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Foundation Stage Forum Conference


Helen
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Next year will be the FSF's 10th anniversary and we've been thinking for some time how we might celebrate this with our members.

 

Organising a conference would be exciting and allow many members to meet up, perhaps for the first time, after building online relationships on the forums.

 

We have had lots of ideas at HQ through discussions with our lovely moderators, and now we'd like to ask your opinion.....

 

To start with, maybe you could comment on the following:

 

1) We are based in East Sussex, and a wonderful venue would be the new Amex Football Stadium, just outside Brighton (situated just beside Falmer railway station). However, we know this is an exceptionally long way away for many of you. Would you be prepared to travel this distance, or should we think about somewhere more central?

 

2) We'd like to include an evening celebratory event in addition to a stimulating speaker/seminar/workshop daytime event. Maybe a buffet and a band? If you were interested, then hotel accomodation would be required; how do you feel about this?

 

3) Our aim is to subsidise this event as much as we possibly can, but we would have to make a charge. If you currently attend conferences, what sort of prices do you feel are value for money?

 

 

Thanks so much; please feel free to comment on anything else. At this stage, we simply need to gauge if there is interest out there, and to decide whether or not to pursue this. :D

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I would be interested, if it involved an social event then it would be worth travelling and staying over. Cost is a bit tricky as everyone has different budgets. Look forward to hearing more of your plans, I am so nosey about people I connect with on this forum that the opportunity to meet up might be irresistible.

 

 

P.S. Can you get Alistair Bryce Clegg to come and talk?

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I can't fairly comment on whether it should be more central as I live in the middle of the country so it would be ideal for me.

 

I think a social even would be essential. We can't meet up and then have to cram introductions into breaks and lunchtime. I wouldn't get a band if that meant music so loud you couldn't have a conversation. I think you'd end up with corridors full of people escaping the music so they could talk.

 

A a childminder having to pay from my own pocket I would struggle to find more than £30-40 plus maybe a shared room in a hotel.

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Guest sn0wdr0p

A super idea but personally it would be a very long car journey or very expensive train journey from Yorkshire. Wish I could come though as I would love to meet everybody.

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Sounds like a fab idea, I am quite a way away but will watch with interest, it would be really nice to meet up and get together (one question just how big an event would it be?) There are so many dedicated followers of this forum i think you may need to hire the O2 arena!!!

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People could car relay - each drive southwards (or east if in Cornwall!!) for an hour, park at next person's then the two of you drive another hours and so on :D

Last person would need a people carrier though xD

 

I agree with upsy daisy - I think people would want to socialise rather than listen to bands. (I suppose you could be thinkin 'brass-band' in background though!!)

 

 

Having said that- venue no prob for me, and happy to collect someone on the way. xx

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Thank you so much for your replies, and your enthusiasm :D

 

max- thanks for the suggestion- we'll certainly put him on the list for consideration

upsy daisy- I was thinking of an acoustic folk/bluesy sort of band, not a loud one, but I do appreciate your comments- it would be awful if we had to resort to lipreading!

zigzag- I'm delighted you think we could fill the O2! I'm thinking around 150-250 people, as it's our first event of this kind.

snowdrop and bluestar- I appreciate it is a long way- will give this some more thought

louby loo- great idea- early years practitioners are so inventive!

 

Keep those thoughts coming....

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Hi sounds like a lovely idea - whether central or not public transport links would be important for those without cars. Also need to consider the time of year as you wouldn't want it to clash with other conferences/exhibition events going on at the same time; that said many venues of considerable size do get booked out months in advance so I suppose time is of the essence. Love the idea though - practical workshops would be great - maybe some wonderful people on the forum may volunteer ;) As for cost - the cheaper the better :D

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I would love to come ^_^ and being in East Kent, East Sussex is not too far away although the roads as the crow flies are rubbish and I would head up to the M25 and come down again.

 

I would like to suggest somewhere along the M4 corridor might be within comfortable reach for many.

 

Have you thought of using a hotel conference centre for both the day and evening do, then they may do a good deal on room prices too? Just some thoughts to put in the melting pot. :D

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I'll go for the camp site Jacquie - we've got a bell tent, we can fit another five in!

 

To be honest chaps, reading the pleas for enough social time, the original concept was for everyone to gather together and have a good time, with a flimsy excuse being that we had some speakers. So I wouldn't get hung up on not having enough social time. If people are able to stay the night we'll ensure there's plenty of time for getting together and chatting!

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Haha....i'm a definte 'glamper' I go camping with my double layered kingsize inflatable bed.........plus duvet and pillows :D

 

Would be great to meet the people behind the amazing ideas and advice that get posted!

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What a lovely idea! I would certainly be interested. I'm in London, so Brighton fine for me, but would travel to most places south or central.

I've self funded to attend a 'training' event run by Reflections nursery in Worthing who are charging £60, inc. lunch - I booked as I thought this was a fair charge.

I also would love to attend event with talk by Alistair B.C.

Not very keen on a band - people who use the forum are usually passionate early years bods, and to be able to talk and share ideas with like minded people would be wonderful.

Not keen on camping idea - subsidised hotel might be good.

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Sounds wonderful.

I would prefer somewhere more central but it's your area and so would be better able to find suitable accommodation, venue and band on your own doorstep.

I'd travel and I can pick people up along my way. Depending on the time of year the B&Bs would probably be welcome of the custom and we could possibly get group rates at other hotels.

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All this positivity....how lovely!

Mmm dates....that's been the trickiest bit!

Our actually anniversary is February 14th, but we thought travelling at that time of year could well be very difficult.

So we've thought about the following:

March 30th

April 13th

May 4th

May 25th

June 1st

 

The May dates are out if we use the Amex stadium due to home matches.

I'm now looking at all the hotels on Brighton seafront, and I'll probably pay them a visit over the next couple of weeks.

 

Do we think having it all in one place, ie the conference, social event and many people staying on site, is better than a conference during the day, and then moving onto another venue for evening/night? The reason for asking is that most of the hotels only seem to accommodate 100-ish for conferences, whereas somewhere like the Amex can go much higher if needed.

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Hi Helen

 

Are you aware that most of these dates are at the begining or end of school holidays? Not sure about others but I (and family) tend to vist relatives and have a bit of a holiday at these time - might be that was the reason you chose them.

 

I guess the choice of venue would depend on the numbers then, it would all be very cosy if all the events happened in the one place and would allow for a change of cloths for the evening bit maybe. Just my thoughts but I'm flexible as I would love to come. :1b Thank you in advance - its hard work putting something together like this I did one once for Ferre Laevers!!

Edited by Pimms o'clock?
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