Member experiences are key to developing a 650 Strategy for the Liberal Democrats, where we’re able to be active, compete and grow all around the country, all year round.That’s why we’ve launched our Activist Spotlight. Below, Tara talks about her first experience at Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference.
This year’s Autumn Conference in Brighton was my first ever big party conference. Despite having felt like a member for years, as a relative newbie I didn’t have many expectations going in though what I did have was a personal timetable with events I planned to go to but that went out of the window on day one. I instead embraced the relaxed nature of conference and resorted to a more casual approach by deciding what to do on the day.
Day one was overwhelming to say the least, there was so much to do, so much to see and so many people I wanted to speak to. As the days transpired I began to settle in better. Despite not being able to attend everything, from what I did attend I thoroughly enjoyed, the impassioned speeches on motions, the practical training sessions, the intimate fringes and of course, the infamous socials, from Lib Dem Disco to Glee Club, which I can now proudly say I’ve been a part of such jolly Lib Dem traditions.
Fast forward to the final day whilst listening to the closing speech delivered by Sir Vince Cable I couldn’t help but begin to feel emotional. It may have not been your loudest speech ever by a party leader but it was articulate, sensible and true of the reality we live in today which consists of a polarised country with political extremes. This was the speech we needed. His words resonated with me as someone who joined the Liberal Democrats only just a year ago, it re-affirmed exactly why I joined and I was left feeling optimistic about the future of the party and the vision it has to take the country forward.
I think it’s important to thank everyone who’s played a part in putting conference together, without those individuals on the ground, such an event would never be possible. This year’s conference has been a great start, I look forward to attending plenty more in years to come.