Risk managers must step on people's toes to get their message across at work, delegates will be told at ALARM's annual conference at the University of Warwick, Coventry on 17 April.

Ian Horwood, risk manager for Wycombe District Council, Bucks, will tell delegates to do some tough-talking.

He said: "Risk managers need to be able to justify the sort of expenditure required for risk management initiatives, and sometimes they need to tread on a few toes to get the message across to other managers who are perhaps not sympathetic to what they are trying to achieve."

Horwood said risk managers needed to acquire communication and marketing skills so they can 'sell' their services and their role within the organisation, and to use such tools as workshops, internal newsletters and an intranet facility to preach the risk management gospel.

But there are a host of other speakers at the two-day conference, where there will be more than 30 workshops and lectures to attend.

Subjects covered will include:
- Woolf – one year on
- Best Value benchmark
- Special event management
- Levels of risk retention
- Motor and property liability claims
- Employee health risk
- Workplace stress
- Private finance initiatives
- Audit and risk management partnerships
- Internal communication
- Media handling
- IT systems
- Business continuity planning
- Contaminated land
- Fair funding for schools
- Reputational risk
- Employment law

The keynote speaker at this year's conference is Sir John Evans, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers.

He will express forthright views on the role of risk managers and their partnership with the police in tackling community safety concerns that effect many residential and urban areas.

Kevin McGlone and Ann Marie Ness, of Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, will lead a workshop on presentation skills, helping risk managers ensure that their message is understood.

Tom Sherratt, deputy leader of Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council, will address the conference on the practicalities of community safety, while John Murray managing director of Zurich Municipal, will discuss corporate governance.

Rich Vincaletts, senior vice president of Munich American, and Daniel J Pliszka, president of the Public Risk Insurance Management Association (PRIMA), ALARM's sister organisation in the US, will discuss the future of risk management.