A Socitm Events Activity Group meeting was held today at Bucks County Council's Aylesbury HQ, chaired by Ken Boxhall, its Head of ICT Services. I say "Events", but really it's "Event" as their major focus is on organising the annual conference – but that they are very good at that.
I did my usual Socitm Situation Report. Our twin objectives for the day were to ensure a successful conference at Newport (12-14 October - now open for bookings) and to start thinking about how we'll organise ourselves for future events.
Concerning the former, we discussed a few tweaks to the programme. There was no "Green IT" item planned, but this must be on everyone's radar by now, and something I feel it's important for us to address.
There's some interesting content on Web 2.0, but I was very impressed by Steven Noels, from a company called "OuterThought", who spoke on "From Storage to Information" at the V-ICT-OR conference, so we also agreed to invite him to give his presentation in Newport.
Our aim was to publish the final agenda by the end of this month (but when I later spoke to Vicky, she wanted us to do it sooner, so I promised we'd try and finalise it next week).
For the future, I think that "Events" should mean all events. We probably need a Commercial Manager, and certainly need to co-ordinate items like sponsorship across the Society.
The annual conference is, and will remain, our main event of the year, but we are thinking of replacing the Spring Conference with a series of smaller regional events. We also need to market-test the best means of delivery.
That's not to say that our current Events Team hasn't done a brilliant job – it has – but the times they are a changing! Whatever we decide, there will still be a need for the sort of dedication these guys have shown in member direction of the Society's events agenda.