The 2013 Conference Dean Manifesto: “So what and a stick of rock”

Stick of rockIt’s recently been super busy on the Conference front, with some really exicitng developments as well as lots of interest from potential delegates and speakers.   It got me thinking about where we started.

What our vision was when Dilip Boury and I first agreed to take on organising the 2013 Annual Conference and what we wanted to bring to it.  It reminded me of the Welcome page that we wrote for the ABP Conference pages back in June, which to be honest I think became more of a manifesto than a gentle introduction!  However, the spirit of what we wrote still stands and I thought that now would be a good time to re-share what we are all about….

“Whilst heavily supported by a packed of chocolate biscuits (me) and a glass of wine (Dilip), we’ve been quite seriously thinking about what’s great about the Annual ABP Conference, what are its key ingredients and how we can build on this – what we feel we can bring to 2013 and the commitments we will make in terms of how our approach.

We identified that every great ABP Conference has a few key components and the first thing we’d like to say is that we will not be skimping on these in anyway.  We consider these to be:

  • The opportunity to learn new things
  • Networking
  • Time out for reflection
  • Feeling connected to others in the industry
  • Having fun

Secondly, what do we mean by the “so what and a stick of rock”?  Well these are the two principles that Dilip and I both identified as being really important to us in terms of how we approach the design of the 2013 Conference.  Firstly, every session we put on, every activity we arrange, every speaker we book has to pass the ‘so what?’ test.  Put very simply, we will critique everything against the key question of what will learning this, doing that, etc do for the person that takes part.  We will evaluate the impact of every activity so that we know that you will be able to walk out of that door feeling that it was useful and worthwhile.

The “stick of rock” is our analogy that describes that no matter what way you cut it the Conference will have a clear and identifiable theme and that every activity will have an obvious link into it.  I will also personally be pushing for ‘ABP Conference’ sticks of rock in the delegate bags, but I’ll have to let you know how that goes.

About us

To tell you a little about Dilip and I, the first thing that I can tell you is that we are both Northerners, which I think comes through pretty quickly in our sense of humour.  We are both very passionate about what we do and have been regular attendees of the Conference on and off for the last 5 years.  It’s the combination of these two things that ultimately led us to put our hands up when the search was on for next year’s Conference Deans – and it is a challenge we are seriously looking forward to.

Going forward, Dilip and I are both active ‘social networkers’ so you can expect to be hearing regular updates from us on what’s going on in the lead up to 2013.  As well as using the ABP website to keep you posted on what we are up to, for bite sized updates you can follow us on Twitter at @mariagardnerUK and @DilipBoury.  In addition, for a general nosey and a bit more info about the two of us you can find our full profiles on LinkedIn at Maria Gardner and Dilip Boury.”


For more information about the Conference visit the ABP Conference web pages.

You can also visit us the Official LinkedIn ABP Conference Group where you can interact with us and check out the latest updates from the team.  Finally, for bite sized updates follow us on Twitter: @ABPsychologists



One thought on “The 2013 Conference Dean Manifesto: “So what and a stick of rock”

  1. Pingback: Confessions of an ABP Conference Dean: How to write a great speaker submission « Musings of an Occ Psych Geek

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