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Frequently Asked Questions

>Who is the Conference designed for and what should I expect?
  • The HELOA Conference is designed for the full range of HELOA members. Each workshop session has content that falls under the following categories; marketing, widening participation, student recruitment, WP and SR, personal development and other. In addition to developing your CPD it is also a great opportunity to network, share good practice and learn more about group level and national level initiatives the organisation runs. Members of the HELOA UKC take part in the same activities and it is a great way to learn how you can be more involved with us.

>What is the easiest way to travel to the hotel?
  • We advise delegates to travel by train to Crowne Plaza Newcastle – Newcastle train station is located 10 minutes away from the hotel. If you do choose to drive, please note that parking in Newcastle town centre is limited, and costs for parking are not included in the conference package. Our recommended car parks are;
    Stephenson Quarter Car Park – Level 10 for entry to hotel – £12 per 24 hours
    Times Square Car Park – 4 mins walk to hotel – £13 per 24 hours
    Arena Square Car Park – 6 mins walk to hotel – £6 per 24 hours (prices can vary on event days)

>I need to stay the Tuesday night before the conference. Is this possible?
  • Yes this is possible. We have arranged a special rate for HELOA members to stay the night before the conference on Tuesday 10th January at the Crowne Plaza Newcastle. The cost is £100 (including VAT) for Bed and Breakfast. You will need to book this directly with the hotel. You have two options for booking:
    1. Follow this special link to make your booking – search for Tuesday 10th January (1 night stay) and it will automatically apply the group rate that has been agreed – don’t change settings in the ‘Rate Preference’ box otherwise this agreed rate wont be applied to your booking. If you use this method, a set of card details are required to act as guarantee – they will not be charged.
    2. Phone the hotel on 0191 562 3333 – select option 1. You will need to call between 8AM – 6PM Monday-Friday. Reference code is “HELOA Night Prior”. Payment for the room can not be taken over the phone.
    You should email reservations@cpnewcastlehotel.co.uk (including your name / booking reference number) to arrange payment for the extra room, as it is not covered by the conference package. You can either request an online card payment link or invoice. If you don’t settle this payment prior to arrival, you will be charged on arrival to the hotel.
    Please can you also email the Training Team (training@heloa.ac.uk) to let them know you will be staying the additional night and they will ensure that records then match with the hotel so you do not need to change rooms.
    Alternatively you can look at other hotels locally.

>What is the dress code?
  • During the workshop sessions, the dress code is smart casual. The evening meal on Wednesday is more relaxed. Thursday evening is a formal dinner and a chance for us to celebrate HELOA members’ work and achievements over the last year. Our gala dinner theme for 2023 is ‘Monochrome’.

>I am the only person coming from my institution, will I be able to meet new people?
  • The HELOA Conference is not only for professional development but also for networking. The Group meeting will allow you to meet other members from your area. Some sessions in the programme are specifically designed for networking and meeting new people; both local and from further afield. There will be designated tables at dinner for new or solo attendees to help such members meet those in a similar situation. We recommend that you indicate on your booking form if it is your first HELOA Conference.

>What does the delegate cost include?
  • Day delegate rates include access to the sessions that day plus refreshments & lunch during the day as well as WIFi and parking.
    Full delegate rate includes the same as the day delegate rate, plus overnight accommodation on Wednesday and Thursday, breakfast on Thursday and Friday, access to the hotel leisure facilities, as well as dinner and evening entertainment on Wednesday and Thursday. It does not include drinks during either evening meal.

>Am I able to book to attend the gala dinner as a day delegate?
  • Yes, you are able to add this on to your booking. The cost of this is £45pp. However we are not able to provide accommodation for the Thursday evening at Crowne Plaza, Newcastle and if you need to arrange accommodation for the Thursday evening you will need to do this at an alternative hotel close by.

