Conference 2013- FeedbackSt Thomas'

 

Friday Evening:

Good choice of DVD followed by an interesting discussion – Very pleased to have attended.

Enjoyed the film. 
The topics discussed generated very interesting debate afterwards with a lot of people contributing.
Venue fine: except it got a little hot towards the end of the evening.

The event was interesting.
The venue was OK
The subject matter was relevant
I am pleased I attended.

Would have liked to have come – but couldn’t.

Very interesting film.
Good central pub; didn’t stay for discussion afterwards, but pleased I attended.

Unable to attend: would have liked to have done so.  Will try to access the film from website.

Did not attend due to another commitment that came up unexpectedly.
The venue was in a central location close to public transport and carparks.

Excellent evening.
Venue was comfortable.
The DVD was both entertaining & informative.
I am very pleased I attended.

Unfortunately I could not attend because I was working until 9pm.

Really enjoyed this – Could have watched more.
Good debate after.
Venue Okay – liked range of real ales on offer.

I was unable to attend on Friday.

Good ice-breaker.  Interesting film and discussion afterwards.
Room was rather hot and cramped: but appreciate need for somewhere cheap & central –
So; ‘fine’!

Saturday:

A very pleasant experience.
The venue is excellent with a good lunch provided.  Other facilities are very good.
I am happy that I attended – An excellent; thought-provoking day.
Speakers were competent.  Sometimes speech was too quick.
Speakers relevant to conference title.
Support for non-religious people was well explained.  This was a patricularlly interesting aspect of this conference.

Keynote – good and relevant.
Break-out went on too long.  Objectives as specified seemed to differ from what the facilitator explained at the start.  So a fair bit of confusion ensued.
Lunch – very good.
Choir – Brilliant.
What BHA does – wasn’t too interested in history of BHA but enjoyed hearing about current campaigns & activities.
UKAFHA – Excellent talk.  Didn’t know what to expect but was informative and very entertaining.
Chinese Meal – excellent food; good company and a nice venue.  Only complaint – too much!

The event was excellent
The venue is fine.
The speakers were very good.
The lunch was very tasty and there was sufficient amounts.
I am very pleased I attended.

The event was well-run and the speeches interesting.
Venue very good – catering very good.
Diction of speakers made it difficult to follow some of the talks.  Sara spoke so quickly and indistinctly that I am afraid her contribution passed me by completely [Sorry Sara – as you obviously do a lot of good work.]

Venue good – close to train station – free parking – range of break-out rooms.  But acoustics mixed and no fresh air . . . food good.
Keynote – right length and I found it interesting.
Break-out sessions – slight sense of déjà vu – left me a little dissatisfied.  What was the purpose; just an ice-breaker?  Otherwise; are the discussions followed up and actioned?
I’m I the choir – enjoyed giving the performance.
Presentation by Sara Passmore – Found it over-long: a lot of detail and she spoke fast.  Hard to take information without visuals.
Presentation by R. Crosse interesting and well presented.  Useful information and some thought provoking issues.

Very comfortable and very appropriate – food good.
Speakers – all interesting … fascinating … stimulating.

Venue very good – catering excellent – use of time very good.
Relevance of topics well thought out to facilitate discussion.
Inspired me to further my reading on humanist issues and attending meetings.
A very enjoyable event in every respect.
Will be attending the next one – thank you.

Very good venue – but please: no halal meat!
Good location.
Variable day – Robin Crosse was the highlight.
Break-out group didn’t really work (group on ‘Delivering’ humanism) and with rest of day was rather too inward looking. [I enjoyed conference two years ago particularly; really inspiring speakers on ‘big’ issues (poverty, housing, environment etc)]

Good venue – good time-keeping – good food (except we should not have halal meat on offer simply because of animal welfare issues).
I enjoyed the speakers.
The first two were interesting but not inspirational.
The third was great and exactly right for the last slot.
I was thinking that ‘inspiration’ is what I really wanted from the event and Rob gave it.

The event was excellent – as was the venue and food.
The speakers and subjects were again excellent – although presentations could perhaps be limited to one hour.
For concentration / maximisation one hour & twenty minutes was a little too long a period.
Also the day presence (sic) could be reduced to say a 4.30 closure.
I was very pleased to attend.

