ARA – One for the Archives

The great city of Manchester played host to this year’s Archives and Records Association (ARA) annual conference, and the Mills Media Creative team was on hand to deliver the organisation’s best event yet!

We provided technical and AV services at last year’s conference in London, but a successful pitch from our live events team saw us take over the complete event management reins for the 2017 conference.

ARA’s annual event is the most significant gathering of information professionals in records management, archives and archive conservation from the UK & Ireland, as well as from around the world. This year’s theme was 'Challenge the Past. Set the Agenda', recognising that no profession can afford to sit still in times of huge, disruptive change.

Our team has been planning the event for over fifteen months and worked in partnership with ARA’s in-house conference committee and management team.

The conference programme offered practical insight into the latest industry standards, digital preservation, best practice and cross-cutting thinking on a range of challenging issues.
Keynote speeches were delivered by Elizabeth Denham, UK Information Commissioner and Dr Alan Billings, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, and a wealth of international experts and opinion-leaders from the private, voluntary and public sectors were in attendance. The conference also included a host of interactive debates and an array of exhibitors in the Information Village.

Held at the iconic Hilton Deansgate, our live events team was managed by Operations Director Kim Platt whilst Projects Director Paul Arrowsmith oversaw all AV and technical aspects of the show. ARA requested the full gamut of our creative services, so Photographic Director Bob Baxter was in attendance to capture the conference at work (and play) whilst Creative Director Barrie Farrell and our TV crew filmed extensively across the three-day gathering.

Andrew Mills, Managing Director said, “We worked closely with ARA to produce what is without doubt their most successful event to date. Delegate numbers significantly increased from London 2016 and feedback has been extremely positive. However, we are now looking closely at how we can bring even more added value to next year’s conference.”

With ARA’s 2017 event now consigned to the history books (and digitally preserved too!), planning is already underway for our client’s conferences in 2018 and 2019 where we’ll be travelling north of the border to Glasgow and Edinburgh respectively.

Exciting times lay ahead for the world of archives, records and preservation, and we are very pleased to be playing our part in the industry!