The CTSI Symposium 2021 is now over. You can see photos of some of the highlights here: https://www.journaloftradingstandards.co.uk/symposium-2021/
COVID-19 forced our hand in 2020, making it necessary to move our annual event online. It is for this reason that after much deliberation, CTSI is thrilled to be able to host a face-to-face event from September 28-30 – a little later than planned.
We are in a fresh, new venue in Birmingham – we haven’t been to the city since 2002, previous to that was 1895. That year marked the fourteenth time that the profession came together in a conference format. Other momentous historical events that occurred in 1895 include the FA Cup being stolen from a Birmingham shop window, the National Trust being founded and the first Rugby League game to be played in England.
The venue for this year, the aptly named Eastside Rooms, is situated in the east of the city centre, a stone’s throw away from the Birmingham City Council offices. There are several exciting new developments in the city, and 2020 saw the launch of this fantastic venue in what is known as the Knowledge Quarter. The design combines innovation with Birmingham’s industrial heritage, while the linked Aloft Hotel is part of the Marriott chain and features more than 200 bedrooms with a large restaurant and cocktail lounge.
Outside the venue, you can experience forward-thinking architecture or explore Birmingham’s majestic waterways, lined with history and culture. Birmingham is well-known for shopping and boasts many eateries and drinking establishments. It truly has something for everyone. Its excellent transport links make it easily accessible and we hope to see delegates attending Symposium from across the UK.
CTSI’s annual event is always the topic of much discussion, not just here at Head Office but also throughout the profession. You may remember we had planned changes for 2020 based upon your feedback, and we are happy to tell you that we have kept these.
The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that the event will run Tuesday to Thursday this year. We want to see if this is preferable for attendees and employers. Status International, the UK’s leading independent supplier of lighting and electrical accessories, continues to be our main sponsor.
For the fifth year running, trueCall, a UK-based call monitoring service, is sponsoring the notepads. We are also proud to announce Civica, a global digital solutions provider, will sponsor our Welcome Drinks on Tuesday night. The team is working with the Branch to look at an informal eve-of-Symposium meet for those who arrive early and are about on Monday evening.
Plenary preparations have also commenced, and following the feedback received in 2019 and 2020, we will look to offer more best practice-based examples for you to enjoy. The political, practical and professional focus will be maintained to provide a broad range of information for everyone. We will ask session holders who have purchased seminars to provide an early indication of their topic and to focus on education.
Book your place to join us in Birmingham via the booking system; full details are available on the CTSI website. Tickets for seminar sessions will be released in July. The tabletop exhibition remains a cost-effective way of delivering the event free of charge to our members. We will have a recharge station available in the exhibition hall with a small amount of cash catering for those who need food on the go. The team continues to look at ways of widening our audience to provide better networking opportunities for all.
We were disappointed that we never made it to Southport – the venue leaseholder went into administration at the beginning of the pandemic – but all is not lost, we will continue to work with Sefton Tourist Board to ensure that we get a date to go back there as soon as possible.