Organising the CPD Exchange: Week #1

A weekly blog on lessons learned by PDNorth Events Lead, Lou Mycroft

So the wheels are in motion for the PDNorth CPD Exchange 2020. We’ve booked the venues – old favourite Liverpool Quakers, Leeds City College’s gorgeous Printworks and TBC. We’re holding all three on the same day, with Claire and me MCing them on the big screen. So getting the tech right is critical. Once we get the basics in place we’re going to work on this.

One of the things that’s always challenging when leading a collaborative event is that everyone has different priorities – and you can’t do it all at once! For me a hashtag is an early action – we’re using #PDNorth2020 – so that we can start putting ‘hold the date’ messages out on social media and at this stage it’s great to have the venues and tag them in because they amplify the reach for us. But Regional Leads naturally want content and timings, to sell to their PEN members. When those very PEN members are the people providing content – because an exchange is all about learning from each other – we’ve got a chicken and egg situation.

Luckily, there’s a lot of love in the PDNorth team after three years working together and we don’t fall out during this early phase. It’s so great being in a team where you can be yourself and be truthful with the others. Regular PDNorth event delegates will recall Christina Donovan’s thought-provoking keynotes last year around trust and distrust in FE. It’s that trust we have between us that ensures our conversations are cheerful and collegiate, even when our immediate priorities diverge.