Conference preview: The training programme

Liberal Democrat Voice at Conference

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Some people go to Liberal Democrat Conference and never get anywhere near the debating hall, because the fringe, exhibition and training programme provide such a cornucopia of interesting and enriching entertainment. Others mix and match between debates and fringes.

This year’s training programme, which you can view in full here, ┬áis intense. There are three and a half full days of sessions on a huge variety of subjects. During the day, there can be as many as nine sessions going on at once. The Party’s training guide has suggestions for courses to attend if you’re a local or parliamentary candidate, campaign organiser, membership secretary or fundraiser. One of the most important sessions is on growing local parties’ membership – lots of local parties are having some success in this area, so it’s worth going along to get some tips. This session is being run twice. Sadly, on Sunday, it’s up against the crucial debate on nuclear power, but it’s running again first thing on Monday morning.

I’m not wildly impressed with the only session of Unconscious Bias training, as recommended in the Morrissey Report, being up against the crucial economy motion on the Monday. I wonder if another session could be slotted in at a different time because this stuff is important.

The variety of training on offer is huge – lessons from America, how to get selected, how to work out your key campaign messages, how to raise money and how to use that internet thing for all sorts. Another excellent session is ALDC’s and Liberal Youth’s session on encouraging young campaigners – that’s open to ALDC members and Liberal Youth members only. If you aren’t a member of ALDC, you should be – those who follow ALDC’s campaign advice are more likely to get elected or re-elected. If the youth training session appeals, join ALDC here.

If you aren’t going to Conference, you can access lots of helpful training on the party’s online skills and resources site here.

If you haven’t registered for Conference yet, you can do so here.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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