Southern Unconference highlights desire to share more
The second FirePro Unconference was held at Bristol's Colston Hall during February, providing members with the opportunity to share ideas with colleagues on current hot topics.
More than 30 people attended the one-day event which had been rescheduled from July 2014 after industrial action forced its postponement.
During four sessions members split into groups to discuss topics including campaigns, sharing digital content and internal communication. The event also attracted a significant number of designers who gathered for the first time under the FirePro banner to share ideas, work and their experiences.
James Bladon, Corporate Communication Manager at Avon Fire & Rescue Service said: “We were keen to seize on the positive energy following last year’s conference and begin translate that enthusiasm into actions.
“One of the recurring themes of the day was the barriers that exist to sharing all manner of content between each other. There’s lots of goodwill, but a feeling that the technology we have isn’t making the process to share or find content particularly easy.
“This was just one of the topics which came out of the day that we can now look to progress with members who would be keen to drive improvement.
“This was a free event which I hope added value to what FirePro has to offer its members. I’m grateful to all those who came along on the day, with some travelling considerable distance to be there. The quality of the discussions and the ideas around the room were fantastic.
“Thanks should also go to members from the other FRSs in the south who played a key role in the organising and running the event.”
Conference review - and date set for 2015
Last November over 50 fire comms professionals from all parts of Great Britain got together for the 8th consecutive annual FirePRO conference held at Eastwood Hall, Nottingham.
The first part of day one largely looked back at things we'd done in the last year whether that be incidents or projects, with interesting insights into the most high profile emergencies of the year, including some dealt with by other agencies. There's always something to learn from other people's experiences of media liaison not least...to remember where you've parked your car (Sam Thomas, Greater Manchester FRS).
As time moved on we started to look ahead to things that are being planned or developed and it was great to be joined by Watch Manager Wayne Parsons with his very simple message: to be more engaged you have to be more engaging.
After a great evening of eating and quizzing (courtesy of Carol at Way Ahead Media) day 2 continued to look ahead at development issues with external speakers on customer insights, digital engagement and collaboration.
Ratings seem to be good and feedback positive and the summary is attached so members can see what others thought and what we'll need to consider for other events. There's been lots of people volunteer to take forward planning of next year's conference and other training events and the workstream lead for this - James Morton will be in touch.
Dates are set for the 24 and 25 November and will last for two full days (we'll go on after lunch on day 2 to make sure we have time for workshops or informal discussion groups). The location will be somewhere in Birmingham and we've enlisted event organiser supremo Carol Longman to start making arrangements.
Don't forget if there's anything you want to share with members as a case study, or you come across a really great speaker you think would be good please let James Morton know.