complaint was the coffee - mind you, it was terrible - big urns of hot water, and some pale brown powder in the bottom of plastic cups. Even the weather gets a mention if its bad. It's difficult to beat a wet and rainy conference in Blackpool - especially when the hotel is 20 minutes walk along the seafront from the conference centre..

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