Join us at Practitioners Forum, our number one training and development event which takes place on Thursday 23 November at The Studio in Manchester.
Practitioners Forum is the number one training and development event for people working in co-operative businesses – large and small.
Choose from up to 20 sessions across five specialist forums. It's the perfect professional development opportunity for people working across one or more of the following areas:
Membership • Governance • Finance • HR • Communications
Our mix and match format enables delegates to choose the sessions which benefit them most from across the forums.
We've a range of ticket options – member (30% off standard price), non-member and bursary tickets (50% off).
- The good, the bad, and the frankly appalling: Behaviour in the board room – David Alcock, Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP
- Beyond the AGM: What could modern democratic engagement look like? – Emma Laycock, Co-operatives UK
- Sustainability reporting for co-ops – speaker TBC
- Elections, AGMs and more: Using technology to encourage member engagement (joint session with Membership forum) – Emma Laycock, Co-operatives UK; and Ben Thomas, Mi-Voice
The good, the bad, and the frankly appalling: Behaviour in the board room
David Alcock, Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP
What does a good board look like? How do we deal with difficult dynamics? How can we manage misconduct at board level? This session will cover everything you need to know about dealing with board behaviour and culture issues. We will consider formal processes for dealing with complaints, as well as learning from practical examples. David has worked with numerous boards on dealing with conduct procedures; names will be changed to protect the guilty!
Beyond the AGM: What could modern democratic engagement look like?
Emma Laycock, Co-operatives UK
Join Emma Laycock from Co-operatives UK for this workshop which will consider what modern democratic engagement could look like. We'll be discussing how co-ops can encourage diverse and meaningful member engagement in their governance, and will offer an opportunity for participants to share what their organisations have been doing, sparking a conversation about what we can achieve together.
Elections, AGMs and more: Using technology to encourage member engagement (joint session with Membership forum)
Emma Laycock, Co-operatives UK; and Ben Thomas, Mi-Voice
Emma Laycock, Co-operatives UK's Head of Co-operative Advice will outline the latest best practice guidance around elections and member engagement. Emma is joined by Ben Thomas, Director of Mi-Voice – Democracy Technology Ltd, who will host a discussion on the use of technology in enhancing membership engagement during democratic events conducted by co-ops. The session will explore the role of technology in improving processes such as voting in elections, annual member meetings and AGMs. It will also examine how adopting an 'outcome-based' approach to elections, supported by technology, can lead to increased engagement and a broader pool of candidates, while ensuring inclusivity.
- Using diverse and inclusive language for your membership – Dr Leanne Dawson, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion consultant, author and academic
- How to Increase and diversify your younger membership, through digital content – Amrit Singh, Rebel Creatives
- Maximising the value of your data – Sian Basker, Data Orchard
- Elections, AGMs and more: Using technology to encourage member engagement (joint session with Governance forum) – Emma Laycock, Co-operatives UK and Ben Thomas, Mi-Voice
Using diverse and inclusive language for your membership
Dr Leanne Dawson, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion consultant, author and academic
In this session we'll explore getting comfortable with inclusive language. Do you sometimes feel like you want to be more supportive of individuals or groups of people but you hold back, fearful of saying the wrong thing? Do you need to use terminology relating to sexuality, ethnicity, mental health, disability and more when communicating with your members, but struggle to keep up to date with which terminology is considered acceptable? Perhaps you want to learn how to interject in the most helpful way when someone says something they shouldn’t?
This workshop will cover all of the above and more. We'll be considering the ethical, legal, and business cases for using inclusive language, before diving into practical examples and easy take-home tips, including best practice with terminology, thoughtfulness around language and accessibility, and dealing with inappropriate or discriminative language use.
How to Increase and diversify your younger membership, through digital content
Amrit Singh, Rebel Creatives
Session details to follow.
Know your members: Maximising the value of your data
Sian Basker, Data Orchard
In this workshop you will hear from, co-CEO of Data Orchard, Sian Basker, an award winning UK social enterprise specialising in helping organisations gain value from their data in a way that benefits their members. You’ll learn about the important factors for data success and the different stages of organisational data maturity, as well as finding out how to get access to the resources and support that will help you improve. Not only that but you'll get a chance to be part of a live data visualisation!
Elections, AGMs and more: Using technology to encourage member engagement
Emma Laycock, Co-operatives UK and Ben Thomas, Mi-Voice
Join Emma Laycock, Head of Co-operative Advice, to hear about the latest best practice guidance around elections and member engagement. She’ll be joined by Ben Thomas, Director of Mi-Voice - Democracy Technology Ltd, who will host a discussion on the use of technology in enhancing membership engagement during democratic events conducted by co-ops. The session will explore the role of technology in improving processes such as voting in elections, annual member meetings and AGMs. It will also examine how adopting an 'outcome-based' approach to elections, supported by technology, can lead to increased engagement and a broader pool of candidates, while ensuring inclusivity.
- Digital strategy: Opportunities and risks for finance teams to leverage new and emerging technology – Matt Lomax, Mazars Accountants
- New and emerging cyber threats: An ethical hackers guide – Yasmin Ramadan, Mazars Accountants
- Accounting for your co-op – Patrick Morello, Third Sector Accountancy
- Insights into raising capital and social investment options – John Dawson, Co-operatives UK and Melanie Mills, Big Society Capital
Insights into raising capital and social investment options
John Dawson, Co-operatives UK and Melanie Mills, Big Society Capital
Could social investment hold the key to increasing your impact and building long term resilience in your organisation? Join John Dawson, Co-operatives UK's Head of Market Development, and Melanie Mills, Head of Social Sector Engagement at Big Society Capital, for an interactive session covering everything from community shares to loans and bonds. Together, we'll explore the role of social investment as part of your co-op's funding/finance toolkit; common myths and preconceptions; and real life case studies and insights from leaders who have been through the process. We welcome participation in this session so please bring your questions and challenges!
