Coventry Conversations 2010-11 Report

As is my custom, an end of term report what has happened in Coventry Conversations. This is the end of the 2010-11 run, and they are are now the undisputed jewel in the Coventry Crown.


There have been roughly 75 speakers this year, all coming to Converse in Coventry in twice weekly Conversations. There have also been two large scale joint conferences with the BBC College of Journalism. The talks are divided between Ellen Terry and The Herbert Gallery in Coventry, and are now simply the best known brand inside the university and widely respected outside. At a cost of £2000 per year, plus some sponsorship from well known media brands, the Conversations generate around one million pounds for the university in publicicity each and every year, and can only expect to increase that figure.

The calibre of the speakers continues to rise. With 270 speakers to date, and at least ten household names this year, people now ring me to come to do a Conversation. Nobody is beyond reach.

Writes John Mair…


Live audiences vary from 20 to 150, several being so full that is it standing room only. However, the biggest audience comes through podcasting three million hits on itunesU to date, plus over 60,000 downloads on University website. Coventry Conversations are quite simply the best recruiting sergeant that Coventry University has.


The Conversations receive extensive and regular coverage in the Guardian,, Pressgazetteonline ,BBC Coventry and Warwickshire, Coventry Telegraph, Coventry Times and elsewhere. A Google search will reveal many hits from the news and from blogs.


Peter Hnaustkha has once again designed a series of stunning posters week after week. The Cov Con brand image is stylish, firm and well established. Visiting media celebrities such as Jeremy Vine, Kirsty Wark, Debbie Isitt, Nick Owen and Jon Snow have unveiled plaques ‘naming’ rooms after themselves within the Ellen Terry building, all entirely willingly and with good grace. This, therefore, enhances the Coventry Media offer and impression..


The Vice Chancellor has asked me to extend the brand outside CSAD.

Next academic year there will be weekly Thursday media conversations in Ellen Terry.

On Wednesdays in the new Student Hub(across the road) Coventry Computer Conversations

on Fridays Coventry Sporting Conversations also in the brand new Hub.

Plus, special Coventry Conversation Conferences – June 15th ‘Mirage in the Desert? The Arab Revolts’


Many thanks to Ben Baker, David Hancox, Craig Goddard, Paul Adkins, Peter Hnaustkha, Tom Walker and others who make it happen each and every week. Little thanks to those who try to do the opposite, their noise is simply that. Do let the University vice-chancellor, Madeline Atkins, know if you have enjoyed the Conversations. John Mair can be contactable on 07785378156.


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