Annual Conference 2018 – “Bridging the Gap”


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Conference Gallery

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You can read more detailed reports and see more pictures in the March edition of ARENA.


Our next Annual Conference returns to the Fylde coast, taking place in Blackpool from Sunday 4th February (starting at 3.30pm) until Wednesday 7th February 2018, (finishing at approximately 11.00am). The venue, as usual, is the Hilton Hotel.


Conference will focus on Bridging the Gap between where we are and where we need to be on areas such as fees and charges, election accounting, communication in the digital age, looking after ourselves and our colleagues, improvements to the registration system and how we interpret the reams of legislation that govern electoral administration.

The feedback from Conference 2017 said you wanted more workshops so this year delegates will attend four workshops rather than three.  You said you wanted interactive plenary sessions so Conference 2018 will have a session on legislation that will get you thinking – and learning.  You asked for the content of Conference to develop to include areas such as dealing with stress, managing suppliers and communications and we have developed workshops on these themes.

We have listened to your feedback and pulled together a diverse and interesting programme for Blackpool.

Plenary sessions will include a review of 2017, an interactive plenary session on interpreting legislation, an opportunity to better understand processes relating to the registration of political parties and their expenses, how the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 will impact the registration of students, the electoral reform plans in Wales and the effect it could have in other home nations, as well as updates from the Cabinet Office and Electoral Commission, along with much more.


Workshop One – Communicate clearly, communicate often

The lead-up to an election is a busy time, but planning your communications early can take the pressure off. We’ll work through the different stages in the lead-up to a poll and count, sharing information sources, experiences and examples from different channels to help you and your communications.

Workshop Two – Managing the Pace

This interactive workshop will enable delegates to discuss and practise some techniques for managing their stress levels and improving their time management. It will help them to understand stress in themselves and others and how they might deal with it more effectively by developing a positive approach and using assertive behaviour. Delegates will be encouraged to reflect, discuss and share ideas and good practice with others.

Workshop Three – Practical Count Methods

There are numerous ways to count multi-member ballot papers; this workshop looks at four options and gives you the chance to consider whether your count would benefit from using an alternative approach.

Workshop Four – Managing Suppliers

Procurement and contract management is often a secondary consideration as the number of suppliers decreases, but it is still a key tool in delivering a successful canvass and a smooth election.  Our Managing Suppliers workshop looks at legislative requirements, practical arrangements, drafting contracts as well as managing them and what to do when things go wrong.


Here is a list of the exhibitors who have already provisionally booked a spot, with the chosen stand number (we’ll add to the list as and when more come on board):

1   FDM
2   Twofold
3   Print Image Network
5   Shaw & Sons
6   Xpress
7   ERS
8   Print UK
9   Smith & Ouzman
10   AEA
11   Modern Democracy
12   Smartmatic
13/14   IDOX Elections
15   Versapak
16   Latcham Direct
17   SG World
18   Stephen Austin
19   Epson
20/21   Pakflatt
22/23   Democracy Counts
















Floor plans

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Exhibition, Queen’s Suite, Ground Floor








Hotel Foyer















  Ground Floor


First Floor