The event was good.
The venue was very good.
The time was used Okay – when I first looked at the programme I thought there were too few speakers and too much discussion time, however it turned out well and it was clear that most delegates enjoyed the discussion time.
It was very good to have two more specialist topics – not often covered in such detail.
The catering was excellent – I am glad I attended.

Great venue –
Particularly enjoyed the David Pollock talk – great opening to the conference.
Thought the Sara Passmore talk was quite disappointing but she did acknowledge this and explained she wasn’t happy with it – and the reasons why.

Enjoyed the event – nice venue – good use of time – well planned.
Excellent speakers – interesting subjects.
Enjoyed Robin Crosse very much.

Really good programme.  All speakers good.
Topics I hadn’t expected to enjoy were fascinating [e.g. ‘Humanism in The Military’].
Perhaps some of the sessions are rather long.  John was mooting the idea of a Saturday-only event.
This would be good – less of a commitment – as long as there was still a varied programme.
Breakout Groups might solve this.
The session for Sara Passmore was rather heavy on the long history of the BHA – perhaps best read about separately; if interested.  But the rest of her talk, very informative.
Venue was very good – and catering.  Now I know what halal means I’ll avoid itQ
Venue was accessible by public transport & car and lots of parking.

Sunday:

Very interesting subject – food for thought.
Learnt a lot from this talk – very pleased to have attended.

Quite brilliant and inspiring talk by Amy Walden.
Worth coming to the conference for this alone.

Excellent speaker – very interesting.

The presentation and discussion relating to prisons proved to be very interesting and is obviously a very important aspect of our aims as humanists.

Amy was fantastic.  The most inspirational of the event.
There were clear parallels with Rob yesterday and if I managed to translate what I heard into action- then Amy’s talk will be the reason.
My ‘inequality antennae’ have been given a boost today.

Amy – excellent and inspiring.  Taking humanism into real world.

Very interesting – clearly we need to take funding from the source that funds the religious chaplains.

Amy – great!

Presentation by Amy Walden excellent.  Engaging speaker – very informative and inspiring.. . .

Amy’ stalk was very interesting … panel was good too.. . .

Discussion  - question-time … and excellent ‘food for thought’ ending to the event.

Prisoners a real eye-opener for me – very interesting – very positive & uplifting.
Question & answers – I felt certain members of the audience were given too much air-time.
It became something of a two-way conversation at one point.

A very interesting talk on an unknown part of society.
Again chaplaincy is proving valuable and helpful in prison service.
A stimulating morning – Humanist Question Time was a good culmination of the conference.

Again, all very interesting.
The probation officer was inspiring.

 

Any Other Comments:

I enjoyed the Chinese meal.

Many speakers thought they didn’t need the microphone – but they did!
The microphones weren’t good – they only picked up the voice if the mouth was very close to the microphone.
Food was very good.

Will come again – very good event.
Highlights – great speakers – Evan Davies was good (?!?)

David & Sara really came into their own in the question & answer session.

All who attended benefitted from the time well spent.

Would be nice if we did not have to split up for dinner.

Excellent conference – proud to have been a very tiny role in helping to arrange it.

Saturday evening – we need to stay together for the evening meal.

Ian’s intro and wrap-up summaries were very good.
Thanks to all who put time and effort to arrange the event.
Wasn’t impressed with the coffee – tasted cheap!

All sessions were relevant & interesting.
I’m glad I attended … will do again.
Than you.

Other Comments via e-mail:

Well done on a great job organising this weekend! It was a really put together event.

I just wanted to write to you and tell you how much I enjoyed the ‘Humanism in Action’ Conference.
I found it to be slick, professionally run, intellectually stimulating and most enjoyable.
I’m very sorry I could not make it to the Sunday session, but I found Friday and Saturday to be truly excellent.
Thanks for organising the event and I hope to see you soon.

Congratulations on the conference, it was clearly a mammoth organising event.
I found the talk from Amy especially interesting, she looks such a small person to get stuck into such a difficult task!

The Good stuff:

Possible improvements:

Other comments:

It was a pleasure to meet you at the Humanism in Action conference and I'd like to extend my congratulations on helping to organise and run a slick, intellectually stimulating, professional, highly interesting and enjoyable event. I hope I'll meet you again at other such events in the future.



