Conference fast approaching we’ve invited Jan Jones along to tell us about the
hard work that goes on behind the scenes that makes our weekend so enjoyable.
how far ahead do you have to book?
fair for our different regional members. We start by identifying a couple of regions
that we’d like to look at next, then we go to the Academic Venue Show in May to
talk to the University Conference departments in the relevant areas. If we find
any places suitable to our requirements, we go on a site visit to see what they
are like in the flesh (so to speak). It would be impossible to commit to a site
without actually having been there – sometimes several times – to walk the
routes, check out the facilities, meet the conference liaison team, taste the
food etc. We do the best we can to keep the conference affordable for our
members, many of whom do not make a vast amount from their writing. I wouldn’t
dream of asking them to commit a substantial sum of money to a venue where I
hadn’t personally checked that everything was as good as it could be.
to the event?
the venues, liaise with the conference departments there and look after the
delegate management. Jenny Barden now organises the programme and coordinates
the whole conference and Elaine Everest will deal with the industry
you source the content?
We don’t! Apart from asking any publishers taking part in the conference
if they have any books to spare, we put out a general call – and are then
inundated with material. A very satisfactory arrangement. I bring the items up
in my car and then the Friday morning of the conference is spent dragooning
everyone within range into a vast assembly line filling the bags.
you take too much upon yourself?
you deal with that aspect? We loved the choice for the Gala Dinner last year.
department (if possible – sometimes the only options are “chef’s
choice”), and choose the gala dinner menu from what is offered to us.
intense burst of activity for a week or two. It gets very fraught at the end of
May when the conference packs are being assembled, and then afterwards when
people’s choices of sessions come in. Certainly in the two or three weeks
before the conference itself I don’t get any writing of my own done.
event or during the weekend of the conference can they contact you?
on the Mile End Road in London. It is a compact site alongside the Regent’s
Canal, two stops down the Central Line from Liverpool Street Station. The dates
are 10th-12th July 2015.
here on how to book your place on this year’s conference at Harper Adams
University, Newport, Shropshire. 11th – 13th July.
Natalie Kleinman. If you would like to contribute an article to this blog
contact us on email@example.com