GA Conference 2018 - Post #9 - A quick run through what I got up to...

Before I move onto some posts with some detail in them, and catch up with a long backlog of other things I've set myself to do, here's a quick bullet-pointed run through of my 3 days at the 2018 GA Conference... Just one delegate's pathway through the event...

Image copyright: Geographical Association / Bryan Ledgard


  • Travel from home to Peterborough
  • Met Keith Grimwade (past GA President) on platform, and chatted
  • Journey to Doncaster, and then on to Sheffield, and up the hill to the University
  • Popped in and registered for conference, and picked up my #125GA pin
  • Went down to see the GA Archive which I'd helped to curate and chat to former GA colleagues
  • 125 cupcake and coffee - welcome and thanks from Alan Kinder and Nick Lapthorn
  • Checked into Novotel
  • GA Public Lecture from Daniel Raven Ellison - a real visual tour de force... and met up with Richard, Ellena and Matt, to discuss next weekend's Geneva IB Conference I'm involved with
  • GA Awards - Silver Award for Debates in Geography Education
  • Wine Reception at the Winter Gardens
  • Trial run of Beermeet venue: the Sheffield Tap
  • Breakfast with Bryan Ledgard - official photographer and designer of GA publications and other fine things - shooting the conference for the final time
  • Over to conference, and start of hundreds of conversations during the day, where I also walked 6 miles according to my watch, and took many confusing lift journeys
  • Coffee and checked half the exhibition
  • Spent time on the Ordnance Survey stand - #GetOutside Champion role
  • Nick Lapthorn's Presidential lecture
  • Setting up and co-presenting a workshop with Anne Le Brocq of Exeter University based on the Ice Flows Game which she has been developing - a packed room as always - this clashed with the SPC workshop run by colleagues on revision strategies
  • Lunch - a really delicious one with a great choice of pies, and plenty of bottles of Henderson's Relish - ate with Anne, and then with Ben Hennig and Tina from Worldmapper
  • Lecture on Plastic in the oceans
  • Went for a wander into the city as it was sunny and was not forecast to last, so headed for the city...
Image: Alan Parkinson

  • Caught the start of a lecture on M&S, and why geography matters to retailers
  • Lecture which featured the launch of the new Worldmapper website, which went live during the lecture
  • Up to the 10th Floor to help present a lecture for the Secondary Phase Committee - realised I'd left the opening resource in my case in my hotel room, so had to run over there and back - took me 7 minutes while the others covered, and then ran our workshop
  • Down to the Teachmeet venue, which was being set up, and onto the table with Richard Allaway, who was setting up a tripod and phone where he was live-streaming the event from. If you haven't seen the recording it's here. I'm on ten minutes or so before the end.
  • Managed to grab a beer or two while I watched the various presentations
  • Chatted to lots of people during the event - will be seeing some of them later in the year, when I keynote the Teachmeet GeographyIcons event in Birmingham
  • Out and back to the hotel to change, and then over to Pizza Express for a meal with the Secondary Phase Committee
  • Back and down to the Sheffield Tap for the Beermeet, and had a good chat with lots of the teachers who'd made it - an excellent turn out!

  • Breakfast with Steve Brace of the RGS-IBG
  • Checked out of the hotel
  • Over to the venue and left my case somewhere safe (with a note to myself not to leave it behind as I did at last year's conference) 
  • Coffee and the second half of the exhibition, and chats to people I've worked with over the years, including Tutor2U, British Red Cross and several publishers - picked up some postcards from the RGS-IBG, with the title of this year's Young Geographer of the Year competition on them
  • Hannah Fry Keynote lecture on data and everyday life - slickly presented and some good insights and ideas to 'borrow'... chat to Fearghal from the Water Diaries project, who was up next in the lecture theatre
  • Early lunch - good food again, with a casserole and mash - ate with Karl Donert and Luc Zwartjes from the GI Learner project I've been involved with for the last three years, and then down to a reception celebrating 100 years of GA volunteers - chance to have a glass of wine
  • Chat to Margaret Roberts, the doyen of Geographical Enquiry. I've been fortunate to know and work with Margaret over the 15 or so years, and she was curious about how we'd tackled some key geographical issues in the textbooks, in preparation for her next lecture - I think I got her seal of approval in the end...
  • Workshop for our GI Learner project, and a good turn out and some interesting conversations - see the blog post for more details on this, and a chance to come to Ghent in June to work with us
  • Down to the lecture theatre to set up for my final involvement: a lecture on place, which I had prepared along with Peter Knight of Keele University. A good turnout, and really good response, and was good to see a lot of young teachers there. Good chat to Carl Lee at the end, who had inspired my Teachmeet presentation
  • Packed up all my stuff - a few final conversations as I left, and some thank-yous, particularly to Lucy Oxley
  • Down to the train station to start the 4 hour journey home, via Doncaster and Peterborough

What were your favourite parts of the conference?