 

Conference 2012- Feedback

 

Friday Evening:


[‘Question’] ‘How was this event?  What did you think of the venue? 
How relevant was the subject matter?  Are you pleased you attended? etc’

“A map of where the place was would have helped – also signs directing people upstairs would be useful. 
The DVD was good but perhaps a shorter extract and a longer debate? 
Venue reasonable: food very good [although a menu would have been nice]. 
Should have paid for a full-page ad’ for Julian’s talk on Sunday and sold extra tickets for a big name – don’t always rely on LSH website.”

“Interesting – I had not seen the video before – relevant – yes.”

“I could not attend because I was working.”

“A good idea.  Enjoyed the DVD and discussion afterwards … good ice-breaker.”

“Venue was fine (once we found it) – although confusing in layout. 
I enjoyed the ‘Four Horsemen’ video and found the subtle differences in emphasis of the speakers interesting.”

“I was planning to attend but pressure of work prevented me.  But it would have been a long way to travel for a few hours; I was commuting not staying in a hotel.”

“Interesting video and follow-up discussions.  Useful event to kick-off the conference. 
Glad I attended (but almost didn’t because I couldn’t find the room).  Would have been good to have some signs saying where the conference was being hld.
 [I asked a couple of (presumably Mason) men near the entrance ‘where the humanist meeting was’ and looked at me with something approaching contempt!”

“Enjoyed this ‘primer’ event – the Four Horsemen’ got me in the mod for debates on Saturday. 
Nice to have a drink and relax with some other conference-goers. 
The venue is fine (not too keen on the picture of the Queen); but very much like the men-in-aprons”

Saturday:


[‘Question’] ‘How was this event? What did you think of the venue?  How well was the time used?  How relevant were the speakers? What was the catering like? Are you pleased you attended? etc’   

“Very enjoyable day – good mix of speakers and discussion in workshops. 
Lunch was excellent. 
Enjoyed the speakers in the afternoon. 
Evening session and the dinner a good opportunity to socialise and get to know people from other parts of the North West. 
Enjoyed ‘making up a religion’ but even the most risible could not compete with the real thing.”

“I enjoyed the event – the venue was easy to get to and the facilities were good.  Food and refreshments were fine. 
One doubt was the evening session: which I though could have been more fruitful.”

“Well-arranged programme with interesting speakers. 
I particularly enjoyed Pavan Dhaliwal’s talk and was impressed with her dedication to attend the conference; despite obviously feeling unwell.
Bothe the buffet lunch and the dinner was excellent: but I was most unimpressed by the after-dinner speaker – due to the fact that he didn’t speak!!
I spoke to Martin during one of the breaks and he had some very interesting things to say (and also during the ’Question Time’ session); so I felt it was a missed opportunity to learn from him.
The group-activity that he initiated ‘create your own religion’ was just a blatant rip-off of Bobby Henderson’s religious satire ‘The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’.  The people on my table thought it was quite a silly exercise and we were reluctant to participate… I suppose it kept us awake after a long day and a good meal!”

“Venue fine, except: 1. Information about distance from rail-station completely inaccurate – it’s a good 15 – 20 minute walk. 2. Main room became hot & stuffy.
I enjoyed the slightly longer tea/coffee breaks and lunch: that allowed me to get to know members of local groups.
The ‘a.m.’ break-out session also served as an ice-breaker and it was good to see shared views.
Found update by Pavan valuable; but not easy (in the heat) to concentrate on a presentation without any visuals.
Found Callum’s session very interesting and well done – the personal; testimony of interviewees added a great deal.
Lunch – good selection & ample.  Enjoyed time to meet people.
Dinner – felt tired at end of day and needed time-out.”

“Thoroughly enjoyed.
Pavan did well with a cold – she could have done a power-point usefully (sic).
Enjoyed doing the Golden Pig!
Prof. Callum Brown’s talk very interesting.
Pro. Norman’s talk: good prep for Pavan’s talk.”

“Again – everything was fine.
Richard Norman’s talk was something that I regard as being very important for us as a movement – but also provided a seriously difficult challenge; as we all found during the break-out sessions.
It was most intriguing that the issue of education rose to the surface of every group discussion.
The buffet was excellent and the bar facilities convivial and comfortable.
I enjoyed [and found most encouraging] both talks from Pavan and Callum.  I learned a lot from both of them.”

