Events & Conferences

YBF runs the very best events and conferences that are designed to give young conservative activists they best possible introduction into conservative politics. Because of this, the competition for places is fierce.

For more information about any of these events or conferences, please contact Anne Sutherland, Programmes Officer at anne.sutherland@ybf.org.uk.

The Annual YBF Activist Training Conference (Cambridge, December)

The Annual YBF Activist Training Conference is the highlight of the academic year for many of the best and brightest conservative activists in the UK – and it is YBF’s flagship event.

Over 100 young conservatives get the chance to hear from, question and network with speakers that include cabinet ministers, MPs and MEPs, leaders of think-tanks and the broader conservative movement and other opinion formers over a 3-day, 2-night residential conference held at Cambridge University in the run-up to Christmas.

By attending YBF’s Annual Activist Training Conference, not only do you get to hear from some of the leading figures in the conservative movement, it is a perfect opportunity to learn about conservative ideas, meet and network with like-minded activists and receive valuable resource materials.

You can learn more about YBF9, the 9th YBF Activist Training Conference, which will be held at St Anne’s College, Oxford from Friday, 7 December 2011 to Sunday, 9 December 2012 here.

Conservative Political Action Conference (Washington DC, March)

CPAC is the annual gathering of the conservative movement. It is attended by 8,000 activists from throughout the United States and, increasingly, from around the world. Half of those attending are students. The conference itself is a thorough exploration of contemporary political issues, while the exhibition numbering some 250 exhibitors that comprise the conservative movement is extraordinarily impressive. During any election year, CPAC is particularly fascinating as speakers will include those seeking the presidential nomination.

In addition to attending CPAC itself, members of the British delegation who spend the recommended week in Washington DC will also enjoy tours of the US Congress, US Supreme Court, Washington’s historic monuments, Washington National Cathedral, Arlington National Cemetery, the National Rifle Association, George Washington’s Mount Vernon home and an NHL ice-hockey match featuring the Washington Capitals.

Parliamentary Rally (Westminster, March)

On a Wednesday afternoon every March YBF runs a half-day Parliamentary Rally where a series of cabinet ministers, MPs, think-tank leaders and prominent conservatives rally the troops in the run-up to the May elections. Past speakers have included former Conservative Party Chairman Eric Pickles, Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin, Conservative Party Deputy Chairman Michael Fallon, Lord Flight and a host of ministers such as Liam Fox, Iain Duncan Smith, Theresa Villiers & Gerald Howarth – to name just a few!

Tickets are free of charge but a collection is taken for Help for Heroes.

The Reagan-Thatcher Easter Conference Programme (California or Brussels, Easter)

Every other Easter, a chosen handful of YBF activists get the chance to visit California to pay homage to Ronald Reagan. Flying into Los Angeles, students will visit the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley before travelling onto Reagan’s former home, Rancho del Cielo, in the Santa Ynez mountains for a private tour. Rancho del Cielo was preserved for the nation by Young America’s Foundation. The visit concludes with a tour of YAF’s Reagan Ranch Center, its “schoolhouse for Reaganism”, in Santa Barbara.

Thanks to the support of Conservative MEPs, the Young Britons’ Foundation is organizing a mini-European Conference in Brussels every alternating year. At the inaugural YBF European Conference in 2005, students heard from speakers representing the Liberal Democrats, Conservatives, Labour Party, UKIP and the Green Party. Students will have an opportunity to visit the offices of the European Commission, the European Parliament and NATO where they will hear from leading politicians, analysts and businessmen on the challenges facing the European Union.

The Reagan-Thatcher Summer Conference Programme (Washington DC, July/August)

This is the flagship series of international conferences made available to British conservative activists. Thanks to the generosity of the supporters of the Young Britons’ Foundation, substantial subsidies are provided to cover conference fees, accommodation, meals and course materials, as well as a contribution being made towards airfares.

Students will have the opportunity to hear from leading conservative speakers such as Newt Gingrich, Fred Barnes, Michael Reagan and George Allen at the Young America’s Foundation National Conservative Student Conference in Washington DC.

Students also have the opportunity to attend the Foundation for Economic Education Freedom University in New York at which they learn the fundamentals of free-market economics and the central tenets of the free society.

The Freedom Pilgrimage (Europe, Summer)

Working with its allies around the world, YBF is developing a signature tour aimed at activists of all ages – the Freedom Pilgrimage. Bringing together conservatives from across the Anglosphere to reflect on our shared cultural heritage, YBF will escort activists through key sites in England (such as Westminster, Blenheim, Grantham & Chartwell), the Normandy beaches, Flanders, Brussels (for both NATO and the European Parliament), Berlin, Auschwitz, Vienna and Jerusalem.

The Freedom Zone at the Conservative Party Conference (Birmingham or Manchester, October)

Every autumn YBF runs media training workshops and debates at the Freedom Zone at the Conservative Party Conference. In addition YBF has an exhibition booth in the Freedom Zone, where activists can discuss issues of concern, plan their campaigns for the year ahead or simply stock up on YBF merchandise.

Drinks Receptions & Parties

Throughout the year YBF hosts a number of drinks receptions and parties. Venues have included Mahiki and Stringfellows in London for summer parties, Revolution Vodka Bar for a Christmas party and bars and clubs in Birmingham or Manchester for receptions at the Conservative Party Conference. Always well attended, always lively, they are a must have ticket!

For more information about any of these events or conferences, please contact Anne Sutherland, Programmes Officer at anne.sutherland@ybf.org.uk.