I do like a good conference. Today I attended the CIPR Northern Conference, largely in my capacity as Y&L Committee member but I was glad to go and help out as as I’ve found I can get a lot from a conference. They can be very refreshing – hearing a different perspective on things, picking up some nuggets of wisdom and meeting new people.
And then there’s the speakers. Today they were mixed but there were a few that stood out. Heather McGregor was funny, direct and made me feel entirely inadequate. I was stunned to hear how with three children, a high profile headhunting business, an FT column and regular writing work with the Guardian and Times has still found time to learn to fly (she flew herself to Yorkshire yesterday!), to shoot Grouse, and other countless interesting and exciting things. I found myself sinking into my chair, feeling bad that I don’t update this blog enough, that I still haven’t found time to put those things I want to sell on Ebay and that I have a pile of ironing that is slowly turning into the Tower of Pisa. And there she is learning to fly for God’s sake.
Yasmin Diamond, Head of Comms from the Home Office was a close second in the inadequancy stakes – a real high flier, yet down to earth and with a huge job. She seemed to work about 18 hours a day!
One of the biggest surprises was Alastair Campbell. He was interesting and engaging, particularly when talking about the inside track of government. But I didn’t expect him to be so charming, there was a confidence yes, but not the arrogance I assumed he’d portray. I was loath to leave the Q&A session but nursary collection called.
I’m now following him on Twitter and I’ve subscribed to his bog.
And then after all that, after picking the children up, providing snacks, hugs and a bed-time story, gorgeous girl decided to spring a blinder on me.
Mummy – where do babies come from?
I’ll tell you about that one tomorrow
On the Heather/Yasmin quandry though I met a lovely lady today called Bridget Batty from LimeTree Public Relations. Over lunch I expressed my horror at my lack of achievement in the flying /shooting stakes. She reminded me that Heather’s children are probably much older than mine. I’ve checked it out and she’s right, they are.
So there’s hope for me yet, but for now I think the sky’s of Leeds are safe.