“[For both Saturday and Sunday] - Honestly – found the venue depressing.
Speakers were excellent; but the Saturday morning session while interesting seemed not to have any real outcome or purpose.
Thought Pavan’s talk was very revealing in terms of what the BHA is doing – but only from her own personal perspective.
I’m not sure why: but I thought this year’s conference did a better job of getting us all talking to each other.
All-in-all a great conference.”

“The lunch was very good.
The talk by Pavan Dhaliwal was excellent.
The talk by Callum Brown was very informative.  I don’t know where else I could hear a talk like this, so it seems like a unique selling point for a conference like this.
The conference dinner was fine.
I was not so keen on the break-out sessions following Prof. Richard Norman’s talk because it seemed a bit pointless.”

“This worked out better than I thought it would.  The time for discussion / questions was about right – and well used.
Richard Norman very relevant to theme and handled the plenary discussions well.
Pavan Dhaliwal – very impressive.  Reason for optimism: BHA ‘PR’ seems in good hands.
Callum Brown – Interesting but not very relevant to theme.  A few personal recollections don’t really tell you much.”

“There was too big a gap between the end of session and meal: there’s not much to do in Preston for 1½ hours.  If it had been an hour earlier you could have at least gone to the shops.
Mr Poulton’s exercise was great – a talk after a meal can be tiring but this wakened everyone up again … could also be a good ice-breaker in future for Friday night.
Speaker were really good!”

Sunday:


[‘Question’] ‘How was this event?  Did you enjoy the speakers?  How relevant was the subject matter?  Are you pleased you attended? Etc’

“Yes – very thought provoking.”

“Julian’s talk provided plenty of variety and gave me new things to consider in my life . . . The ‘Question-Time’ was great fun.”

“A thoughtful and stimulating talk from Julian Baggini and a refreshingly ‘waffle-free’ panel (as you’d expect) from all our speakers, who made a thoroughly entertaining and very diverse group.  … Excellent!”

 

“Julian spoke in an original & stimulating way.
Panel – ‘brilliant’ – (but I’m biased!)”

“1. Enjoyed presentation  - The lesson for us as humanists in secular world will need to reflect still.
2. Q-Time session – Found it useful & interesting to have different perspectives.” 

“Really enjoyed this session.”

“Julian Baggini was excellent; nice to have a slightly different perspective on the humanist world.”

 

Any other comments:

“Attendance was disappointing and I wonder if the cost implications of spreading it over three days is a factor.  Would a ‘concentrated’ one-day event be more attractive to more ‘less-committed’ people.”

“The venue was fine . . . Very friendly conference.”

“I really enjoyed the whole weekend and congratulate everyone involved in making it possible.
Low attendance was disappointing, but had its advantages in giving a splendid informality to the proceedings.
I do think we should think about limiting the event to a maximum of two days though; if we want to encourage greater attendance.”

“Thank you.  I will join the Manchester Group.  Attending the conference helped me to make that decision.”

“Overall a very good event.  Many thanks to the organisers.”

“Thank you to Ian and John [et-al] for their work in planning and organising this excellent; informative and enjoyable conference.”

 


 

Conference 2011- Feedback

Friday Evening:delegates

Interesting introduction [pleased I attended].

A good idea for an 'icebreaker'; perhaps more encouragement should have been made to get people there.  The film was a good idea and then the discussion afterwards: however; the downside was the venue!  Not the nicest of places!

Venue adequate for numbers.  Good idea – relevant – some challenging views and good discussion.

Yes I was pleased that I attended.  The video and discussion were interesting.  The venue was conveniently located next to a principal railway station.  The AV facility was adequate.  The furniture (chair) was not very comfortable.

Did not attend (England on TV) but would aim to do so next time.

I am pleased I attended as this is my first visit to a BHA group or conference.  This smaller group gave me the opportunity to meet a few people and listen to their opinions on humanism. The Sam Harris video was easy to understand and a good introduction to the conference for me.  The venue was OK – but not an ideal setting.  Good to meet in a social setting but I didn't like the pub setting.  Good location.

Good event.  Didn't like the venue ('till I heard it was only £20).  Toilets unacceptable for a conference event.  Subject matter relevant – even if I didn't really understand or agree with Sam Harris.  Pleased I attended as I felt I knew more people the next day.  Maybe a break in-between two shorter DVDs would be better – so people could get a drink in-between.  Maybe some small nibbles (even if just cheeses & pineapple on stick) to try to make it a more social event.   

