05 July 2012

Conference draws to a close after a week of worship

The 2012 Methodist Conference has drawn to a close in Plymouth after eight days of prayer, worship and debate. The annual Conference is the governing body of the Church.

People from all over the world followed the events and business of the Conference, with live video from the debates streamed over the Internet on the Methodist Conference website. The top three countries for visitor hits to the Conference website were the UK, the US, and Italy. Data covering 30 June - 3 July showed that 3,070 unique IP addresses streamed live footage of the Conference. The data also showed that people tuned in to watch the proceedings using tablet computers and smartphones as well as laptops and desktops. 

Conference members and guests, as well as those watching the live feed, were encouraged to use the Conference Tumblr blog, Twitter and Facebook to comment on debates and keep up to date with the action. At the Conference in 2010 there were a total of 476 tweets across the 8 days. In 2011 there were 4,655 tweets. In the first seven days of this year's Conference this increased to 5,814. On just one day, 979 tweets were sent to an audience of 72,475 followers generating 789,441 impressions. The Conference website had 5,878 unique visitors from 53 countries generating 112,000 page views in the first seven days of the Conference. 

Toby Scott, Director of Communications and Campaigns, said: "We are delighted by the way people are engaging with the Conference through the live video stream and social media, as well as the hard work done by the members in the hall. The two-way conversation this generates enriches our work as well as helping people to feel connected to one another and the governing body of the Church."

The Conference debated major reports on education, drone warfare, children and young people, the rural work of the Arthur Rank Centre and the way forward for the Church's learning and development networks. The Conference also elected a new President and Vice-President Designate for 2013/14: the Revd Ruth Gee and Dr Daleep Mukarji, who will be inducted as the first item of Methodist Conference business in London in July 2013.

The Methodist Conference is the governing body of the Methodist Church, which meets annually to discuss matters affecting the life, work and worship of the Church. This year it met at the Plymouth Pavilions, 28 June - 5 July. 

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