This year the conference team took time to understand what Rotarians want from conference before we created the programme. And you certainly weren’t shy in giving us your views!
Our members age from 20s to 80s; some working, others retired; some wanting more social time at conference, others wanting more conference in less time; some have the date booked in their calendar, some ‘used to come’ and some are asking ‘what’s in it for me?’. And many seemed surprised that this is not ‘the District Governor’s conference’. While Gillian has shared her vision and lots of great ideas, it is our DISTRICT conference, and that means YOU!
So here’s just a few changes based on your feedback and priorities:
Visit Portsmouth day – For those coming for the weekend, the Friday welcome session starts a little later in the day so you have time to explore the city. For those only able to join us on Saturday, you’ll get a full day’s worth of sessions.
Speaker sessions – Less ‘stand and deliver’, more opportunities to put forward questions, and more about the impact our programmes have. Check out the speaker page for all our great speakers, panel sessions and workshops.
Partners welcome! – While non-Rotarian partners are very welcome and many thoroughly enjoy the conference sessions, we recognize that some want to accompany you for the weekend away but do their own thing! This year non-delegate partners are welcome to join us for the evening dinners and entertainment at a non-delegate rate (subject to availability).
Breakout sessions – Time to explore specific areas of interest in smaller groups, with ideas and guidance to take back to your club.
Sharing Ideas & Success – With so many inspiring initiatives around district, we’re looking at ways to squeeze in as many as we can – in person, on video or in the showcase area. Let us know if there’s something you want to share!
Presidents’ Reception – Presidents and their partners are invited to join the DG and VIPs for a reception at the start of the lunch break, instead of the traditional separate Presidents’ lunch at extra cost to you which you told us leaves no time to network and enjoy the showcase.
Ros Marks is District Conference Chair and a member of Maidenhead Thames Rotary.