Good opening, particularly for outsiders (like myself) and for anyone not too familiar with the ideas of Sam Harris.

Sam Harris DVD very interesting – and good discussion too.  Venue OK – (central) … glad I came.

Enjoyed the evening overall – slightly disappointed with video – I'm not that interested in Sam Harris's 'hobby', simply because it is not at all contentious and doesn't involve supernatural.  Would have preferred The Four Horsemen.  The rest of the video was very interesting.  I am pleased I attended.  Enjoyed the discussion and the venue was OK.

Enjoyed the video and the discussion.  Waldorf is a bit shabby but suitable for purpose.  Glad I attended.

Possibility to work more closely with LGBT groups could be very worthwhile (i.e. profit from our alienation from many organised religions).  Films & location worked against this, so / chose les /gay mtg [sic].  Any chance to see films at another meeting?

 

Saturday:

Absolutely excellent.

Good pleasant venue with good catering.  I think the time was used very well; not too long, perhaps the break-off sessions in groups could have been given just one word to discuss and given a little more time – it did feel a little rushed.  But I am pleased I attended.

Venue good – good speakers.  Catering was fine – the plates would have been a bit small for dinner but were more than adequate for lunch.  Nice to have cooked food – not just sandwiches.  Interesting enjoyable day – no shortage of questions and discussion.

Very enjoyable event – well organised.  Venue suitable for the size of conference.  Enjoyed the presentations and discussions.  Panel discussion was an excellent idea. The task for the break-out groups was a little overly-intellectual: some group members felt the language was elitist and inaccessible.  Good tea, coffee & lunch arrangements.  I had some difficulty hearing presentations and discussions and questions if delegates did not use the microphone properly (or at all).

I found the event to be very interesting and intellectually stimulating.  The speeches were good.  The venue was very good.  The main hall was just the right size for the number of delegates.  The AV facility was adequate.  The venue is conveniently located just a short walk from a principle railway station.  The refreshments were good and plentiful.

Very enjoyable.  I would personally like to see the Sunday schedule extended to a full day.  This would allow time for a second (possibly 3rd) break-out session (eg Saturday afternoon and Sunday).  To avoid travelling each day I would propose a venue that provided accommodation / meals at a reasonable price (better networking environment).  The STC was quite a nice venue but was a little cramped in the main hall / refreshments area and isolated from hotels / restaurants / transport links.  Evan Harris was the 'stand-out' speaker.

OK; problem with hand-held microphones; one of our members left after Sat am.  Some lack of focus on '21st Century' theme. Evan H & Andrew interesting and clear. Sp discussion [sic] enjoyed by participants – perhaps could have had a more focused outcome.

[Again] I liked the programme for the day, very varied approach.  I thought the venue was excellent & food good too.  It was good to have speakers from BHA – and especially found Andrew Copson encouraging.  I benefitted from the breakout morning group but recommend one more of them sometime over the weekend programme, to encourage idea sharing on a smaller-group level.  The Question-Time was good and the Big-Question gave us opportunity to listen to the views of all speakers prior to the Question-Time.  I am interested too in increasing the interest of Humanism in the age group under-25s – I was disappointed not to see under-25s represented at this conference and recommend a concession rate for attendance to enable attendance.

Venue excellent – facility, layout, catering and cost. To be used again!  But acoustics are a problem even with a mike: could organisers check audibility from back of hall as a routine?  Question-Time very good – both the questions and the panel's responses.  Some concern over the 'Big-Question' format session.  I felt it was a bit of a miscellany, even if the bits were interesting.  Would question whether Ray Tallis' input was as relevant as the others.

Good event – good venue: maybe lunch was too long.  A cold buffet would have been easier … easier to mingle whilst eating & talking standing up.  Break-out sessions were a bit intellectual!  Didn't really understand the question.  It didn't stop any discussion though.  I fell into the trap of sitting next to my group members.  Maybe would could have sat with break-out group after the break-out session.  Enjoyed the evening meal idea – better to have small groups so that you can talk to each other rather than everyone going to the same place.

Very pleasant but acoustics poor.  Lunch break a little long.  Food good.  Panel session a little long & repetitive but audience participation good.  Actual topic – 'Humanism in 21st Century' not focussed on very strongly but each speaker had something interesting to say.

