On Thursday last week, Ash Haynes was elected coucillor for Town Close Ward in Norwich. It was her 20th birthday. The next day, she went to her first party conference.

My conference experience began at 12pm on Friday, when I wandered in tired and confused after the Norwich local election counts. My first impression was one of organised chaos, which ended up summing up most of the weekend.

As a first-timer, I was amazed by how friendly everyone was. Well, that and how many things were going on. I tried to sample a selection of things, but felt like I wasn’t even scratching the surface of what was happening. However, there’s always next time to see the others!

The overall highlight for me was the chance to meet so many people from all across the country, and hear all their stories. The low points were few, although being asked to chair a hustings on Sunday was absolutely terrifying. That said, it was also good fun and I’d do it again if asked.

My advice for other conference newbies is to attach yourself to someone who’s been before; I had so much more fun that I would have without having a clue. In addition, get a decent map of both the venue and the area, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Would I go again? Yes, and you should to.