Top 10 things I learned at conference...

10th October 2014

Well, the conference season is over for another year, a whirlwind of meetings, debates, insights – and asking questions about the choice of keeping paper. Here are the top ten things I learned at conference:

1/ The squeezy Zingy stress ball on the Edf Energy stall was by far the cutest giveaway from the exhibition stands.

2/We love Pensions Minister Steve Webb for holding on to Keep Me Posted’s first birthday leaflet, and being able to brandish it at different meetings several hours later.

3/Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is far taller than expected

4/You bump into far fewer politicians at the Conservative conference than the others – the only real “spot” was of William Hague getting out of the lift.

5/It’s impossible trying to meet someone “in the bar of the main conference hotel”- always specify an exact pillar or post to find them at.

6/Stroke of genius from the Conservatives to invite Deirdre Kelly from the TV show Benefits Street, who punctured a few political egos with her down to earth demeanour. Like her a lot.

7/The Google cardboard glasses which put you in the middle of a Google street map are fantastic – could have browsed all day.

8/Never put the ketchup and brown sauce on the table to tempt breakfasters, then fail to bring in the bacon butties. Disappointed faces all round.

9/ There is a really great open air terrace bar at the top of The Cube in Birmingham, overlooking the city. At 25 floors up on a balmy day it’s one of the nicest places to be.

 And best of all 10/ So many people were really interested and supportive of the campaign that it made it all worthwhile to keep banging on about the choice of paper when you’re at the end of a 15-hour stint. Someone just emailed the dates for next year’s conferences – can’t wait!

Judith Donovan