Good event – particularly for an outsider like myself – superb! So glad I came!  Some speakers weren't brilliant at using the microphone optimally – perhaps lapel microphones could be better.

Excellent!  Venue & Catering – speakers too.  Break-out groups worked well … an excellent day!  One thought was to add something a little light-hearted & fun (eg during breaks – flip chart on tables or walls … write up Ten best / Ten worst songs for funerals … or even have a sing-song).

The event went very well.  The venue was ideal.  The speakers were excellent.  The catering was very good.

Excellent in all aspects.  Important to have Andrew (or someone from 'Central BHA Office') at these localised meetings.

Enjoyed the day.  Well organised and interesting speakers.  Liked the interactive group sessions – but the facilitator should have taken more care not to let some people dominate the discussion – and to bring in people who were sitting quietly; or about to speak but shouted down by the pushier ones.  Also needed to focus the group to sticking to the point/question.  Lunch was very nice.  I'd have liked a conference dinner rather than go out separately/ Venue – good that it was close to town and had ample parking.

Venue clean but acoustically poor – lot of reflected sound making it difficult to make out what some speakers were saying … especially those that talk fast.  Lunch time could be reduced.  Talks and topics good and interesting.

Good venue.  Good layout of tables.  Felt well attended.  Refreshments & food good.  Facilities; equipment; location & parking good.  Speakers good and relevant.  I am pleased [I attended].

As a relative newcomer to the BHA it was good to have the opportunity to meet other members of local groups.  It was good too to hear Andrew Copson.  His morning address was impressively comprehensive, showing (I feel) great insight and clarity … (and Marilyn Mason).  I found the whole event both stimulating and enjoyable: well organised and chaired (kept to time-table very well!)  All contributors gave well-prepared and thought-provoking papers though it would have been good if they'd had a little longer to speak.  I appreciate that would have been difficult without curtailing the very valuable 'Question-Time'.  Excellent venue & catering … Looking forward to the next one!!

Everything was excellent.  Well-structured day with a mix of formats.  Interesting and animated speakers covering a range of relevant topics.  Venue appropriate for the purpose.  Catering fine.

Venue excellent.  Warm & spacious.  Good for parking.  Food lovely but plates small!  Speakers excellent.  Made me think and content very relevant.  Enjoyed the 'Question-Time' etc.  Very knowledgeable speakers.  Mr Tallis a little too academic and not clear.  Everyone OK.

The acoustics rather poor – The speakers were often standing in front of the screen.

Great venue – great speakers – good discussions.  Lunch & drinks were excellent.  Would have preferred to have had some fresh fruit-juice / cordial with lunch.  Room became hot and airless toward end of day.  Glad I came.

Copson – good questions to launch conference.  Break-outs – would have liked more time to do two groups ie different topics/perspectives (though in practice seemed that discussions converged) and less lunch.  As we had time for GALHA meeting, this used lunch-time more effectively, but for others, time could have been better spent in two break-outs.  Panels – good, open debates.  Venue etc – good, though apparently hearing loop had problems for users.  Convenient for city, at lower costs than hotel meeting rooms and had good 'community payback' values.  Does [Castlefield] Youth Hostel offer conference facilities with low-cost accommodation on site?  An idea for Liverpool; Chester; Lake-district conference venues.


Sunday Morning:

Great.

1st Speaker – interesting. A lot to take in – perhaps too many statistics.  Couldn't answer people's questions fully. 2nd Speaker – easier to listen to.  A very interesting talk.  Food for thought.  A good speaker.

Spirit Level – very interesting but difficult to know how to do anything about it.  Humanism For A Better World – may be of value to raise visibility of humanism.  I don't think the issues are uniquely humanistic – many religious people are concerned about these issues.

Well informed and interesting speakers – relevant to humanism and too much of the discussions had the previous day.  I am pleased I attended.

I very much enjoyed the talk by Kathryn Busby of The Equality Trust.

Including another break-out session would improve the balance of the programme.  Session 1 – talked far too quickly with a lot of bullet-points on OHP to focus on.  Session 2 – Excellent – will be joining H4BW!

Extremely good – both speakers … for me the best thing of the weekend.  MM interesting & will look at joining the group however I still feel the odds are overwhelming.

