The SECC in Glasgow is Scotland’s largest space for meetings and events and the venue was host to the Scottish Green Party conference in October. And this year with an increase in 8000 members the SGP needed a large venue. I headed along to write an article for Conference News on Sustainability and I am piggy backing on this short review.
Scottish Green Party Conference Review
The Annual Conference for a political party is a kind of hybrid event. It’s a salmagundi. Part conference, part AGM with a bit of a Board Meeting mixed in. Sessions on the main platform alternate between “debates on motions” to traditional powerpoint driven plenary presentations. The event was not exclusive to members but certain sessions – mainly the ones where voting took place or policy tactics were being discussed – were closed sessions.
Keynotes and the key
But there was certainly enough for the non member. Like any conference guest speakers play their part. Poverty campaigner, author and Green Party member Dr Jack Munroe
was a major draw. She was also kind enough to help me choose a t-shirt for my Son!
Dr Jack Monroe at Scottish Green Party Conference
Non members were invited to speak as well and Lesley Riddoch
proved that star power has a positive effect even at political conferences.
Lesley Riddock at The Scottish Green Party
Voting is as old school as it is important. It’s strange these days to see green, white and red cards raised for voting. With 600 attendees the use of an event app with a good voting aspect surely wouldn’t go a miss!
Old School Voting. App posted missing.
The conference had a small exhibition with some interesting stands and was very traditional. It was a shame that with so many interesting topics – from fracking to animal cruelty – that the area didn’t have any kind of experiential element; a bit of creativity could have added much amplification to this area.
As with most political conferences it also had many fringe sessions run by groups within the Scottish Green Party and other bodies. This bit of texturisation gave a nice feel to the day.
My favourite touch was the solidarity flashmob to support an anti fracking event that was taking place across the Forth Road Bridge. It neatly combined with the press shot for the launch of the Scottish Green Party Trade Union Group.
Overall it was a good event. I was most surprised that a non member could attend a political conference. You may think, why would anyone do that? But there’s certainly a quite different experience waiting for you at a political conference and you might be lucky enough to see a star turn or two and being an event organiser is all about experiencing as many events as possible.
My sustainability article will appear as an “Opinion” piece in the December print edition of Conference News