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Annual Conference

ASRA 2020 Message From The Chair

By PoppyHumphrey 09 Feb 2020

I think everyone will agree that 2019 in Aviemore was a memorable conference for all.

The new delegates event was well attended and it is great to see so many new faces joining the ASRA ‘family’ and engaging with our ethos of ‘bringing people together’. This has also encouraged higher attendance at the regional meetings where a range of topics have been shared and many of which are included in this year training programme.

I would like this opportunity to thank our existing and new exhibitors, sponsors and members for the support they give ASRA without who we could not have had such a successful event.

I would also like to say a big thanks to the people that work behind the scenes to bring all the pieces of the jigsaw together and ensure that everything is in place and goes smoothly, they are amazing and their enthusiasm is infectious.

So, the next stop is Southport another seaside destination although not as glamorous as many places, we know you will all enjoy what the team have in store for you this year.

I am aware that there are a vast amount of tightening of belts in the sector so it is really important that as the conference draws closer it’s time to cajole and convince your managers, owners and partners of the benefits of being at the largest student accommodation conference and what a VFM event it is.

If you need any convincing, which I doubt, I am sure you will all agree that the benefits of attending are amazing; the training this year will include member led discussions, supplier showcases, areas specific to Ireland, Wales and Scotland, cultural areas, legal issues and social media, to name just a few. We will once again encourage attendance on the Sunday afternoon for our University Challenge, which I know many missed last year due to travel arrangements, but those that did attend feedback received was how entertaining it was.

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Embracing Change’ and many of you will have been involved in this in your own workplaces and I am sure you will agree the title is apt as I am sure there will be more changes to come. I also need to remind you all that I will be standing down as Chair of this amazing Association at the Conference so if you are interested in the role please don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss what the role involves.

We will officially start the conference with a great keynote speaker, The SUMO Guy, Paul McGee, I am aware that some of you may remember him from some years ago but the session was so memorable that many of us still talk about it now and I often re-read his books and relate to them and chuckle. 

We encourage members to attend our Suppliers Showcases which gives our exhibitors an opportunity to reveal what they have to offer to a wider audience with a range of areas to suit all.

As always we have to thank all our old faithful and new exhibitors who provide us with a diverse range of stands and are always on hand to discuss and promote their wares in a great environment.

So why would you not attend…there is something for everyone, with a great opportunity to network, catch up with colleagues and share experiences, especially after the training events!

So thanks to all of you for supporting your Student Accommodation Association, we are the student accommodation people!

Look forward to seeing you in Southport!


Karen J Burke

#asra2020 – Embracing Change


PoppyHumphrey is ASRA Communications & IT Officer. Based at Manchester Student Homes
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