Review of Strategic People Conference 2018

Our annual Strategic People Conference took place on Thursday 8 March, welcoming around 200 leaders of HR, Volunteering, and Internal Comms from the not-for-profit sector. Sponsored by TPP Recruitment Ltd, the event’s common theme was collaboration between functions, learning from one another, and working in synergy for greater insight, engagement, and impact. The conference also marked the 15 years of Agenda.

Delegates heard from experts about their experiences, discussed ways of reaching out to engage their people, and took away practical steps to elevate and sustain their organisation’s engagement levels. During the breaks, delegates met with the event’s partners, and exhibitors CoreHR, Hireserve, The Talent Sphere, Trowers & Hamlins, and VolunteerKinetic.
As always, we are very grateful for the help from our partners, old and new. A big thank you to AMHP, AVM, CharityComms, CHRN, HVG, Hospice UK, NUS and VODG. It was great to see you and so many of your members.


This year’s first keynote speaker was Fiona Evans, HR Director of ZSL. Fiona spoke about HR as positive leaders of change, and referenced International Women’s Day, saying “Don’t wait on a leader: Be that leader!”
Workshop sessions included Nina Callard of Cancer Research UK and Helen Schick of Alzheimer’s Society discussing the critical role of leaders in internal communications. Other topics were: Breaking free of the silo stranglehold, led by Lara Roche of the Talent Sphere; Transformational change – HR & IT together, by Mark Ospedale and Jill Lanham from United Response; and attracting, retaining and assessing the value of employee volunteers, led by Christopher Beale from Poole Council Voluntary Service.


British Red Cross’ CEO Mike Adamson addressed delegates in the afternoon, giving a Red Cross perspective on the changing world of work, volunteering and support. Mike spoke candidly, focusing on the need to create chemistry between organisations and their people to succeed. He said “If you think change is hard, try irrelevance”.
Afternoon workshops included transforming employment framework in social care and building out engagement, led by David Jessop of Leonard Cheshire; The generation game – how HR & volunteer management can learn from each other to build effective multi-generational teams, led by Claire Melia-Tompkins from Action for Children, Rob Jackson of Rob Jackson Consulting Ltd and Matthew Hick of Science Museum Group; Embracing new volunteer management systems, led by Crewenna Dymond of YHA, and a session about employee and volunteer engagement from the founder of Agenda, Roger Parry.

Thank you

We’d like to thank all of our delegates, our sponsor, exhibitors, partners, and the programme committee, for helping to make Strategic People 2018 a fantastic event. We’re already planning next year’s event which will be on Thursday 7 March 2019, so if you’re interested in attending as a delegate, exhibitor, or joining the programme committee, complete the EOI form and we’ll be in touch at a time convenient to you.

Express interest in Strategic People Conference 2019 >>>

Here are some photos and tweets from the day.


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Association of Mental Health Providers AVM AVSM Charities HR Network Charity Comms Heritage Volunteering Group Hospice UK Humentum National Care Forum National Union of Students NCVO Voluntary Organisations Disability Group

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