“When is Services Week 2022 happening?” Anticipation is growing with several colleagues asking when the annual event will start and how they can get involved.
From 7-11 March 2022, the popular cross-organisational public sector event series returns for its fourth year. That’s what the cross-government planning group decided when it met at the end of 2021.
Last year, over 3,000 public servants participated in 56 remote sessions organised by 37 different government and public sector organisations. A record number of the sessions, over a third, were recorded and then watched more than 5,500 times.
Due to current circumstances, Services Week 2022 will take place online for a second year. Participants told us how much more inclusive a virtual event is, allowing them to take part wherever they are located.
In the open planning group, we discussed objectives for Services Week 2022.
Similar to previous years, we want to:
- show excellent work of the past year from central government, local authorities, the NHS, executive agencies and arm’s length bodies
- connect with people beyond digital functions, join up with our colleagues in policy and operations, and with more people in senior positions to develop and deliver great public services across channels effectively
- help people from all parts of the public sector increase their service literacy and develop related skills and knowledge to improve public services and the underlying systems
To reflect these themes, we have created new posters and virtual backgrounds that you can download and share. One says ‘Services are too important to be left to digital*’, and in small print ‘*–functions, teams, channels’. Another one uses the headline of a blog post from NHSX service transformation director Matt Edgar: ‘Most of government is mostly service design most of the time’.
Services Week is an open event series that lives and thrives from community contributions. We’re always looking for new voices to share their experiences. Everyone can propose and run a session. It might be directly linked to one of the overarching objectives or not. Services Week is open to any service area and topic. It can be used as a vehicle to support what an organisation needs regarding its service transformation.
We also want to put well-being at the centre of the week. This means being mindful of context and offering different sessions at different times. Again, we would like to see sessions recorded where possible. The more people can access and feel the benefit of our sessions, the better for everyone.
How to co-create Services Week 2022
Services Week is open to any civil or public servants working in the public sector. You can run or attend sessions as you choose. We’re keen to hear from people who want to join the planning group or write a post for this blog to publish in Services Week. The planning group will create resources to support your participation.
The most popular formats we have seen in the past 3 years are:
- case study presentations
- clinics and Q&A sessions
- content and design crits
- meetups and networking events
- show and tells
- workshops and webinars
- blog posts and podcasts
Popular sessions last year included an accessibility webinar run with the BBC and an audio recording on the future of tax from HM Revenue and Customs. Daily 15-minute user-centred design explainers run by the NHS Business Services Authority were also a hit for many. You can read more about the formats that excited people in 2021 or search #ServicesWeek on Twitter.
Given this year’s objectives, we welcome sessions exploring non-digital perspectives, touching on policy-making and policy implementation or involving more senior civil servants. So please share this blog post as an invitation to take part, especially with your colleagues in non-digital roles. You can use this presentation or a modified copy when talking to colleagues and seniors about Services Week.
Connect with others and find collaborators for co-creating sessions on the #ServicesWeek channel in the cross-government Slack. As you plan, it is good to think about how people will access your sessions. You may need to use signup tools like Eventbrite and set your own access permissions or sessions may be open to anyone.
Think about which tools you want to use and check if they can be accessed by all organisations. You can expect people to use different video conferencing solutions. Most of them have a recording function, support breakout rooms for working in smaller groups and can auto-generate live captions, which can make a session more accessible.
Like in previous years, the planning happens via an open Trello board. On it, you can find a template for session proposals that will help people find the right sessions for them. You can get editing access to the Trello board and then add your session by joining the #ServicesWeek channel on the cross-government Slack. Alternatively, you can submit your session to the board via email or email us directly to add your event.