Informative, illuminating: never a dull moment learning about our heritage

Mary McKean, former chair of the Regency Society and, with her husband John, the driving force behind the REGENCY SOCIETY WEEKEND, shares feedback from attendees and the lessons we learned from putting on the event.

We wanted everyone to have a stimulating, interesting and enjoyable time at the Regency Society Weekend – and you tell us that’s exactly what happened.

As one attendee wrote on the feedback form, “I will remember it for the rest of my life. Everything from the carrier bag to the CD to the entertainment was beautifully carried out.” 

You especially enjoyed all of the content – particular high points were the presentations by Lucy Adlington (top right) and Ivan Day (2nd from top) at the Old Ship on the Sunday, Sue Berry’s session in the symposium and the soirée in the Pavilion on the Saturday evening (3rd from top), although almost every one of the 27 presenters (speakers, expert chairs, event leaders and musicians) came in for praise one way or another. 

“Never a dull moment – informative and illuminating,” said one attendee. Another wrote, “It is a long time since I used my brain so often in such a short period! Hard work but so enjoyable!”

Fun and friendliness

One strong impression was the fun and friendliness – from presenters and other participants – that everyone experienced while learning about our heritage.

There was special praise and gratitude for the helpers (manning the bookstall, 4th from top), who worked quietly and very efficiently behind the scenes to make sure everything happened smoothly. “It couldn’t have been so well executed without the voluntary helpers – thanks to them all,” said one respondent.

The organisation and catering (Saturday lunch, 2nd from bottom) also won high praise from the people who filled in feedback forms.

Many attendees told us they appreciated spending a whole weekend rather than just an evening or even a day, looking at our topic from a variety of perspectives and in different ways and locations.

Of the 160 people who had tickets for more than half a day, 52 took the time and trouble to fill in feedback forms – a very high response rate. We very much appreciate this, not least because it will be invaluable in planning future events.

And, inevitably, there are lessons to be learned.

A follow-up event

People clearly enjoyed Dan Cruickshank’s keynote presentation on the Friday evening (bottom right), for example, but one or two at the back had a problem hearing all of it.

There was also an unexpected gap for some people between the end of the optional events featuring local experts on Saturday afternoon, which left some at a loose end before the Royal Pavilion was open for the evening.

But overall, there was great enthusiasm, summed up by the person who wrote, “Thank you – it is great to see the Regency Society doing the job for which it was created.”

And then came the inevitable question: “When is there going to be another one?”

The answer is 2014, although we’ll be offering some alternative events in the meantime. Do let us know if there’s anything you’d like us to explore – you can e-mail us or call 07513 761213 with your ideas and requests.

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