From the Consumer Regulations Act to Young Learner programmes, from visa regulations to building business in Asia, this year's English UK Annual Conference & AGM is focused on helping ELT businesses thrive.
And, says Deputy Chief Executive Huan Japes, the event is also about how English UK is making itself more responsive to members' needs. The event is being held outside London for the first time ever, at Midland Q Hotel in Manchester on 11 and 12 May, and from now on will alternate between the capital and a regional venue to reach as many members as possible.
There will also be major sessions at the event focusing on the results of our first-ever membership survey and how we plan to respond, plus a chance to meet the teams working on our new public affairs strategy.
"We really want to encourage everyone to come to Manchester in May and take part in the conference and our debates," says Mr Japes.
"We've refocused it from the way in which we used to run the event. It's now a one and-a-half day programme, tighter, more business-focused on ELT itself and also English UK's planned new strategy.
"The opening afternoon will focus on English UK business, with the full results of our first-ever membership survey and how we intend to respond to what members told us they wanted: there's positive messages there, and some we need to think about. We'll also be talking about our strategy for the next few years, with plenty of opportunities for members to debate that with us."
The AGM itself will last for up to an hour, to encourage members to join the debate and raise important issues.
A networking reception on Monday evening in Manchester Town Hall will give members plenty of chances to catch up with each other, board members and English UK staff before a business-focused day on Tuesday.
Tuesday sessions include an update from the British Council on how they plan to support the ELT industry in the wake of their Triennial Review, followed by immigration solicitor Nichola Carter analysing the latest changes to Tier 4 and Student Visitor visas. The law firm Penningtons is responding to English UK members' concerns about the new Consumer Regulations Act and data protection rules in a carefully tailored and practical session.
"These are key issues that members need to know about, affecting how they conduct their business, and they need to take them on board," says Mr Japes.
Other sessions during the day include a detailed and practical session from Jackie Kassteen, director of ICEF Monitor, on winning business in Asian markets, and opportunities to hear from special interest groups Young Learners UK on safeguarding, academic practice and promoting specialist programmes and Business English UK on its promotional programme. English UK North will also talk about what it has achieved and its future plans, and we're expecting plenty of members from that group to be present.
Finally, there's an opportunity to learn more about English UK's new approach to public affairs. Timothy Blake of the London School of English and chair of the Public Affairs Advisory Group will be talking about its role. "We'll also have a team from our new public affairs consultant, MHP, who'll talk about the more positive message they want to spread, and we'll discuss the research we want to do to measure more comprehensively and conclusively the impact of ELT both economically and socially. We'll be showing how we're broadening our approach, getting out on the front foot, and talking about the messages we want to promulgate at all level.
"All in all, it adds up to a pretty business-focused programme people will definitely want to attend. And there will be plenty of opportunity for issues to be propounded: we want to hear from members about their concerns. If you can make it, we'd really like you to come."
Find out more and book your place at the English UK Annual Conference & AGM 2015.
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