Conference 2017 – intro email

Hello all

Hope things are going well for everyone.  We wanted to send a note out about the 2017 national meet-up / conference (from this point on I will refer to it as a conference); probably the most important part of this email is…a very important question.

Firstly – please understand this is a completely different event than the Salesforce Plymouth event on 2nd February.  We encourage all Salesforce people to attend that; the national conference is different and open to universities using any system.

Last year there were two national meetings held at Oxford Brookes and Warwick.  This was due to the existence of two CRM groups which have now merged.  As a result we are planning a single national conference for 2017, expected to be bigger than either of the 2016 events.

Graham Hackney (Bath), Rhiannon Lassiter (Oxford Brookes) and Rupert Frankum (Plymouth) who between them organised the two events last year, met recently to discuss next year’s conference.  Following feedback from the network we are proposing holding the conference in July.

Conference format

There are a couple of options available in terms of format.  We could hold the conference on a single day which would mean a slightly later start to allow for travel, or we could include dinner and a welcome session on the evening before the conference allowing an earlier start to the conference itself; likely making the event more valuable (we hope!).

The first question is this, and you can only select one option on the poll; which option would you prefer?

It is important to recognise at this point that to fund the cost of the conference (either the 1 day or ‘overnight’ option) delegates will be asked to cover cost between them, an amount unknown as of yet.

Venue

The second question, and the aforementioned ‘important question’ is…

We are looking for a host venue.  What worked well last year was having ‘on-site’ contacts (at Oxford Brookes and Warwick) who contracted out their conference teams to do the conference logistics.  We do not want to burden you with extra work; conference teams on the other hand are perfectly set-up to take on this workload and it would be great if we can sort a venue before the new year.

So…would your institution be able to host such an event and are you happy to be the on-site contact?  

And as for location in the country?  We want the conference to have a positive impact for as many people as possible and therefore we want to maximise attendance.  This doesn’t necessarily rule out universities on the geographical periphery, nor is it intended to put unnecessary pressure on those more central universities.  If there are multiple offers of hosting we may well come back to the network for comment.

If you end up hosting this does not make you responsible for conference content, Rupert, Rhiannon and Graham will coordinate this with input from across the network.

Important details

Expected numbers for the conference: this is hard to say, however with the existing network membership and further promotion there may be up to 100 delegates.

Date: Friday 14th July 2017 has been proposed (or the evening of the 13th and 14th if this is the preference)

Delegates: the conference will be open to network members / HEI staff only.  Vendors and consultants, if invited, will be asked to provide information stands (or similar) only and therefore not part of integral discussion.

If you have any questions, comments about any of the information above please ask.  And if you are able to host, then we eagerly anticipate your email!!

Many thanks

Rhiannon Lassiter, Oxford Brookes University

Rupert Frankum, University of Plymouth

Graham Hackney, University of Bath

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