Preview: ASRA 2018
Niamh Banks, ASRA Communications Officer, tells us what's coming up at this year's Association for Student Residential Accommodation Conference
ASRA’s 21st Birthday
ASRA comes of age this year as 2018 sees us celebrate 21 years of the association. We have a programme of events brimming over with options for everyone this year. From our fantastic training and development programme, to the ever-popular exhibition and brilliant social and networking events.
The Venue: Hilton Birmingham Metropole
Situated in the heart of England, Birmingham is an incredibly accessible location. Only minutes away from NEC and Birmingham International Airport, it is easy to reach by air, road or train. There is also a complimentary shuttle bus operated by the hotel which brings guests directly to the front door. It is also only a short stroll from the NEC for those of you who would like to make the final stage of your journey on foot and enjoy the nature walk around the lake.
As always our conference programme starts on the Sunday with our ever-popular Hot Topics Forum. This is a perfect opportunity for delegates to meet the ASRA Committee and to pick the brains of colleagues on the hot-button issues in student accommodation.
The New Delegates Meet ’n’ Greet on Sunday also gives the opportunity for those new to ASRA and to student accommodation to mingle, mix and get to know some of the many faces they will see over the conference.
Monday as always starts with a fabulous keynote speaker and the ever-popular ASRA for Life! We are looking forward to presenting our annual update and, of course, the much-anticipated election of new members to the committee. Positions coming up this year include ASRA Chair, ASRA Training Officer and ASRA Communications Officer. This is the perfect opportunity for members who haven’t been involved to date to bring their experience and expertise to the committee and association at large.
Training & Development Programme
There’s a very exciting training and development programme this year. With six strands on offer to those attending, there are many training options available:
Red Stream: Halls or hotels? The changing face of student accommodation; Scottish property issues; The student accommodation contract and compliance with consumer law; Practical techniques for handling complaints.
Blue Stream: The road to success The Famous 5; Student mental health and accommodation 101; Of booze and (light) bulbs: using behaviour change theory to tackle accommodation challenges; Significant other support; Transgender 101.
Yellow Stream: How UAL deliver the UK’s leading student-led events and engagement programme; Positive mental health and wellbeing in student accommodation: an evidence-based approach; Easy Arrivals: no fobs, no keys, no queues; From Australia to the USA, a global approach to student experience; Release the child within and unlock your full potential.
Pink Stream: The boundaries and expectations of residential peer support system; Engaging estates – the art of communication or harmonious estates; An introduction to Prevent: working together to safeguard students and staff; Introduction to conflict management.
Orange Stream: Through the eyes of the students; Working with colleagues from different cultural backgrounds; Rice cookers, fire drills and a whole lot more: understanding our Chinese students better and our Green Stream: Understanding unconscious bias.
This year our supplier showcase offers us a variety of options for delegates. Star Rez: create an engaging student accommodation journey with StarRez; Chapps: Organising your student accommodation inspections and building inspections; Mercury RMS: A tailored experience for staff and students; Campuslife: Gen Z are here: Student life in 2019; Optify PCCW Global: Student internet – back to the future.
This year’s keynote address is from Andy Whittaker, a trainer, best-selling author and frustrated comic. He also trains in the area of neuro linguistic programming and time line therapy and brings to ASRA ‘The Art of Being Brilliant’, an inspirational and thought-provoking look at the modern workplace, with a humorous twist. He will bring ASRA delegates through an introspective on the crazy world we inhabit and give us the antidote to the problems it presents. This is one keynote speaker that is not to be missed!
The Annual Exhibition
Alongside our jam-packed training programme, our annual exhibition gives our delegates the chance to meet some of the key suppliers to our industry. The exhibition runs from Sunday until Tuesday and there are countless opportunities to spend time on the exhibition floor, and don’t forget the many brilliant competitions and prizes up for grabs for all delegates.
And, of course, ASRA would not be ASRA without the opportunity for delegates to network, mingle and draw on each other’s experiences and support. Sunday sees everyone together for our networking event in the exhibition area. This gives delegates and exhibitors alike the opportunity to meet and greet and see what trends, changes and developments have come up in student accommodation during the last year. Afterwards there is some free time for new delegates to continue meeting people from all over the industry and returning delegates to renew old friendships and connections.
Monday night brings a race night with a difference – ‘Horses, Hogs and Hounds’. After we’ve all dined and digested, there will be some fun times betting with ‘fun money’ on these alternative races. The competition is open to everyone to see who can accumulate the most fun money on the night and be the most successful punter of the evening.
Tuesday’s Gala Dinner will see all invited to the coming-of-age party for ASRA’s 21st birthday. What is sure to be an amazing evening of celebration and memories. Get your glad rags on and join us for what is sure to be the party of the year!
Don’t forget to follow us on social media throughout the conference: @ASRACONF
#asra2018 #asra21 #asraforlife
ASRA Conference & Exhibition, March 25-28, Hilton Birmingham Metropol
ASRA 2018 Annual Conference & Exhibition, Sunday 25–Wednesday 28 March 2018 at Hilton Birmingham Metropole
ASRA 2018 Annual Conference & Exhibition, Sunday 25–Wednesday 28 March 2018 at Hilton Birmingham Metropol