Leading outside the ordinary: highlights from the ACEVO 2019 annual conference

As the ACEVO team starts preparations for the 2020 edition of the annual conference, we look at what delegates had to say about last year’s – a day of learning, networking and discussing the meaning of ‘Leading Outside the Ordinary’.

In her opening speech, ACEVO’s CEO Vicky Browning shared some of the tasks delegates would have been tackling if they had not chosen to attend the conference that day, which included reading reports and board papers, making recruitment decisions and budget plans.

Because ACEVO’s work is focused on civil society leaders, we know it can be difficult to find time to get away from the office. That’s why we are delighted that, according to our survey, 96% of delegates said they left the conference feeling inspired, 98% said they have new ideas and 93% said they connected with people that will help them or their organisation develop.

We also asked delegates to share one thing they learned that they would like to share with other leaders. The word cloud below was created using the responses to this question:

word cloud

In the video below, some ACEVO members talk about their favourite bits of the day:

During the day, we shared content not only on Twitter (check the hashtag #AcevoConf19) but also a few snapshots on our Instagram profile – you can take a look at the highlights here.

We can’t wait to meet everyone again later this year (theme, date and venue to be announced soon). In the meantime, check what some of the delegates have to say about a day of “Leading Outside the Ordinary”:

If I’m totally honest, at the start of the day, I was very unsure whether this was a good use of charitable funds, but I left with a bounce in my step, feeling inspired and energised. My expectations were blown out of the water and I can’t wait for next year.

Andrew Impey, Essex Wildlife Trust

Thanks to all who worked on this conference, which was excellent. I particularly appreciated the effort to make the conference genuinely diverse in terms of speakers, perspectives, etc, and feel you did this unusually well.

Paul Parker, Quakers

This was my first ACEVO conference having only joined this year, so I came along not knowing what to expect. In all honesty it was probably one of the best conferences I have been too. Great to meet CEOs from such varied organisations and learn from them. When I handed my coat into the cloakroom I asked if I’d be able to get it if I left early, thinking I would split at some point, but 30 minutes in and I decided I’d stay for the whole thing and I’m glad I did!

Eddie Blaze, Emmaus Oxford

I really enjoyed my first conference. It was relaxed and friendly. All the staff were amazingly helpful and attentive. They do ACEVO proud. I am enjoying being a member so far and am looking forward to more networking events, especially as I’ve broken the ice with a few people.

Greg Tythe, Social Interest Group

I can honestly say that this was the best conference I have been to in a VERY very long time. Relevant, thought-provoking and empowering.

Lynne Guyton, John Lyon’s Charity

I found the conference – my first one – very useful. I enjoyed the structured sessions, but I also want to feedback how well I thought you balanced that with unstructured ‘networking’ time – the breaks were well run, and offered a great opportunity to meet people as well as digest the structured content. really appreciated the thought you had clearly put into this.

Nicola Upton, Age UK Sutton

I really enjoyed the day. There was a lot of fun and laughter despite discussing some significant issues.

Kathryn Rossiter, Thrive

This was an amazingly friendly event, it was so easy to strike up a conversation, and the knowledge and information shared between delegates was of such a high quality.

Ciara Davis, Metro Moneywise Credit Union

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