Two weeks from now, the Lib Dems’ spring conference will all be over and delegates will be back home on the ground in their constituencies.
The new location of Birmingham for our conference brings a whole host of opportunities to Lib Dem members who live in parts of the country previously untouched by conference season.
The most important of these is that you do not need to be a delegate to benefit from party training and fringe sessions held away from the main venue. The party is running a full day of training in Birmingham on Saturday, 13th March – and these training sessions are available to all conference delegates and all party members who remember their party membership card.
- Election planning workshops
- Election law training
- Campaign essentials
For councillors and people interested in local government, there are special sessions run by ALDC and the IDEA, including
- Council budgets in the age of austerity
- Managing a coalition
- Recruiting good and diverse council candidates
And it’s not just the training that’s available to all party members in possession of a current membership card. Many of the fringe meetings organised by special interest groups and the party’s own organisations are also governed by the same rules.
- Lib Dem Education Association AGM – for teachers, governors, councillors with school or social care responsibilities
- ALDC’s Council Group of the Year award ceremony
- Social Liberal Forum’s One Society campaign
- Tax injustice and the young
A full list of fringe events is available in the Conference Directory, beginning on page 25. This too is available as a full colour PDF, a clear text PDF and as plain text. You’re looking for the events that take place in the Crowne Plaza hotel rather than the ICC.
So if you can’t afford a full registration, or the time away from your campaign, but live within easy reach of Birmingham, it’s well worth considering whether it’s worth attending just for a training session or a fringe meeting.
If you do think it’s worth your while attending just the one day of conference, there’s a final option available to you.
Attend as a day delegate
One way of getting a lot out of conference without spending a lot of money on accommodation or registration is to register as a day delegate. This is particularly relevant at Spring conference where most of conference happens on the Saturday – although there are good events happening on the Friday evening, and of course the Leader’s Speech and two policy papers being debated in the main hall on Sunday morning.
Full information on attending as a day delegate is available here, but the basics are under the “Onsite registration” heading:
For those members who miss the advance registration deadline or just want to attend conference as a day visitor, on-site registration at The ICC Birmingham is also available. The registration area is located in Hall 9 off The Mall on the ground floor of The ICC.
On-site registration is a simple four-step process:
1. Complete the relevant registration form which is available in the registration area.
2. Have your party membership confirmed at the Membership Desk – please ensure you bring your membership card with you.
3. Pay any applicable charges* at the Finance Desk.
4. Last stop, collect your conference pass from the Registration Desk – no need to bring a photograph as one can be taken on-site, free of charge.
The cost is a bargain at £20 – but remember that doesn’t include any of the paperwork, which you can purchase separately or download – and as a day visitor, you won’t be able to speak or vote on conference motions, even if you are a conference rep.
See you in Birmingham!