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#CIPDMAP16 – are you joining us?

By 15/09/2016June 22nd, 2021Events

What is CIPD Midlands Area Partnership (MAP)?

I’m really pleased to announce that we will be attending the CIPD Midlands Area Partnership (MAP) event on Saturday 8th October at Chesford Grange Hotel in Warwickshire, also known as #CIPDMAP16. The MAP combines 8 CIPD branches from across the Midlands, made up of 14,500 members – so this will be a great opportunity to network with fellow HR and L&D professionals!

The focus for this year’s full-day event is “Building Workplaces for the Future”.  Early Birds who have secured a limited place at the Brexit Breakfast with Mills & Reeve, will be exploring the impact of Brexit and what this means for employment law.

Peter Cheese, CEO CIPD and Tim Jones, Network Rail will be opening the event with their keynote discussing the challenges that we face in organising, leading and motivating our diverse workforces. Tim will also review the recruitment and training challenges faced during the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street (I’m glad that we moved into our new Birmingham office after the opening of Grand Central).

A selection of workshops will then take place before lunch, networking and the exhibition during which, we will have a stand to showcase our HR Software. I speak for us all at Natural HR when I say that we are incredibly proud to be at this particular, local event as we know that building workplaces for the future aren’t just about what might be happening in 10 years time, but what’s happening in your business now.

We speak to HR professionals and C-Suites on a daily basis and a recurring conversational theme is that we need to get the basics right first, the number of people who simply want to know “What’s my headcount?” or “How many contractors do I have at one particular office?” never fails to amaze me; as a profession, we are often trying to run before we can walk.

We enable businesses to get a handle on their data. So that they are ready to move forward with technology and grow with us into the world of HR data and analytics to truly transform their business. It’s also really important for us as a software vendor to be working as closely as possible with everyone in the profession as we need to see technology taking more of a lead role in providing answers and solutions to the changes we see in the HR profession.

Following the break, a choice of workshops will resume so that you can make the most of tailoring your day to your interests before the closing keynote session by Joy Marsden. I haven’t come across Joy before but, she’s an international motivational speaker and author. From looking at her website, I’m really looking forward to this session as not only will we be ending on a high but taking something away which we can all apply in both our professional and personal lives.

You can book tickets for the event directly with CIPD via Eventbrite at

5 Tips to get the most out of #CIPDMAP16

I attended the first-ever CIPD MAP event back in 2013 and in case you can’t already tell, I’m thrilled to see that this has continued as an annual event for us in the Midlands. I know that for a lot of members who self fund their professional qualifications and membership it might look like just another expense for you, so here are my 5 tips to help you get the best possible return on your investment for the day.

1. Research the workshop hosts beforehand

Please don’t just pick a workshop because the title looks good on paper! Spend some time taking a look at all of the workshops and topics, then take a look at the host’s websites and professional profiles to establish their areas of expertise. Is this area something your business or clients need some help with? or an area that could help with your personal development and contribute to your CPD plan? If so, make this your first choice of workshop.

2. Practice your pitch

“But I have nothing to pitch, I’m not in Business” 

Whether you’re an employee or out of work and looking for your next HR role – you should be able to summarise who you are and what you’re about when you initially meet people even if your goal is just to increase your network of contacts. Google “elevator pitch” for some ideas.

3. Talk to people

It doesn’t matter if you’re an HR student or HR Director, at some point we’ve all felt that initial awkwardness when you walk into a room full of people but remember nearly everyone is feeling the same. If you’re worked in recruitment then you’ll be well used to the small talk when you initially meet a candidate to help put them at ease. I’ve previously found the same small talk about the journey etc, to be the least nerve provoking way to initiate a conversation at these types of events, before asking the other person what it is that they do.

4.Take your business cards

I can’t be the only person with a brain like a sieve when it comes to remembering names so I genuinely enjoy collecting business cards or flyers when I’m networking.  I also try to make a little note on the card about the person or what we spoke about to help jog my memory afterward.

5. Follow up after

Once the buzz of the event has worn off dig out those business cards you collected and follow up with the person. I prefer Linkedin to help grow my network, it’s incredibly helpful as a standalone HR person; there are often times when I soundcheck something with another professional first. Also, I try to think about how I could help someone I’ve met with what they are trying to achieve. The old saying, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is still the biggest lesson that I’ve learned in life, so I try not to make everything about me and look at how I can add value to those who I meet.

I hope these are useful tips and I look forward to seeing you at #CIPDMAP16!