Plans, opportunities and offers: Children in Scotland's Annual Conference 2024
12 Dec 2023
With Children in Scotland's flagship event returning in 2024, the organisation's Head of Engagement and Learning, Simon Massey, discusses the event's aims and the planning that's taking place
After a two-year break due to the pandemic, our flagship Annual Conference returned in November 2022. It was great to see the Children in Scotland team host a fantastic event, bringing together a range of keynote speakers and workshops delivered by our friends and partners across the sector, with children and young people’s voices embedded at all stages of planning and delivery.
We tried a hybrid model, incorporating online and in-person delivery, but it didn’t work, so we won’t be doing that again. But, a more successful element of the conference, students from Edinburgh College of Art – who partner with us to provide illustrations for our member publication, 'Insight' – creating visual representations of the discussions, will be back in 2024!
In planning our annual conference, one key factor we reflected on was just how ‘busy’ November is for the children’s sector, with a number of big-ticket events taking place. People have to make a choice about which event they go to, either due to cost or time out of work. In light of this, we made the decision to move our Annual Conference to May to try and allow a bit more space for people to be able to attend different events.
This meant the conference took another break in 2023 – although having delivered a successful Mental Health conference, Early Years conference and 30th Anniversary Networking event, the word ‘break’ might raise eyebrows in our Learning & Events team!
Annual Conference 2024
We are pleased to announce that the Children in Scotland Annual Conference 2024 is confirmed. It’s happening on Wednesday 29-Thursday 30 May 2024, at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, its home for a number of years. The venue allows us lots of space for delegates, keynotes and workshops plus the Exhibition Hall, which goes from strength-to-strength each year.
We are currently working on the conference content and will get the full programme launched as soon as we can. We will also announce key speakers, workshops and sponsors during the first few months of 2024.
One of our Strategic priorities is to ‘Lead and develop the children sector workforce’, and the Annual Conference being a key part of our efforts to this. But its success is all down to the involvement of you, our network. Whether you attend as a delegate, become one of our sponsors, facilitate a workshop, deliver a keynote presentation or showcase your organisation in our Exhibition Hall, your input is crucial to the two days.
We will soon be confirming the conference themes, which will remain broad because we view the event as an opportunity to show the wide range of activity across the children’s sector. Saying that, we know children and young people’s voices and equality, diversity and inclusion will run through all aspects of the event.
We will be reaching out to people over the coming weeks to help deliver the conference. We’ll be looking for chairs, keynote speakers and discussion panel members, so if you have any ideas about who should be involved, or maybe you would like to be yourself, then please get in touch via email@example.com
Got a workshop idea?
Our Annual Conference 2022 saw 24 workshops delivered from the widest range of organisations yet, covering a breadth of subjects relevant to those working with children and families. We want to build on that for 2024 so we have created a short online application form for any organisations working with children and young people across Scotland to put forward its ideas.
As mentioned, the Annual Conference will remain very broad, so we are fully open to all ideas and suggestions for workshops. We ask that you consider how the voices of children and young people are embedded or shared and that issues of equality, diversity and inclusion are also considered. As well as that, we want to hear about the great work you are delivering, innovation in your specialist areas, research you’ve undertaken and what you are doing with it, and how you are making a difference to the lives of children in Scotland.
Click here to send us your ideas via the online application form
This has all the information you’ll need and asks questions to make sure you provide us with the information we need.
The closing date for you to submit your workshop idea is Thursday 29 February 2024.
Super early bird prices
For those of you who follow Children in Scotland on social media, you’ll know that a super early bird ticket offer was launched in early November. This offer will end on Sunday 31 December, with higher prices in place from 1 January 2024, so if you already know that you want to join us at the conference, make the most of the offer!
If you’re not able to book at this stage, rest assured we work hard to keep the prices as low as we can and there will be discounts for Children in Scotland Members.
I’m really pleased that we are ending this year officially launching the Children in Scotland Annual Conference 2024. We want to hit the ground running in January so please do give some thought to whether it would be a good opportunity to showcase your work or give a platform to the children and young people you work with.
And most importantly, please come and join us in May!