Lecture 1 – Inequality – even though the statistics [? illegible] were interesting I felt the speaker needed further support from colleagues to deliver this subject.  Lecture 2 – Marilyn Mason – very encouraging too and detailed the appropriate action to support H4BW campaigns; after working on campaigns for 13 years from 1990 to 2003 in another organisation.

Very relevant indeed – a logical and practical culmination to the conference addressing its theme directly… (couldn't pick up Kathryn's comments clearly but maybe my hearing is responsible as much as the acoustics)

Very interesting – did not know there was a separate environmental humanist group.  What other separate humanist groups are there?

Best bit of conference for me – two clear calls for action.

Both good speakers – relevant material.  But both were highly political and the presentation by Marilyn in particular might have been better from a specialist on climate change & peak oil rather than a non-specialist humanist.

Very good to widen the debate & focus beyond Humanism to wider society issues.

Equality Trust Debate – speaker was fine although I am always wary about graphs; having used them myself to my advantage in the past.  Global Warming Debate – very good debate.

Good – Kathryn's speech quite short and Q & A quite long – would have liked a bit more talking by Kathryn.  Sunday's speakers were given fixed microphones – much better than hand held!

Good topics – good talks.

Equality Trust – Vital, interesting area where humanists could get involved.  Marilyn Mason …'as above'.

I found the whole event stimulating and enjoyable: well organised (kept to time-table very well!)  Both contributors well-prepared and thought-provoking though it would have been good if they'd had a little longer to speak. 

Plenty of time for discussion – positive.  Speaker content analysed problems well but did not offer enough solutions; so I came away less optimistic.

Superb – made one think and inspired one to talk to others.  Also frustrated about 'ignorance' of general public on these issues.  Humanists could draw a great deal of info to pass on.

Good speakers and interesting original topics.  Glad I came!

Kathryn Busby – brilliant topic to talk to potential humanist supporters about and show how positive our values are of faith groups [sic].  Marilyn – useful Q & A's.


Other Comments:

Very positive.  Well balanced.  Very encouraging.

Overall a good conference; a very good first attempt.  Very valuable information.  Nice to meet new people and hear different views.

Arrangements for dinner worked better than I thought they might.  Would it have been possible to have dinner in the St Thomas Centre?

I hope this is not the first and last NW Humanists conference.

The conference fee was low, which was appreciated.  Overall verdict – excellent!

I will hopefully be able to attend next year's event and will try to get up to other talks etc during the coming year … perhaps the use of non-plastic folders next time!

Congratulations on the organisation of the weekend.  Very worthwhile.

I realise it is hard to put a conference together that caters for a range of different levels of knowledge however I feel the pitch of the conference was good for a beginner like myself, however suggest a range of workshops that would 'challenge' the well-read amongst the attendees.

Really valuable in contacts, content etc.  Good speakers and quality of contributions from the floor.  A successful inaugural!  Might the two days have been reversed?  Using Sunday talks to set the scene at outset.  Perhaps too much driven by participants interests and concerns?  Did we really focus on the key issues?

A sign outside both venues would be good (also a free advert!).  I have hearing problems anyway but I struggled to hear all the speakers and questions from the floor.  Encourage people to come by train! – later start time?

Very good atmosphere generally: lots of incidental exchanges of views and experiences.  Good to see groups working together.

An excellent conference – can't wait 'til next year.  Congratulations to the organisers – can't fault it!

Although the Saturday discussions were very good, the sound systems were a little indistinct at times.  For me the time-span was a little too long on Saturday.

May be good to have concessionary prices for students / younger people. 

I appreciate that many are against 'evangelical humanism' however; having been entrapped in religion for half my life I wish someone had taken the time to help me escape earlier.  I feel we should give some attention and budget to "make more humanists".

Acoustics are not great – high ceiling venue and poor microphone technique by nearly all the speakers and organisers.

Good networking and chance to build friendships within humanism.  Arrangements very good.

Excellent venue and catering – looking forward to the next one!!!

Overall it has strengthened my desire to be an active humanist.

Sound quality with microphone was difficult – venue needs more softening.

Really enjoyed the conference.  Good chats with members and well organised.  I am going away re-enthused!!

Will definitely try to come to next year's conference

Has anyone taken notes of meetings?  Eg Weblink, book titles, organisations etc that people have mentioned? Good if they could be circulated. [I've noted a few, will let you have them].