Yesterday was our first Social Liberal Forum Conference. In a few short months we went from worrying about whether there would actually be enough people to attend, to having standing space only!
(You can find out more about the SLF at http://www.socialliberal.net/)
Some great speakers (Will Hutton in particular was excellent - he struggled to get there and then spoke without any notes). It was good also to be able to hear from, and question, Vince Cable, Chris Huhne and Simon Hughes.
We made a point of not just inviting Lib Dem speakers and I personally was particularly interested to hear from Neal Lawson from Compass and from Halina Ward, an expert on the concept of sustainable development.
David Hall Matthews (chair of SLF) made the point that a few years ago the organisation was a smallish group and today there are around 1,500 members and more on a mailing list. I loved the point about the fact that we are now big enough to hold an event which runs itself without the Chair doing all the work!
As well as chairing one of the sessions, I made a point of lobbying Vince Cable re a Liverpool issue and spoke to Chris Huhne about another. (I took part in a bloggers interview with Chris Huhne which I'll write about separately)
Obviously there's going to be loads of follow up needed within the party as well as outside it but really very well done indeed to the team who did the legwork.
I took this picture (below) to demonstrate how significant the event became