>Are there any hotels nearby that you recommend?
  • HELOA is using the Indigo Hotel and Hampton by Hilton as overflow hotels for our UK Committee and speakers and sponsors. These are a 5 – 10 min walk away from the Crowne Plaza. There are other hotels, including a Premier Inn that you may wish to research yourself.

>I have dietary requirements, can I see the menus for the dinners beforehand?
  • The Training Team works hard to ensure dietary requirements are met. Please ensure these are indicated on the booking form and any specific questions please email training@heloa.ac.uk. The gala dinner menu can be booked as part of your conference booking. The menus for the Wednesday and Thursday evening meals will be posted on the HELOA website once confirmed.

>Is there a cash machine?
  • There is no cash machine in the hotel. The nearest cash machine is located in Newcastle train station which is approximately 10 mins walk away from the hotel.

>What and who are the event sponsors?
  • Each year for the National Conference we invite a number of our partners and sponsors to attend. These are usually organisations we have worked with for a period of time and provide networking opportunities for you as members as well as opportunities to find out more about their services. They also play a significant role in supporting our conference and making the event financially sustainable whilst keeping delegate costs down. We are pleased to welcome many event sponsors back this year and we hope you will take time as part of the event to interact with them.

>What is the Business Exhibition?
  • Think of the Business Exhibition as a mini HE/careers fair except in this case with our partners and sponsors of the National Conference. This year the Business Exhibition will be on Thursday 12 January and we have dedicated time in the programme to allow you to talk with our sponsors/partners. This is an opportunity to network with these organisations and find out more in terms of how we work with them and the opportunities/ services they provide. In the past we have had event organisers, CRM providers, training providers and marketing agencies. These organisations often cite examples of work with member institutions as part of their offer. The exhibition is an important part of the conference as it not only gives you the opportunity to network with organisatons from across the sector but it also brings in revenue for the conference through our sponsors which helps to reduce delegate costs overall.

>Is there internet access at the hotel?
  • There is complimentary WiFi access in the hotel. Information on how to log on will be provided in your delegate pack as well as during the conference welcome. WiFi is free of charge for all delegates.

>There are two workshop sessions I am interested in at the same time; can I get the information for both?
  • Each session will have a reporter, who will provide a written account of the session, which along with session slides will be available on the HELOA website about a month after the conference.

>Will there be a chance to meet people from my HELOA group?
  • As part of the conference there will be a group meeting on Thursday at 15:30. The locations of your meeting will be listed on the HELOA conference microsite nearer the time of the event.

>What is included in the hotel room?
  • Crowne Plaza Newcastle is a luxury hotel and provides all the standard hotel facilities. More information of what can be found in the rooms is on the Crowne Plaza website.

>I am interested in helping with the conference, what can I do?
  • The HELOA Training Team would be interested to hear from you if you would like to help. A call for volunteers to be a reporter (take notes) during workshops is included in the booking form or please contact the Conference Managers on training@heloa.ac.uk if you would like to find out about other opportunities to support the conference.

>What if I need help during the conference?
  • The HELOA desk will be staffed during conference hours to speak to a member of the Training Team. Members of UKC will be wearing either their blue lanyard and/or badge during the conference so can be easily identified.
    Out of conference hours please visit the hotel reception who will be happy to assist you.
    HELOA asks that any issues or concerns are raised to members of HELOA UKC in a timely and appropriate manner for us to address as required.

>What is the wellness hour?
  • Wellness hour is proudly sponsored by UK University Search.
    Wellness hour is back! Following a successful introduction in 2022, we are pleased to be bringing back wellness hour as part of the conference on Thursday 12th January, allowing you to network with other members and our UKC in a fun and relaxed environment. We are currently confirming sessions that will be available during wellness hour and will be in touch with delegates nearer the time with more information. If you would be interested in finding out about the sessions, please select yes on the booking form. For those of you who are not interested and would prefer to take spare time during wellness hour, please select no. For delegates not attending conference on Thursday 12th January, please select not applicable. Please note session capacities are limited and will be booked on a first come first served basis.

