Now that Conservative Party Conference is upon us, we have put together everything you need to know. From the key events and who is attending to where you can watch what’s going on, read below for a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know.
What is Party Conference all about?
Conference is one of the highlights of the Party calendar.
We organise it every year to celebrate the grassroots: members, volunteers, activists, and everyone who has campaigned to hold elected office. It is a great opportunity to come together as the Conservative family.
It gives us a chance to celebrate what we have already achieved, and reflect on what we want to achieve in the future.
How Many People Attend Conservative Party Conference?
Every year, well over ten thousand people attend Conference. We are expecting over 11,500 to attend this year. A large number of staff, MPs, Cabinet Ministers, and representatives of the UK’s leading charities and businesses also attend.
Some people organise events around the Conference or set up a stall to talk about their campaigning organisation, charity, or an issue close to their heart. Companies also attend to speak to Conservative Party members or sponsor other events.
Some people attend for only one or two days of Conference. However, most people attend for the whole session.
What happens at Conservative Party Conference?
There are three main things that go on at Conference: the speeches, the fringe, and the receptions.
In the main Conference hall, Cabinet Ministers including the Prime Minister make speeches outlining what they have done over the last year. They often accompany policy announcements or plans for the future. They speak directly to the grassroot members of the Conservative Party, talking about what matters to them and what changes they are hoping to make.
Around the main hall, fringe events also take place hosted by a wide variety of people to talk about Conservative policy on a litany of issues. These can range from housing policies in London to welfare reform to rural broadband. They also often involve think tank directors, leading journalists, and Cabinet Ministers.
Finally, there are the large number of reception events that take place at Conference. Some are run by our sister organisations – the LGBT Conservatives’ reception is always exceptionally popular, for example – while others are centred around particular issues, like Refugee Action or the Conservative Science and Technology Forum. Again, you’ll often see MPs or major figures roaming around these events.
What is Business Day at Conservative Party Conference?
Business Day, which takes place on Monday 30 September, is a celebration of global Britain. Our ties with other global economies, our leading businesses in various sectors, and most of all a chance for leading entrepreneurs and businesses to network with each other and with relevant MPs and Cabinet Ministers.
Business Day offers the business community the opportunity to engage directly with our Ministers and MPs. It includes reserved seating for the Chancellor’s keynote speech and exclusive invitations to events across the Conservative Party Conference.
Where is Conservative Party Conference?
Conservative Party Conference typically alternates each year between Manchester Conference Centre and Birmingham Conference Centre.
This year, the Conservative Party Conference takes place in Manchester.
How much does it cost to attend Conservative Party Conference?
Prices start at as low as £25 per ticket and increase as Conference approached. You must be a Conservative Party member to come to Conference on an attendee ticket – ultimately the event is to celebrate our grassroot members. Specific tickets are available for businesses, journalists, and charities. Under 25 members can also get discounted tickets.
Where can I watch Conservative Party Conference?
Although it may too late for you to register to attend, you can watch the key speeches from Conservative Party Conference live on Facebook! We stream all major speeches by Cabinet Ministers, as well as those by the Party Chairman, the Prime Minister, and others.
A recording of these speeches will also be available on YouTube on the Conservative Party channel. We also will be uploading select panel discussions and other events.
Who organises Conservative Party Conference 2019?
Conservative Party Conference is a team effort of hundreds of wonderful volunteers, activists, and staff members – without whom, Conference could not be possible.
Special thanks however goes to the members of the National Conservative Convention who work tirelessly to make the Conference a reality. Andrew Sharpe OBE, Chairman of the Convention, has managed a wonderful team and done a spectacular job himself of organising the event in tumultuous political times.
Pamela Hall, President of the National Conservative Convention, has worked tirelessly, helping to plan this Conference with the team at CCHQ. Tom Spiller OBE, James Pearson and Andrew Colborne-Baber have all put in many hours on the various committees that keep the party ticking over. Stephen Phillips OBE, Secretary to the Party Board, and Ian Sanderson, Voluntary Party Director, both at CCHQ, provide wise counsel and support to make Conference the best it can be.
Two other senior volunteers deserve special recognition: Flick Drummond and Fleur Butler. Fleur has chaired the Conservative Women’s Organisation in its centenary year with verve and aplomb. And Flick Drummond is entering her second year as the Voluntary Party Director of the Conservative Policy Forum and the CPF will be taking the lead in various debates throughout this Conference.
When will the Prime Minister Speak?
The Prime Minister is scheduled to speak on Wednesday 2nd October. He will make his speech at the end of Conference. You can watch the speech live on Facebook on our Facebook channel – stay tuned!
When will the Cabinet Members Speak?
Cabinet Ministers speak throughout Conference. On Sunday, speakers including the Conservative Party Chairman James Cleverly will take to the stage in the main auditorium to welcome Conference. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Dominic Raab, will speak about Global Britain and the Union.
On Monday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid and the Secretary of State for Health Matthew Hancock will speak on the economy and the NHS. And On Tuesday, speakers including the Home Secretary Priti Patel will talk about combating crime and protecting communities in the United Kingdom.
Many Cabinet Ministers also speak at fringe events throughout Party Conference. Take a look at the brochure to see which events you like the look of – and where your favourite Ministers are speaking.
What other events are going on at Conservative Party Conference?
Outside of the main auditorium speeches, one of the biggest attractions of Conservative Party Conference are the fringe events. Some fringe events require pre-registration or are restricted to certain members. For example, the regional receptions are only for people of their respective part of the country. However, most events are open to all who wish to attend.
Alongside the hundreds of fringe events which we all enjoy, there are many training sessions, where you will hear about the latest campaigning ideas and share successes with colleagues. These are typically only for Conservative Party members – no journalists or lobbyists.
Finally, there are a number of business who set up stalls to sell high quality books, clothes, Conservative gear and more across Conference. And this year, showcasing the best of our Northern artisans, makers, and small independent businesses, the Makers Market will be set up at Conference.
How do I keep up with what’s happening at Conservative Party Conference?
The Conservative Party Conference app is available both on iOS and Android, and contains all of the events at Conference in one easy-to-use location. It contains all the relevant information about events that are going forward, a map of the conference centre, a calendar of events you have saved or expressed interest in, and more.
What is the theme of Conservative Party Conference 2019?
This year, the message of Conservative Party Conference is: getting Brexit done.
We want to get Brexit done so we can invest in the NHS, schools, and police. We can’t accept any more indecision or pointless delay on Brexit: we are determined to get Brexit done by 31 October. That way, we can move on and focus on the people’s priorities like the NHS, schools, and police.
This Conference will set out a positive vision for the UK after Brexit. Once we get Brexit done, we can realise the opportunities of a post-Brexit Britain and strengthen our NHS with increased frontline spending, raise schools funding, and tackle crime with over 20,000 police.
By getting Brexit done we can move our country forward beyond Brexit, bring the change that people voted for, and get us back on the road to a brighter future.
How I can help Get Brexit Done?
I’m glad you asked! Join the Conservative Party today to help us get Brexit done so we can deliver on the people’s priorities.
With 180,000 members and growing, more and more people are showing us their support. And with your help as a volunteer, activist, donor, or just as a member, we can deliver Brexit and build a brighter future for Britain.