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Development of the RES Annual Conference

Annual Conference host universities-03

In 2022 the RES initiated a working group to review our Annual Conference. The hiatus created by the pandemic provided an opportunity to learn from previous years and explore which aspects of Conference should be developed. The working group surveyed members and non-members, consulted the RES Council, and agreed five focus areas:

  1. Financial sustainability: achieve a break-even budget
  2. Diversity: improve diversity of speaker, audience, and topic
  3. Venues: ensure a mix of host venues (location, size, facilities, and type of institution)
  4. Format and audience: time of year, day(s) of the week and accessibility of conference to a broad range of delegates
  5. Environmental Sustainability: Reduced carbon footprint.

Returning to an in-person event in 2023, the Conference Committee sought to implement the working group’s recommendations. This included an increased focus on the diversity of speakers across the General and Special Sessions and taking steps to reduce food waste and increase use of reusable or recyclable materials.

Recently the Conference Committee considered applications from institutions to host the Annual Conference in 2025, 2026 and 2027. In reviewing the applications, the committee paid particular attention to the criteria identified by the working group. Following this process, we are delighted to announce the hosts for future years as follows.

  • University of Birmingham – Monday 30 June to Wednesday 2 July 2025
  • University of Newcastle – July 2026
  • University of Sussex – 2027

Readers will note that the Society will be trialling a summer conference for two years following feedback from the survey.

For those attending the 2024 conference at Queen’s University Belfast, we hope you will notice changes and improvements including:

  • Further measures to reduce our carbon footprint
  • A diverse set of presenters and topics
  • Professional development sessions as well as traditional presentations

Your feedback is always welcome, so do contact RES Events Manager, Georgina Jenkins: events@res.org.uk.