By Andrew Callaghan

Andrew Callaghan, Intelligence and Impact Officer at Knightstone Housing Association comments on why he believes House Party offers an alternative to the standard conference circuit and every housing innovator should attend.

This blog was originally published on the Data Mapper blog – click here to access the blog.

Very much like Open Data and Open Source software have become the norm, it’s time that collaboration and innovation becomes Open too. To be Open, requires it to be free and have the input from everyone who attends. House Party will be the first event run for housing professionals which will run on a pay what you can basis. The first conference where the content is created by the delegates for the delegates. House Party will provide a platform for all the amazing talent within Housing who don’t fit the sector’s typical conference delegate profile.

Innovation can be the big ideas that you think could revolutionise the sector or sharing what you do with likeminded people around one of the sofa sessions. Maybe you are beginning or working on a project and want to create a network to co-collaborate on the approach and practice. Take the opportunity to contact House Party, tell them all about it and they will help organise and promote a session at the Party.

You know that really cool new tool or product that you think would be great for your organisation but there is no way senior managers would consider it. What if we all developed the thinking around these ideas and products at the Party, culminating in the publishing of The Future of Housing according to the House Party.

“It’s not for me” you say, “managers go to that kind of thing”. Normally, I would agree with the above statement but that’s where House Party rips up the rules. Pay what you can, means if you can’t afford to pay then don’t pay. With some conferences costing up to £350 a day, it goes some way to explaining why our organisations are not offering us all the opportunity to attend. All you need is a way to Manchester and a manager willing to give you the time to attend.
Some of the best ideas and biggest breakthroughs in my own role have come from attending events and conferences. The top tip from one of the speakers or the web link to the free tool they use.

Ever wish there were more people who did what you do in your own organisation so you could share and collaborate with them? House Party offers the chance to meet those people and others you may never have encountered at a traditional conference. House Party plans to have not just Housing folk but a diverse set of people who share a passion for social change and innovation.

In order for me to learn, be inspired, develop my ideas and create the networks to make those ideas a reality, requires House Party to be heaving.

Click here to go to the dedicated House Party website www.houseparty2014.organd book your ticket.