The snap general election followed only 5 weeks after local elections thereby applying extra pressure on election officers, and pushing many holidays into later June which had to be taken swiftly before the canvass start. Despite the crazy few months, we organised and ran a successful User Group event in Birmingham last week!
We had 2 guest presenters. Pauline Salkeld from North East Lincolnshire Council talked about her week as a secondee at our office back in April. The secondment included working in our well known, efficient and friendly support team, taking part in development meetings, giving feedback on our brand new dashboard and more. Pauline described her time with us as a very fun and valuable experience. We hope Pauline’s positive feedback will lead to many more secondments at our office!
John Tomlinson from Sheffield City Council spoke about the Higher Education and Research Act and the implication for EROs. John has been the main instigator of legendary student registration success in Sheffield. John spoke once more (having previously done so at our event in July 2016) about how his team use our data matching and data mining module, in processing the data from universities to add potential student voters to the electoral register. Additionally John also spoke about preparation work, negotiations and funding possibilities for those who want to go down a similar route and increase the number of student voters on their electoral roll.
Then Rob Taylor, Paul Haworth, Marty Chakravarti, Andrew Dougan and Andrew Rowe from Halarose each presented a number of sessions, especially focussing on the canvass, year end and the various new functions we’ve developed in our EMS. These were engaging, fun and very useful.
After a full day of training, everyone enjoyed a relaxing atmosphere over dinner and got competitive solving some picture quizzes before continuing the event with the User Group Meeting (UGM) the next morning. On Friday there were twelve different topical tables to be visited over six sessions. This gave customers plenty of choice and meant that sessions were not overcrowded, which again allowed our team to focus on individual feedback and questions in more detail.
Big shout out to Cabinet Office representatives Scott Richards and Rory Kinane for supporting our event on Friday. Rory, Scott and our customers discussed current and future pilots as well as other various matters on the future of electoral processes.
Feedback from attendees in Birmingham was brilliant as usual and again emphasised the value of our User Group Workshops and Meetings. It was a great pleasure to see so many of our customers there despite the long and busy period they have recently experienced.
Thank you very much to everyone for attending and special thanks to those who presented over the two days. See you again in January 2018!