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Keeping the conversation going: Insolvency Live! 2019

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As a stakeholder engagement manager at the Insolvency Service I’m responsible for organising the agency’s annual event for our stakeholders we call Insolvency Live! I’m fairly new to the role, having joined the agency in 2015 from Highways England, where I was a directorate business support manager.

Delegates at the Insolvency Live! 2019 event
During a break in the presentations, delegates were encouraged to keep the conversation going

Engaging with our stakeholders

The aim of Insolvency Live! is to encourage a collaborative relationship with our stakeholders. We already publish a regular newsletter, which is very well received, as well as a dedicated newsletter for insolvency practitioners. Our annual live event remains the best opportunity for us to meet our stakeholders face to face. Although I was involved in organising Insolvency Live! in 2018, it was great to be the organiser of this year’s event from the beginning.

Organising Insolvency Live!

It all started back in February. The Insolvency Service has a Stakeholder Engagement Board, which is made up of representatives from all corners of the agency. The board meets once a month. We began brainstorming ideas after the new year and looked at what the main insolvency topics of the year had been so far, and what issues were on the horizon.

The different groups of stakeholders that we work with have different interests. They include creditors, debt advisers and insolvency practitioners. If we want the event to be a success, it’s important that we strike a balance between the topics we cover, and that we provide engaging content that meets all our stakeholders’ needs. We like to invite guest speakers who work in different areas to achieve this. This year, it was a privilege to be able to offer the guest speaker slot to Daniel Kelly of the newly formed Money and Pensions Service.

The Stakeholder Engagement Board will continue to work together to pull together ideas for topics and agree on which ones offer the most interest for the event. For me, this is one of my favourite parts of the organising as we really get to review the year in insolvency and look at what other policies are being developed. When the topics are agreed I’ll look at how best to distribute them throughout the day into appropriate time slots.

With topics, sessions and formatting agreed, I’ll submit the plans to the Insolvency Service Board, the main decision board in the agency, made up of executive and non-executive members. I expect to receive lots of comments and recommendations from here, and so it proved again this year, with some ideas already being put forward to next year’s planning.  After this, I go out to the wider business pitching for even more ideas and to commission content and presentations.

Daniel Kelly of the Money & Pensions Service speaking at a podium at the Insolvency Live! event
Daniel Kelly of the Money & Pensions Service speaking at Insolvency Live!

Some breathing space

In previous years, we’ve hosted a ‘Trade Fayre’ as part of the event, where delegates could find more information on a range of different topics from dedicated stands. The stands were there for delegates to visit throughout the event. This year, I decided that our usual Trade Fayre would happen over the lunch break, so that it doesn’t break the momentum of the day.

The idea behind this was to give delegates a chance to take a break while keeping the conversation going from the morning workshops. 

This year, the sessions and workshops included information about Breathing Space, the new scheme which plans to protect individuals with problem debt, the Statutory Debt Repayment Plan, insolvency practitioner regulation, as well as an overview of how our legal and enforcement teams work together to tackle financial wrongdoing. We also provided stands hosted by members of our Official Receiver and Redundancy Payment Service teams.

Our vision for 2020

After the event, we got in touch with the attendees to ask for feedback. We’re pleased that the survey told us that 91% of the delegates found the event good or very good, 83% agreed or strongly agreed the event was informative, while 84% agreed they now have a better understanding of the work the Insolvency Service.

With Insolvency Live! proving to be a success this year, I’m already looking at what we can introduce to the event in 2020. We’re always open to requests, so email us to let us know if there’s anything from the insolvency world you’d like us to cover in next year’s event. Or you can leave a comment in the comment section below. We’d really like to hear from you.

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