September Forum update: Booking and registration deadlines

Thursday 01 January

Please find below, the September update with the latest information regarding the October Forum in Romania.

In this Forum update we are pleased to share the following important information:

• Booking deadline – 20 September
• News of a successful visit to Romania
• Make sure you are registered
• Important visa information
• Emerging Leader election update
• Regional meeting agenda items
• Joining the Forum remotely
• Workshop information

Booking Deadline
The final deadline for registrations will be 20 September. We have kept the booking system open as long as possible but, on this date, we will need to confirm numbers for meals and other services such as transport. We will not be able to take any bookings after this date. Please ensure everyone from your group is fully registered by this date.

Successful visit to Romania
In late August three members of the Foundation’s staff travelled to Romania to work with NAO colleagues to agree final details of the programme and arrangements. Over the three days of the visit, they were able to finalise details with the hotel, visit the venues we will using for the Award in Action session and Gold Award ceremony as well as discuss many other details.
We are pleased to report that all preparations are going very well indeed with very high-quality facilities and services provided by the venue hotel. To make the Forum run as smoothly as possible we need you help on several matters which are set out below. Please do read and respond to these requests.

Make sure you are registered
It is very important to ensure you are registered to attend the Forum – either in person or virtually. Without this information we are unable to plan for venue access passes, meals, transport, and other services. If you do not ensure all the people in your group are fully registered, we may be unable to make them feel welcome at Forum and that would be a great shame and be very embarrassing for everyone.

We realise that some colleagues have visa challenges, but you can register and opt to “pay later by invoice” once you have obtained a visa and confirmed your attendance.

Please ensure you complete the registration process by selecting a password and choosing a payment type. If you have not paid or received an invoice to “pay later” you have not completed the process and are not registered.

Your help will ensure a smooth, efficient and welcoming Forum for everyone.

Visa applications
On 10 January 2022 we sent you full details of how to apply for a visa to Romania. These details can be found here.

If you need a visa for Romania, please make sure you apply immediately to ensure you can attend Forum. To help with the process here is some further information from our colleagues in Romania.

Romania is not part of Schengen but is part of European Union. If you are a Schengen Visa holder you will still need a short-stay visa to come to Romania for the Forum.
The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has an eVisa electronic portal, which can be accessed 24/7 at, with the aim of streamlining the visa application process and supporting documents before going to the diplomatic mission/consulate with the original documents to be verified and registered. Please let the Romanian NAO know if you need an airport transit visa.

Some countries (marked in red on the visa information) require an additional invitation endorsed by the Inspectorate General for Immigration from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, when applying for a short-stay visa. In these cases, you should apply for short term visa in the normal way. After the necessary documents for the short stay visa are submitted the embassy/consulate will contact the NAO to confirm your attendance. Please find more the details on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website:

It is VERY important that you are fully registered on the platform before you apply for a visa so that the NAO can confirm your attendance. If you are not registered, they cannot confirm you are attending, and your visa will be delayed. You need to have set up your password in order to be fully registered.

Emerging Leader election – make sure your NAO is involved
As you will be aware from our communications of 19 July and 11 August, we are holding the Emerging Leader Representative Elections online this year. We are taking this approach to encourage more diversity in the candidates and wider participation in the voting process. We have had an amazing response for candidates with more than 60 people applying to date. However, for the overall process to work effectively and to be inclusive and transparent we need your help and support.

Each NAO is responsible for selecting up to five Gold Award holders between 18 – 32 years old as voting delegates. Those countries that are official members of the GAAN platform will be permitted to select one extra voting delegate. We have had a good response from NAOs but there are still a good number outstanding who have not submitted their nominations. We need your voting delegate submissions and have extended the deadline for these nominations to no later than midnight UTC on Thursday 8 September. You can submit your delegate lists here – This deadline is important to ensure we can announce the new Emerging Leaders at the Forum For more information about the Emerging Leader Representative election process, you are welcome to review the presentation from the last All-Association call. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Global Award Alumni Team at [email protected].

Regional meeting agenda items
The deadline for submitting items for Regional meetings has now passed. Thank you for your contributions. We will be sharing the final agendas with all NAOs in the coming weeks.

Joining the Forum remotely
On 2 August we sent information about how some people could join the Forum remotely, albeit in a very limited way. We want to emphasise that joining the Forum in this way will be limited to watching a stream of the main plenary sessions via YouTube and joining Regional meetings, the Strategy sessions and Workshops by Zoom. Due to technical limitations, it will not be possible to speak directly, and your contributions will be via the chat function in Zoom only. We hope this will allow those unable to attend in person to be part of Forum in a limited way. However, we do recognise that nothing can replace the experience of being with colleagues, sharing experiences and having fun.

If you are joining the Forum remotely you will still need to register on the platform to ensure you receive the links for the sessions via email. Please register here.

Workshop information

As a reminder we have five workshops planned for the afternoon of Wednesday 12 October.

The five are:
a. Advocacy – how to position your NAO as a voice at national level
b. Partnerships – how to work effectively with corporate partners
c. Youth Engagement – building and implementing an effective youth engagement strategy
d. Critical business processes for a sustainable NAO
e. Virtual Award Centres – opportunities and challenges

We are grateful to the NAOs and colleagues running these workshops. We will shortly be providing detailed information for each workshop on the Forum web pages. We will require all participants to pre book to attend a particular workshop to ensure we have the space, facilities and resources to run a high-quality event. Please keep checking the web pages for this further detail – or book now if you know which ones you would wish to attend.

Work continues to prepare for the sessions focused on the development of our new shared strategy for the Association. John May will shortly be writing to you separately, on behalf of the strategy working group, to provide further information – and to ask for your comments on the direction that is emerging.

Meeting for Chairs
It has been suggested that we run a meeting for Chairs of NAO Boards specifically. We are very happy to accommodate this. The meeting for Chairs only will focus on governance issues and be held on Wednesday (12 October) between 6pm and 7.30pm.

If you are a Chair of an NAO and have suggestions for items to be addressed during this meeting, please do forward your suggestions to Stephen Peck at [email protected] by 16 September.

We may invite a few Chairs to speak to the group on an issue of governance that they are finding challenging or think worth sharing as an example of good practice. If you would be prepared to present a discussion starter, we would also be pleased to hear from you.
And finally

We are looking forward to meeting you in Cluj in October. The Team in Romania and at the Foundation are working hard to make sure this is an excellent Forum.
Please do help us by responding to the requests in this note.

Thank you and see you in Cluj-Napoca

Please find a PDF of this update here.