The GDPR Timebomb Conference…Were we Prepared? By Aashish Parmar

GDPR is a hot topic at the moment and with the deadline fast approaching, AdviceUK wanted to put together an event for members, the charity sector and  quite honestly any other organisation that needed help!  

The main aim of the day was to give the attendees key data protection information for them to  take away and apply to their organisations. It was also a platform for all attendee’s to network with each other as well AdviceUK staff.

AdviceUK Banner

I had the pleasure of organising the marketing materials for AdviceUK, which was used at the conference. This gave me the opportunity to put my creative hat on! If you attended the conference you would hopefully have noticed that in your delegate bags, there were a number of new AdviceUK branded items. These included presentation folders, pens, note pads, flyers and of course the bag in which they came! I was delighted to see a number of delegates scribbling furiously on the note pads with all of the intriguing information provided by our expert speakers.

AdviceUK Flyers

AdviceUK Booklets

The day started with the attendees trickling into the venue at Clifford Chance in Canary Wharf. Everyone was welcomed with a delegate pack accompanied with an early morning coffee and snacks. There was a hint of anticipation, while the attendee’s eagerly waited for the conference to start.

The sessions began with the Chair, Broadcaster and Presenter Louise Hulland, welcoming everyone and going through the events for the day. We had a full line up of expert speakers – from Stephen Dunmore CEO of the Fundraising Regulator providing a Background to GDPR to Joel Voysey of The Hospice of St Francis who provided a practical session on how they are working with implementing Data Compliance Regulations. All were highly knowledgeable in different areas of GDPR and data protection and provided such useful and practical information.

It was clear that by the Q&A sessions so many of the attendees were bursting with questions.  To facilitate the Q&A, questions were allowed from the floor as well as through active engagement on Twitter and other social media using the #GDPRTIMEBOMB.

The 3 panellists –  Mark Burnett (Kingston Smith/ClearCom), Ali McLaren (AdvicePro) and Christopher Tansey (AdviceUK) – did their best to answer as much as they could in the time allowed.

After Louise Hulland closed the conference, the delegates and speakers were rewarded their hard work with a well-deserved drink at AdviceUK’s networking event at the Henry Addington. We had a good response in terms of numbers and it was another chance for the attendee’s to interact and put across their questions to the AdviceUK staff and speakers. This was also great opportunity for all the AdviceUK staff to wind down after a busy few of months organising the conference.

Reflecting back on the day, I think the conference was a great success. The speakers were great and the new marketing materials really highlighted some of key aspects of AdviceUK’s brand in a way that I had not seen before. Whilst some delegates left with their questions answered others still had more questions and will no doubt continue to have more well beyond the 25th May. All the hard work on the day and behind the scenes leading up to the event had paid off. There were a lot of long hours that were put in by various AdviceUK staff to make sure the conference went ahead and for the day to run smoothly – and from that point of view we were well prepared for the conference. With the information provided at the conference and the use of the AdviceUK GDPR Toolkit, we just hope that our delegates can be prepared to.

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