AGCAS Heads of Service conference at Conference Aston. This was my first time at the conference and I was there in my acting up capacity. As is usually the case with conferences, the best part was meeting people - especially to share ideas and compare experiences. I felt particularly welcomed by the East Midlands Heads of Service (we were trying to think of an appropriate collective noun for ourselves but didn't). Also, it was good to find people on Twitter, especially in meeting Michael Clarke from London for the first time (he was the other person at the conference tweeting!), Stephen McAuliffe (he looks very smart on his Twitter pic) from Nottingham, and Jon Christie from Falmouth.
The common themes of the conference were around demonstrating impact of activity, strategic positioning of careers within institutions (especially post Browne), and doing more with less. The institutions that seem to be making most headway are those where both opportunities to influence strategy are grasped and senior management are supportive.
Being relatively new to things careers I found the conference very helpful and colleagues very supportive. Whether I go next year depends on what happens to my acting up...
And, what post conference blog would be complete without a wordle of the tweet hashtag #agcas11 (thanks twitter archive and Wordle).