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Update from the HELOA Training Team

Emily Day, HELOA VC (Training) has written the following blog to give an insight into planning for the National Conference 2025 and to provide some further updates.

We’ve made it through Mad March and I hope members are doing well! 


Emily Day

Before March kicked in, the training team had been busy looking over feedback from the National Conference this year and starting to plan 2025 and beyond! Yes, the planning really does start this early on. 

I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with some updates about the National Conference as well as provide some insights into our planning. 

HELOA enters a contract for two years with National Conference venues, (Carden Park was an anomaly, thanks pandemic!) as this allows us to get a better deal with the hotel. Plus as a team of volunteers, this allows the training team to develop each event by having an element of consistency for two years. For 2025 and 2026 we will be in Stratford upon Avon. 

When reviewing National Conference locations, it was agreed by the HELOA UK Committee in 2021 that we would hold conferences for two years in the north, followed by two years further south. We have aimed to follow this pattern for upcoming conferences however, member feedback as well as rising costs may mean having to deviate from this intention.

We do receive feedback requesting the conference to be further south, in the past we have held the conference in Stratford upon Avon and Daventry. We have started the process of looking for a 2027 and 2028 venue, including locations further south. 

We have recently received a number of quotes back, one was over £400k just for the hotel bedrooms, food and session rooms, which would have taken the delegate cost to over £1600 for a full delegate place, not surprisingly we haven’t even looked around that venue! A summary of the other quotes are below, we are still working on this and no decision has yet been made. 

Please note the estimated delegate cost is just based on the initial quote and is not a final or confirmed figure. The table below is designed to give an indication of future costs. 

LocationNumber of full delegatesUnder one roof?Estimated full delegate cost* covering hotel, AV, speaker and other costs involved in the conference.
Midlands280No – split over 2+ hotels£700pp
North West250Could have more delegates staying in other hotels£850pp

This is compared with the cost for 2025 that will be £600pp for the full delegate package. We are continuing to look at options, but we want to be able to ensure the cost stays as low as possible for our members.

If anyone knows of a hotel that has the following requirements, please do let me know by mid-May as we are keen to get the 2027 and 2028 venue finalised during the summer.

  • At least 350 bedrooms 
  • Overflow hotels near by
  • Good transport links by road and rail for all of the UK
  • Car parking
  • A ballroom that can hold at least 400 for the gala dinner
  • Minimum of 5 breakout rooms that can hold at least 50 in cabaret style
  • Space across the hotel for at least 20 stands for the business expo

In the Spring, we will be putting a call out for members to deliver sessions, so keep an eye on the HELOA bulletin for announcements. In the meantime, please continue to add your sessions to the expression of interest form – we love to hear from you! Bookings for National Conference 2025 will open in September and key dates will be sent out via the HELOA bulletin.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at: training@heloa.ac.uk

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