25 October 2018

As a communications professional, I’m always on the lookout for events to attend where I can learn something new and network with other like-minded business people to help build my contacts within the industry.

When I came across the Comms Event hosted by the National Housing Federation, this ticked all the boxes, especially when the guest speakers were announced as this is always a deciding factor when choosing a worthwhile conference.

The Comms Event has high profile speakers from a broad range of backgrounds in marketing and communications, covering everything from crisis communications to digital marketing. The event also helps to address issues facing the sector such as mergers, engagement and transformation. Having recently been through a merger the 2018 event really helped us shape our plan when communicating the rationale for change and how internal communications can help steady the business during the change period.

The Comms Event is always a high priority on our team’s calendar for the year. It provides the right balance of networking and learning, with key takeaways to implement into a communications strategy. Highlights for me from the 2018 event were Amanda Coleman, Head of Corporate Communications at Greater Manchester Police who addressed the communications during the Manchester Arena attack. Wow… just wow! Jenni Field, Chair/ Director of CIPR Inside shared her expertise on internal communications and how it needs a seat at the table. I also enjoyed the seminar on digital marketing, as this is my particular area of expertise, and was blown away by Andrew Davis who is clearly a digital marketing genius. He explained how to make the customer the hero of the story.

There was some great insight from other keynote speakers such as Ed Fitzhugh from the Behavioural Insights team on how to communicate more effectively, and James Green from the National Housing Federation on innovation and the future of communications. Penny Haslam, a former BBC journalist was the chair of the event and kept the momentum going, as well as sharing what it is that journalists are actually looking for.

While someone from my team goes every year, 2018 was the first time I attended the event and it really delivered in terms of content and networking. Having the time to catch up with other communications professionals and bounce ideas off each other is a great way to work collaboratively, both across the sector and with the National Housing Federation.

It was through networking that I got the opportunity to join the advisory board for the Comms Event 2019, so I’m sharing my ideas and thoughts to help make next year’s event bigger and better.

Tanya Edwards

Tanya Edwards is Communications Specialist at Jigsaw Homes Group, based in the North West.

Making sure the Comms Event 2019 is the biggest and best one yet