Our annual research conference has been named best in its category at the Association Awards UK 2020.

The Keeping clients at the centre of research conference took the award for Best Online Conference at a virtual ceremony on Wednesday.

Our CPD, events and research teams successfully turned it from a flagship physical conference to an online event just six weeks after the national coronavirus lockdown on March 23.


The judges said: “Very impressed this was turned around in just six weeks.

“A huge success for the organisation, pulling together the relevant teams across the business to support members in their practice during the pandemic.”

Our 25th annual research conference, which was held in May, brought together live and webcast elements and achieved huge member engagement.

Members were able to choose from a range of presentations, submit questions to hosts and to network with other practitioners in our chatroom.

Free to members

It was free to members and attracted just under 1,000 delegates, with an on-demand service running until the end of August.

Hadyn Williams, our chief executive, said: “Our research conference is a flagship event and there was a danger we would have to cancel it.

“But thanks to the dedication, skill and hard work from our teams, we were able to transform the conference from a physical event to a virtual one.

“It was a significant challenge for us, but one we rose to, and to have our work recognised by an external body is hugely pleasing."


We were also shortlisted for our Member and Public Covid-19 Response (MaPCoR) campaign in the Best Member Support During Covid-19 category at the awards.

The campaign aimed to identify and fulfil the changing needs of our members and their clients, and to create the best possible experience during the pandemic.

Our team, who were all working from home, developed and delivered a comprehensive suite of resources.

This included our dedicated Covid-19 micro-site; FAQs aimed at practitioners, businesses, counselling services, students and trainers; and collaborations with external partners such as Open University to bring specialist knowledge, insight and resources to our members.

Hadyn said: “The lockdown presented our members with a seismic change in their circumstances, the likes of which we’ve never experienced before.

“Our MaPCoR campaign was born and provided members with much-needed guidance and support during this challenging period, all while we successfully moved our workforce to a virtual working environment.


“I’m proud of how we’ve continued to anticipate, serve and exceed our members’ expectations throughout.

“To have that work shortlisted for such a prestigious award is a real pat on the back for everyone involved.”