Every political party applauds itself at the end of a conference, and tries its best to make sure positive messages are plastered across blogs and if possible, the media. It's what you expect and even if the conference hadn't have been that great, the truth is that I would have been spinning it in a positive way. So please, don't be cynical when I say the following: I really am saying it from the heart.
Plaid's spring conference was the best conference I've ever been to, and I'm not just comparing it to other plaid conferences, I mean in general. I feel truly inspired today, and invigorated as a party member. The Friday was fantastic - a genuine opportunity to interact with elected members and party members, as well as various lobbyists. I learnt a great deal, and also had the opportunity to speak which was fun. Saturday was different but equally good. I thought the speeches were all of such a high standard. I was particularly impressed with Steffan Lewis. He managed to bring tears to my eyes twice! I was truly moved. He's definitely one to watch. Also enjoyed the fringe meetings as they were all very informative and thought provoking.
Much has been made of the interactive nature of the conference. I was on twitter and blogging away for the whole two days, and really enjoyed it. I was amazed by the amount of feedback I got from people following events online. It was great to be able to interact with them, and show the world that plaid isn't scared to conduct its business in an open and transparent manner. Morgan Lloyd was the brains behind our new media initiatives and he definitely deserves a medal. Plaid without doubt has the best online presence and initiatives in comparison to all other parties in Wales. We know plaidlive.com had some difficulties, but it was the first time it had been tried and it definitely created an impact. The hope is to build on this so we have it perfected for future events so please send in your comments, criticisms and suggestions and I assure you they will be taken on board.
I'm no longer a plaid staff member as you know so it was strange for me to be back in the middle of things. Really enjoyed it though and it was nice to catch up with everyone at the conference dinner last night. Everyone looked so glamorous! All in all a fantastic weekend: informative, engaging, inspiring and most of all, genuinely enjoyable.