Annual Conference 2023


Annual Conference is the highlight of our year and  after two years online, it returned as a face to face event from 29 to 31 January 2023 in Birmingham, at the Hilton Metropole Hotel.

It’s now all over, seeming to have passed by all too quickly. Hopefully, all of you who attended will have reaped the benefit of the expert advice you will have received via the excellent  workshops and plenary sessions and your confidence boosted enough to overcome the challenges and obstacles new legislation has placed in your path, not to mention the added bonus of networking with colleagues around the country.

We thank all the exhibitors who, despite the shortened period of Conference, took the time and trouble to show members their products and how they might assist in their work.

Relevant information and photos from the event will continue to be posted here as it has been over the last two or three days. The next issue of Arena will contain more information and reports.

To enable you to get to each section of the page quickly, you can use the links below; otherwise, scroll down at your leisure!

Conference programmeKeynote speechAnnual General MeetingFront Line Stories (photo)Electoral Reform and Modernisation in Scotland and Wales (photo)Polling Places and Polling District reviewsSaying goodbye to Sue BedfordExamination successes (photo)AEA Annual AwardsSlide PresentationsMiscellaneous photos


Conference Programme

Keynote Speech

Here is our Chief Executive, Peter Stanyon, with Lee Rowley MP who was appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on 7 September 2022 and who delivered the Keynote Speech on Monday afternoon.


Annual General Meeting

Left to right: Laura Lock, Deputy Chief Executive; Peter Stanyon, Chief Executive; Frances Cleland, Chair; Alex Mammous, Immediate Past Chair; Neil Middlehurst, Deputy Chair; Gina Armstrong, Executive Director (Resources)

Conference Opener – “Stories from the Front Line”

Chair: Frances Cleland, Speakers:Mike Liddiard, Sarah Ling and Sandra Matthews

“Electoral Reform and Modernisation in Scotland and Wales”

Chair: Peter Stanyon, Speakers: Iain Hockenhull, Mike Kay, James Newman 

“Polling Places and Polling District Reviews”

Chair: Peter Stanyon; Speakers: Rob Curtis (London Borough of Tower Hamlets), Matt Pitcher (Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council) (shown speaking here)

Saying goodbye to Sue Bedford, the Assistant Conference & Seminar Organiser, who is retiring soon


Examination successes – A brilliant group of 55 AEA Certificate and 10 AEA Diploma candidates were here in Birmingham to celebrate their achievements


Presentation of the AEA Annual Awards – see details of the recipients

Slide Presentations

“Stories from the front line” (Northern Ireland)  Speaker: Sarah Ling

“It Shouldn’t Happen To An Electoral Administrator”  Speaker: Sandra Matthews

“It could happen to you”  Speaker: Mike Liddiard

DELUHC Digital Update

UK Parliamentary Election – Cross-boundary considerations  Speakers: James Pack, Lindsay Tomlinson

Council Constitutions – why do they matter?  Speaker: Matt Box

Scottish Government  Speakers: Iain Hockenhull, James Newman, Mike Kay

Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places – what, who, why, when  Speakers: Rob Curtis, Matt Pitcher

Running Unscheduled UKPGE  Speakers: Gina Jones, Sarah Ling

Miscellaneous photos

Click any individual image in the galleries below to enlarge it for viewing

Pictures at an Exhibition

Not to be confused with Mussorgsky’s suite of piano pieces or Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s 1972 album! Just a lot of delegates mingling in the exhibition hall on Sunday evening.  See anyone you know?

Taking a Stand (aka the Suppliers)


Workshops and trainers