- Employee safety and wellbeing – WorkNest
- Insights into supporting Neurodiversity in the workplace – Snoof Kattekop, The Brain Charity
- Hybrid and flexible working best practice – Samantha Lubanzu, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
- Employment Law Update – Emma Bagshaw, Nexa Law
Insights into supporting neurodiversity in the workplace
Snoof Kattekop, The Brain Charity
Central to the co-operative identity is the need to treat all members fairly. This can sometimes be challenging if we don't fully understand the barriers that other people may face. In this session, Snoof Kattekop from The Brain Charity will help you to better understand neurodiversity and how to support neurodivergent employees in the workplace. Attendees will come away with a better understanding of key terminology and definitions surrounding neurodiversity, the strengths and challenges of neurological conditions, the Equality Act and the law around Access to Work.
Employment Law Update
Emma Bagshaw, Nexa Law
Emma Bagshaw, employment and immigration lawyer at Nexa Law, will examine recent and upcoming changes in employment law and implications for businesses. The spotlight will focus on areas having most impact on co-operative businesses.
Hybrid and flexible working best practice
Samantha Lubanzu, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
Join our dynamic workshop led by leading Diversity and Inclusion expert, and CIPD Manchester Branch Chair, Samantha Lubanzu. Delve into real-world scenarios and gain practical strategies to tackle inclusive hybrid workspace challenges head-on. Elevate your leadership skills, learn from peers, and leave with actionable insights to foster an inclusive, thriving, hybrid work environment. This will be an interactive and engaging workshop with real-time discussions, scenario analyses and quizzes, as well as the opportunity to get answers to your burning questions from a renowned expert.
- Marketing mastery 101: Your ultimate refresher – Amrit Singh, Rebel Creatives
- Diversity and inclusion in communications and marketing – Dr Leanne Dawson, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion consultant, author and academic
- How and why you should add audio and podcasts to your comms strategy – Clare Savory, ASFB Productions
- Getting creative with video: Telling your co-op story – Amrit Singh, Rebel Creatives
Marketing Mastery 101: Your ultimate refresher
Amrit Singh, Rebel Creatives
Are you ready to unlock the secrets of marketing success and take your campaigns to the next level? Look no further than "Marketing Mastery 101: Your Ultimate Refresher," a no-nonsense, one-hour session designed exclusively for savvy marketing professionals like you!
In today's fast-paced digital landscape, it's crucial to revisit the fundamentals and gain fresh insights to stay ahead of the game. Led by the Amrit Singh, a multi-award-winning artist and creative director, the driving force behind Rebel Creatives, a creative agency specialising in branding, short-form and digital training. With a track record of successful creative campaigns, he brings a wealth of experience that will propel you to new heights.
During this power-packed hour, you'll dive deep into the core aspects of marketing, focusing on the crucial elements of audience identification, compelling messaging, and strategic channel selection. Discover the art of storytelling and learn how to craft your co-op's unique narrative. Uncover the secrets of connecting with your target audience on a profound level, leaving a lasting impression.
Diversity and inclusion in communications and marketing
Dr Leanne Dawson, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion consultant, author and academic
This workshop will consider the ethical, legal, and business cases for being inclusive in our communications, before diving in to a wide range of practical tips – both easy wins and more intricate solutions – to make our comms reach and, crucially, successfully land as widely as needed.
After a quick introduction to inclusive language, we'll think about the images we use in our marketing and the effects of these on (potential) colleagues, customers and more, and how we can work fairly with images – still and moving – if our organisation is perhaps not as diverse as we would like it to be. The session will also open up room to discuss accessibility and the nuances of the digital divide, including examples of good and bad practice.
Throughout the workshop, we will be mindful that diversity and inclusion need to be firmly embedded into organisational culture, rather than merely resting on the shoulders of colleagues working in comms and marketing, and how we can communicate this within our organisations.
Please note: There will be a more extensive session on inclusive language beforehand in the Membership Forum. People are welcome to attend both or just one – no prior knowledge is needed to attend this session.
How and why you should add audio and podcasts to your comms strategy
Clare Savory, ASFB Productions
The term 'podcast' is very much on trend. But its not all celebrities and big brands making use of this popular comms channel. Internal and member led organisations are also tapping into podcasting as a relatively low-cost strategy to inform, educate and entertain. Whether you're looking to share content with just your members or to the wider world, expert podcast producer Clare Savory of ASFB productions offers 15 things to think about in this specialist Co-operative skills session. From dispelling myths about tech, to understanding hosting platforms, to finding the right platform and strategy for your co-op – there's plenty to dig into. Prepare to be inspired!
Getting creative with video: Telling your co-op story
Amrit Singh, Rebel Creatives
Join us for an engaging and interactive session that delves into the world of short-form video content creation from the perspective of content creators. This session promises to be both fun and insightful as we explore the latest trends, from crafting captivating hooks to recording and editing on mobile devices.
In an era dominated by video-centric social media platforms, it's evident that video should be at the core of any content strategy. However, the notion of video production can often seem time-consuming, costly, and intimidating, even to seasoned marketing teams with abundant resources. Amrit Singh is here to dispel these myths!
During this interactive session, you'll discover the transformative power of empowering your employees, and members to create authentic video content. Amrit Singh will demonstrate how, in just a matter of minutes, you can harness this potential to craft compelling short-form videos that tell your co-op's unique story.
Don't miss this opportunity to demystify video content creation and unlock a world of possibilities. Join us to unleash your co-op's storytelling potential through short-form video.