PPMA Annual Conference 2021

PPMA Annual Conference 2021 2020-06-22T17:07:51+01:00

Welcome to our Annual Conference 2021 pages.  You’ll find everything you need to know about our event here. 



Building on the success of our wonderful #PPMAHR19, and our Virtual Conference #PPMAHR20, we are delighted to be holding #PPMAHR21 in Manchester at one of the most iconic venues in the City – The Midland Hotel. All conference events, apart from the social event on Wednesday 21st April will be held here. Our overflow accommodation is at The Jury’s Inn, which is just opposite The Midland.

Our conference theme

The overwhelming feedback from #PPMAHR19 is that you valued a conference event that had a golden thread, an overarching theme. And an event that makes a bit of magic too.

Examining a theme from the perspective of our Let’s Talk: themes in main stage sessions, supplemented by fringe sessions that also address the important day to day issues that we deal, is what matters to you.

Our Virtual Conference theme ‘Preparing for Tomorrow’s World’ leads up to our planned 2021 theme of…….

Tomorrow’s World: Purposeful Work and Lives

When we were originally planning to hold this event for March/April 2020 we knew that we needed to focus on preparing for our tomorrow. The events of 2020 has completely upended much that we relied on.  So, how we approach our future is ever more important. We can’t separate it from the now and we can’t think about it as yet another task on the ever growing list of things to do. Covid 19 has seen to that.

The future has been talked about before of course, but we are choosing to tackle this holistically, through the lenses of our strategic themes.  And we are incorporating the learning we are gathering during 2020 and the outputs from our Virtual Conference #PPMHR20.

We cannot deny that we are are at a profound inflection point in history. Global politics are profoundly unstable and this has an enormous influence on our national and local realities. The lines between our working and home lives are blurring even more and activism is a powerful motivator for change. And as we have seen from the unprecedented impact Covid 19 has had, those lines between global and local and home and work are blurred beyond any previous experience.

Human beings are complex, emotional beings. Covid 19 has tested us and it will continue to do so.  It has tapped for many of us a yearning for increased purpose and a profound sense that Society must tackle social injustice, equality and equity.

So our Let’s Talk: Future Workforce theme is timely. Tomorrow’s world means that our workforces of the future need to be shaped now and that we are likely to be creating evolving futures.  AND we must revisit our ideas about purposeful work and purposeful lives more broadly. As HR & OD professionals we need to work with all of our colleagues to truly understand our challenges, identify and shape the possibilities and bring them to life. And we absolutely have to be embedding Walk Tall: Being a 21st Century Public Servant.

It’s going to be a proactive, energising, innovative and thought provoking 3 days. We look forward to sharing that with you.


We are proud to be bringing you speakers such as Dr Max McKeown to conference. Megan Reitz, author of multiple books, including Speak Up (with John Higgins).  Victoria Tomlinson,Clive Swan and Kerry Nutley.

You can find out more about our speakers HERE – just click on their names to see their individual bio’s


Day 1 pre-conference activity will start with a Hackathon.

The afternoon of Day 1 will start with our conference keynote speaker, our Annual General Meeting and our conference social event. We’re excited to share that this year we are going to spend a fun evening at The Flight Club in Manchester.

Day 2 will see us dive into conference proper. After a day of thought provoking speakers and networking with sponsors and peers, we will be celebrating our amazing Excellence in People Management Award winners at our Annual Gala Dinner. We’ve chosen a fabulous charity this year too.

Our Gala Dinner Theme for April 2021 is: A night at the PPMA Circus.

Day 3 will see a half day of great speakers and a final opportunity to talk to sponsors, have some reflection time and network with old friends. We hope that you will have made new friends too by the end of conference too.

The full conference agenda is available here. We’ll keep you posted on progress through our conference App, regular member newsletters and our Conference webpages.

If you have any questions about #PPMAHR21 that are not answered in our FAQ’s on the right hand side then you can email us on [email protected]