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New to the IDPE Annual Conference?

Here is what to expect

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Tips for First-Time Delegates


We want you to really enjoy your first IDPE conference.  The sessions, workshops and roundtable discussions, along with the numerous opportunities to network, will all provide you with the information and support you need to develop your confidence in schools’ development and enhance your career.  We hope that the tips below will be helpful, but if at any time during the conference you have a question, however small, please head to the conference registration desk where the IDPE staff will be delighted to help you.  


Recognising who is who

You will notice that there is a blue sticker on your name badge, indicating that this is your first IDPE conference.  This will help you distinguish other “first-timers” and also enable others to recognise someone who may need a little help.


IDPE staff are easily identifiable by their red lanyards, and IDPE trustees and RVPs are indicated as such on their name badges.


Finding your feet and making new contacts

The IDPE annual conference is the largest gathering of schools’ development professionals in the UK.  You are surrounded by people just like you who are experiencing the same challenges. The people you meet during the conference could well form a vital support network for you in the coming years.


There are two networking opportunities specifically for first-time delegates to meet one another on Monday morning.  Hosted by IDPE staff, trustees and volunteers, these sessions will allow you to ask questions and find out more about the conference and about IDPE, as well as meet others who are in the same boat.  These sessions will take place in The Courtyard from 08:30 to 09:30 and from 10:30 to 11:05.  The second session will include a short presentation on how to maximise your conference experience.


Planning your time effectively

The quick session planner on the back page of the programme allows you to plan your time effectively and highlight those sessions you wish to attend.  


Please remember that the streams are there as a guide only. They indicate the main focus of the session, or the level at which it will be pitched, but you are very welcome to attend sessions within any stream.  


Making the most of opportunities to learn

You will be presented with numerous new strategies and tactics over these two days. Challenge yourself to take these new ideas and apply them to your development office.  


Don’t be afraid to catch up with a speaker after a session if you’d like to discuss a specific issue in more depth or ask their opinion on how you can apply their suggestions to your school.


Keeping focussed

With so many sessions and speakers, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the volume of information being delivered to you.  Rather than trying to write down everything, just jot down a few buzz words and key associations which will allow you to remember the most important points when you are back in the office.


The vast majority of presentation slides will be available to download from the IDPE website after the conference.  


Meeting the exhibitors

If you are looking for a new supplier or are simply wishing to make new contacts, do make time to visit our exhibitors who are some of the leading suppliers to the sector. The conference is an opportunity to tap in to their expertise, make preliminary enquiries or firm up an initial meeting.




‘It went beyond my expectations. This was my first conference having been in post for 2 years. I was overwhelmed at the number of sessions and was glad to be in a room with so many likeminded people who "get" development.’ [2016 first-time delegate]

'Fantastic introduction to the sector and a superb opportunity to meet and make contact with so many schools’ development professionals.' [2016 first-time delegate]

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