The ultimate campaigning smorgasbord: 1000 people at ALDC’s Kickstart

This weekend, ALDC’s Kickstart event is taking place online. Hundreds of LIb Dems have been taking part in panel discussions and training sessions. There are separate streams for councillors and campaigners, future campaign leaders and leaflet designers.  I have never actually been to a UK wide Kickstart event so it’s fantastic to be able to take part virtually in this one.

I have been there as a volunteer helping to deliver a training session (on good photos, used well) and to mentor a small group.

There has been training for agents, organisers and campaigners on everything from the finer points of electoral law to writing good copy for your leaflets and building your teams.  There were two slots of 8 simultaneous training sessions, an opening plenary session with Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper and a choice of two keynote speeches at lunchtime. And there is much the same tomorrow. And that’s not counting the 45 separate mentor groups and the panels for Councillors.

I understand that both of today’s keynote speeches have been recorded. My highlight of the day was Alliance Party Leader and Northern Irish Justice Minister Naomi Long. Her knights on politics and campaigning were fascinating – so grounded in making things better for people. She described how John Alderdice sorting out a problem for her when she was a student left a lasting impression and led to her joining Alliance and then standing for elected office. Her focus on being honest with voters and not trying to equivocate on issues that matter was for me really important. It is well worth listening to if you get the chance.

The other keynote panel event was with  former Lib Dem MEPs.

The amount of organisation that has gone into this event is huge. With over 1000 people expected to attend, spreadsheet Queen Abi Bell had organised every tiny detail and made sure that everyone had the right information to get to where in the ALDC Zoomiverse they needed to be.

This was ALDC’s back office where a tech team made sure that we didn’t break Zoom:

What was particularly impressive is that this event was provided free to Lib Dem members. In a year when we face e huge set of elections all over the country, it’s an important capacity building exercise. A very good use of my yearly subs. And if you join at the event, you get your membership for half price if you use the code welcome50 when checking out here.

I’m looking forward to day 2 tomorrow, when we have the same 2 times 8 simultaneous training sessions, keynote speeches and conversations with Ed Davey, Party President Mark Pack and Chief Executive Mike Dixon. There’s also a session on what we can learn from the recent American elections. I expect a plug for postal vote recruitment.

Were you there today? What did you think?

 

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

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3 Comments

  • Elaine Woodard 29th Nov '20 - 1:29am

    I was really impressed with the organisation and the quality of today’s sessions. I thought being online it might not be as good as previous Kickstart weekends but that’s not the case. I’m really glad I signed up. And if a recording is available I want to listen to Naomi Long again.

  • Lorna Stirling 29th Nov '20 - 2:23pm

    Attended the training on postal votes. Lots of good advice. Easy to access and main learning points will be emailed to us later. Excellent organisation.

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