In just about two weeks time you will be joining us in Eastbourne for the 18th National Playwork Conference and I am so excited that you will be here.
LET ME TELL YOU A FEW THINGS TO HELP YOUR JOURNEY BOTH TO AND THROUGH. Do read to the end as I have written all this to help you!
Look at the Conference website for up to date information on the programme. When you click through on the track names you will see all the content but as we are still finalising timings you will have to come back again and again to have a look and see the exact session times!
I hope you have already been looking at the website – the programme details are going up and we keep adding to it.
When you get to Conference you will be able to collect your PERSONALISED Conference Journey Planner [a book with everything you need to know] and an A3 page with a visual timetable of the sessions but before you arrive you can keep coming back to the website and we will have posted some pdf’s to look at online. It is a good idea to start your planning before you come! But you don’t need to print them off because you get them when you register – which you can do from Monday late afternoon.
Look at the website for lots of other useful information about travelling to Conference and what to do when you get here. Go to the General Information tab and look at all the sub menus.
If you are having any problems on your way to Eastbourne and the hotel and you need any help or guidance - here is my mobile number 07403 617149. Please call me on Monday or Tuesday and I will try to help you.
If you are driving in avoid coming down the A22 – it looks lovely but it is a slow road – especially from the M25 to Forest Row.
We are based in the same hotel as last year. It is the Cumberland Hotel and the entrance in just off the seafront on Devonshire Place. Please don’t arrive before 3:00pm [even to drop your bags off] as we will still be setting up in the Cumberland.
For those of you arriving on Monday our informal meeting place is the Belgium Cafe. This is also on the seafront and is more than a bar and restaurant - it has its own microbrewery in the cellars underneath. I have tasted many of the beers and I am impressed. They also have a really extensive food menu - I haven't eaten here so cannot give you an opinion. They will give all Conference delegates a 10% discount on the food. They also have pints of beer at £2.50 till 7:00pm. http://www.thebelgiancafe.co.uk/
To get the discount at these restaurants make sure you come by the Conference Office in the Cumberland Hotel to pick up your identifying label! Wearing your label identifies you as 'one of us' so if you see someone on their own who is also 'one of us' do invite them to join you or indeed if you are on your own and you see a group of 'us' ask to join them.
Also offering 10% discount are two of my favourite restaurants: Pomodoro e Mozzarella: http://www.pomodoro-e-mozzarella.com/ and the Premier Balti House: http://premierbalti.co.uk/. I have also been to the Great Greek Deli & Cuisine restaurant on Terminus Road and really enjoyed it [but not negotiated a discount].
After the Belgian Cafe closes and you want to continue to socialise we will carry on our networking in the bar and lounge of the Cumberland. The bar at the Cumberland will stay open till 2:00am and later if you are still buying [please drink responsibly and remember that you need to be able to benefit from being at Conference!]
Don’t forget that the Annual Playwork Award ceremony is on the Tuesday night. We like to encourage people to ‘glam up’. Dinner suits and ball gowns – but don’t feel you have to or that you will feel out of place if you don’t. I want you to enjoy the awards so please wear what is comfortable for you [physically and emotionally]. One year I did wear slippers!
There is a meal choice for the dinner [the full menu is on the website]: http://www.playworkconferences.org.uk/awards-evening/.
It is really difficult for us [but not impossible] to make changes when you arrive. In the past some participants have arrived at the hotel and want to have a single room – and there are none left; some people turn up on the Monday wanting a hotel room that they have not booked in advance – again they may not be available.
If you need us to make changes, please email me: email@example.com PLEASE DO NOT PHONE AS WE ARE REALLY BUSY sorting out the last few details. If we don’t understand or need to talk to you we will call you! Please make sure you include your telephone numbers in the message. If you want an additional hotel night the charge is £42.00 and the single room supplement is £12.50.
My almost famous bookseller will be with us and if there is a particular book that you want to buy [cheaper than Amazon] let us know and we will have it available. Also if you want any bulk book orders.
REMEMBER: You must have paid for your Conference ticket before you come to Conference as any late payments will incur a penalty. [The terms and conditions state: If payment has not been made by the time of Conference there will be a late payment charge of £75.00 (unless we have agreed by email that you can pay after Conference)]
If you have any questions, queries or comments then email me personally: firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to do everything I can to make this Conference experience really work for you