>Do I have to participate in a wellness hour activity?
  • No, the wellness hour is optional as we know some delegates will want some downtime on their own or use the time to catch up on emails. There is an option on the booking form for you to choose not to participate.

>I wish to stay at Crowne Plaza Newcastle after the conference. Is this possible?
  • Yes, delegates will need to book this themselves via the hotel website or other booking sites. While at the hotel for the conference, inform reception that you have booked for the additional night(s) and they can link your rooms.
    Crowne Plaza Newcastle recommends that if you wish to book a spa visit during your weekend stay that you do this as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

>Are there any shops nearby?
  • Crowne Plaza Newcastle is situated in Newcastle city centre. There are lots of shops and restaurants within walking distance of the hotel, the closest of which are located in the train station 5-10 mins walk away.

>I can see from the website there is a spa at Crowne Plaza Newcastle. Can delegates use this?
  • Spa packages need to be booked separately if you’d like to access the spa. Most spa packages would not work with the conference programme but if delegates choose to stay for the weekend, you would be able to book spa packages.
    Delegates would be able to book a spa treatment for during downtime, however booking a treatment does not give you access to the full spa.
    There are leisure facilities in the hotel itself that full delegates are able to use. This includes a gym, pool and steam room.

>Is there a gym I can use?
  • There are leisure facilities in the hotel itself that full delegates are able to use. This includes a gym, pool and steam room.

>Do you require delegates to prove a negative coronavirus test before attending the conference?
  • HELOA follows the latest government advice and guidelines. HELOA recommends that delegates are double vaccinated and regularly carry out lateral flow tests.
    Full COVID-19 guidance can be found here. We recommend that delegates keep up to date with the latest coronavirus guidance from the UK government. Any changes to COVID related policies will be communicated to all delegates.

>Are face masks required?
  • HELOA follows the latest government advice and guidelines. Masks are not compulsory for delegates but if any delegate chooses to wear a mask they are more than welcome to, especially when moving between sessions and in narrow hallways.
    Full COVID-19 guidance can be found here. We recommend that delegates keep up to date with the latest coronavirus guidance from the UK government. Any changes to COVID related policies will be communicated to all delegates.

>Do I need to take a lateral flow test before attending conference?
  • We no longer expect delegates to provide a negative coronavirus test in order to attend conference. However as per the government guidelines, HELOA recommends taking regular tests especially attending events such as this.

> Do I have to attend AGM?
  • For full HELOA members attending the conference on Wednesday 12th January attendance is compulsory.

>I am an associate HELOA member. Can I attend the HELOA AGM?
  • Unfortunately only full HELOA members can attend the AGM. An alternative session will be arranged for associate members to participate in while the AGM is happening. Alternatively, associate members can use this time to catch up on emails./li>

>Can I check into my room before 5.15pm?
  • There are no early check in options available. Check in for all delegates will take place once the AGM has finished. Those who have paid for accommodation on Tuesday evening will not need to check in again and will be in the same room for the duration of the conference, however attendance at AGM is expected.

>Is there space to store my luggage on the Wednesday before check in and Friday after check out?
  • Yes the hotel has luggage storage facilities for delegates on Wednesday and Friday

>What is the cancellation policy for delegate bookings?
  • Please note that once you have booked a place at the HELOA National Conference, we require a minimum of 28 days notice in order to cancel your place. Any cancellations received less than 28 days before the event, will still be charged for in full. If you are no longer able to attend, you are able to send another representative from your institution to fill the place. To cancel your place or request to send a representative from your institution, please contact training@heloa.ac.uk.
    If you are unable to attend the conference due to Covid-19 (you are required to self-isolate, have tested positive or are experiencing symptoms in the days leading to the event) we ask you share proof of an NHS notification or positive lateral flow test so our finance team can cancel your invoice.