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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

The Big Conversation: a chance to debate the housing questions that really matter


Stephanie Kelley, regional manager for the North looks back at The Big Conversation in May 2018 and the opportunities delegates had to get involved in more unconventional unconference sessions.

The Big Conversation for up and coming housing professionals returned to Leeds in May and was attended by over 120 delegates.

Delivered in conjunction with the Gem Project and CIH Yorkshire and Humberside, this innovative and unconventional conference style brought together housing professionals from all levels and all functions of the business. The relaxed style of the conference enabled delegates to discuss and debate the housing questions that really matter and explore ways to enhance their careers and progress aspirations.

We had leading names from the sector speaking at the event including Gavin Smart, CIH deputy chief executive, Alison Inman, CIH President, Steve Halliday, actor, David Tovey, artist and homelessness activist and Joel Sampson, sales manager, Resource.

Delegates were able to enjoy traditional conference sessions on topics such as rethinking social housing and also take part in more unconventional unconference sessions.

The atmosphere on the day was great with delegates actively participating in sessions and networking throughout, even staying back late at the drinks reception to continue the conversations, which is exactly what this event is about, generating discussions and debates. This year we added a twist, delegates were encouraged to make pledges which we will follow up throughout the course of the year and feature in publications like this!

When we surveyed delegates we found that 87% thought the quality of the programme was good to excellent and 87% enjoyed the overall experience of the event, with well over two thirds stating they’d attend again. We are delighted with this feedback, so much so we’ve decided to put on another event this year.

Save the Date - The Big Conversation comes to London on 2 November, venue TBC.

We will be bringing the same high quality level of speakers to you with an identical relaxed vibe.

  • You can find out more about what to expect on the day by reading our latest blog by Geraldine Howley, Incommunities CEO and CIH Group Board Member.

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