AFO Conference to take place November 11 – 13

If you work in the events industry you will know that the world of festivals is a complex one. But that’s where the Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) can help.

The AFO is an independent organisation with a nationwide brief. It started in 1987 when a group of festival organisers came together to exchange views and ideas, supporting each other to benefit the whole of the festival scene. The AFO continues to grow, providing support for its members and a voice for the festival and events industry.

A lynchpin of the AFO’s activity is its annual conference, which this year takes place in Stratford upon Avon, running from 11 – 13 November 2016. Full booking details can be found on the AFO website.

Here’s a taster of some of the sessions on offer at this year’s Conference:

The Colin Irwin Interview with Andy Kershaw – Volume 2: Back by public demand, The Guardian journalist and the world music DJ and pioneer return to Conference to pick up where they left off last time.

Arts Funding with Arts Council England: Advice on what is available and how you can access it.

PRS for Music: presenting a good case for working with festivals, a must for all festival and event organisers.

Sell More Tickets: How to optimise your conversion rate with Simon Roberts of Eventbrite. Expanding your marketing budget isn’t the only way to grow your ticket sales. Conversation rate optimisation (CRO) and data analytics have become two of the most effective methods of increasing engagement – and ticket sales – online. With a variety of tools now at our fingertips, it’s time for festival organisers to get to grips with basic CRO practices, automating data sources and maximising their marketing spend.

Festival Vision: 2025 – A pledge to act on climate change with Chris Johnson of Powerful Thinking. As Powerful Thinking celebrates 50 UK Festivals signing the Festival Vision:2025 pledge to act on climate change, Chris gives an update on the project so far, and invites festival organisers to join the biggest environmental movement in the history of the UK festival industry.

Women at Events: Two sessions, one on safety issues for women who attend festivals with Dave Boardman of The White Ribbon Campaign and the other on women who run festivals with Sarah Cole of The Network of Women in Events (NOWIE).

Disability Dilemmas with Paul Hawkins of Attitude is Everything. The disabled live music audience is increasing, with nearly four million deaf or disabled people attending at least one gig or festival a year. This interactive session facilitated by Paul Hawkins, Festival Project Manager for Attitude is Everything , will explore accessibility issues, your responsibilities under the Equality Act and provide practical and effective and affordable solutions to the typical “disability dilemmas” your festival can face.

And there’s more!

Don’t risk it for all our health and safety with Mike Richmond (The Event Safety Shop Ltd)

Beginners Guide to Running a Festival with Steve Heap (AFO) – If you’re new to this game then this one is definitely for you!

Eventree Case Study with Mo Jones (TheTicketSellers) and Jon Walsh (Shambala Festival)

Plus panel discussions: You spend how much on artists?, Trading and Catering at Festivals and All About Children.

In addition there will be round table sessions giving legal advice, advice on festival insurance and a session on the use of drones in the festival environment.

From Friday evening to late lunch on Sunday, the session rooms and stages buzz with headline speakers, presentations, ‘how to do that’ sessions and panel debates. The Trade Market is the place to network and meet the latest industry suppliers, plus there are numerous opportunities to share knowledge and experience with a host of industry professionals and lead suppliers, together in one space at one conference.

Open to all in the industry. Whatever your role or interest in festivals or events, you’ll find plenty of common ground at AFO Conference.

Plus, you can enjoy some of the best new music with showcases and acoustic breaks throughout. Blackbeard’s Tea Party will be bringing their brand of mayhem to the Conference on Friday night, with a foot-stomping performance from Rusty Shackle on Saturday and more festival-tastic live acts.

Held at Ettington Chase Conference Centre, Stratford upon Avon with great food, drink, accommodation and networking all in one beautiful setting.

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