Mount Victoria, Wellington NZ Credit: Verity White

Mount Victoria, Wellington NZ Credit: Verity White

What’s the best way to start a plain language conference review article? Probably not like this.

I recently attended my first Plain Language conference – the Clarity International conference in Wellington NZ.


Yes. (Hannah Morgan-Stone, one of my favourite conference presenters taught me to put the answer up the front).

I went there solo, not knowing anyone who would be there. I trusted the Plain Language gods to introduce me to some fun and inspiring people.

And the Plain Language gods delivered. I met some really interesting people and saw some great presentations!

If the Clarity International conference was a person, what kind of person would it be?


If the Clarity International conference was a person, what kind of person would it be?

Based on 70% of attendees…  an extremely friendly and helpful Caucasian female, aged between 45 – 65 with glasses, a great scarf and sensible shoes.

Everyone was so lovely and happy to answer questions. Whilst all the attendees were friendly, it was a little disappointing there wasn’t more conference goers in the younger age range (or younger at heart maybe).

Trivia on welcome night
Credit: Alan Raga

The welcome event on the Thursday night was good fun, but there was no activities planned for the Friday night.

This led a few of the younger attendees to propose a Future Clarity Night. A night for the young and young at heart to get together during the Clarity Conference and run a night of PechaKucha… and then explore the host city’s nightlife. Who’s in?


Forgetting the cost of the flight and the cost of accommodation, it costs $710 NZD to attend the conference (gala dinner not included). How much content to you get for your NZ dollars? Quite a bit…

» Welcome Night: Opening Speeches and video presentation from Prof Kimble

» Day 1:  5 Plenary speakers & 5 concurrent / speedlearning speaker sessions

» Day 2: 9 Plenary & 3 speedlearning speaker sessions

The 23 presentations of varying lengths & quality provided much food for thought, some tastier than others. Altogether, 23 presentations means around $30 per speaker.

The conference cost also included drinks & canapes on the welcome night, two days of morning teas, lunches, and afternoon teas. Not to mention a bag of swag from the conference sponsors and, of course, lots of chats with other conference goers.

Clarity 2016 Sponsors

Clarity 2016 Sponsors


Overall, I had a really great time and felt like it was pretty good value.


Skip to the gala dinner. Now here we got a bit of fun with the excellent MC banter of James Elliot (@JamesElliot8) a semi-professional lawyer and wholly professional comedian who kept the entire room captivated and laughing all through the night.

Unintentional copyright infringement = SLoppyright

Why use three words when you can create one?

This dinner was a lovely end to the conference. At $120 NZD a head for tickets, it seemed a little steep but the food was lovely and James was genuinely entertaining so again, good value.

Clarity Gala Dinner
Credit: Verity White



Yes! Whilst it would be great to see more diversity in the speakers and the ideas presented (perhaps even some controversial, heated Plain Language debates?), I am looking forward to seeing the line-up for the PLAIN Conference in Austria in 2017. If you’re going, it’s very likely I’ll see you there!

– Verity

Link city

» Photos from the conference by Alan Raga Photography

» Conference website, including videos of all main speaker presentations

» PLAIN Conference Austria 2017

Posted in Conference, Plain Language, Review and tagged , , , , .

One Comment

  1. Pingback: SPEAKERS OF CLARITY: PART TWO – Checklist Legal

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