AFO Details Conference Agenda

The Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) has announced further details of the agenda for this year’s conference on 9, 10 and 11 November 2018.

Taking place at the prestigious Stratford Manor Conference Centre and Hotel near Stratford upon Avon, this year’s event will be a diverse mix of informative, practical, inspirational and entertaining seminars, discussions and talks.

The business end of the festival scene will concentrate on topics including ticketing – who offers the best deals and who should help shoulder the responsibility of marketing an event. The latest rules and regulations on security will help to keep non-ticket holders out but keep your ticket buying audience safe from exploitation by others with criminal intent. Details of the new PRS tariff will explain where the money actually goes.

The AFO continues to play a pivotal role in raising awareness of the socio-economic impact of the festival and events industry. This year’s major seminar focusing on the plastics crisis will suggest ways in which the events industry can play its part in reducing and recycling waste. Speakers from a number of environmental organisations will discuss solutions on how we can help conserve the world’s natural resources and adopt renewable energy resources into our events.

The AFO Conference has always prided itself on being welcoming those new to the festival and events industry This year’s ‘Beginners Guide – an A-Z’ will offer top tips to those starting their journey. And there will be ample opportunity to pick up much more information from experienced organizers with talks and case studies about how to plan a festival in a greenfield, townsite or other space.

On hand too will be experts in many fields to answer specific questions on insurance, legal issues and accounting, dealing with contracts and artists, licensing and security.

Away from all the serious business of the day an in-depth interview with Ashley Hutchings MBE hosted by renowned journalist Colin Irwin, will no doubt bring out many interesting stories and amusing anecdotes.

Hutchings, a founder member of Fairport Convention famed for inventing British folk-rock has been working in the music business for nearly sixty years. Colin’s questions will explore his guest’s multi-faceted career and what drives him to continue recording and touring in various guises. Delegates will also have an opportunity to ask Ashley their own questions.

Friday and Saturday evenings both offer showcase concerts which will give delegates the chance to find new artists for their festivals. These concerts have traditionally proven to be a valuable opportunity for up-and-coming artists to be booked for their first festival experience. The concerts are also free to the public.

“The AFO started as a meeting of minds and shared experiences and has grown to an annual gathering that helps guide those involved in the festival industry towards best practices across all areas of an event,” explained Steve Heap, General Secretary.

“We keep our finger on the pulse of changes, new legislation and new initiatives as they affect the events industry so that we can bring those subjects to Conference to share the knowledge and the ramifications.”

He added: “For newcomers our aim is to put them on the right road to thinking about every aspect of what is involved in organizing an event. And for those more experienced organisers, Conference is a mix of news, ideas and the best networking opportunity of the year”.

“It is never too late to become part of our community” continued Heap. “So often new members tell us they wished they had known about the Conference when they first started their festival. At Conference we try to help people avoid the pitfalls”

More information about the Conference is available here:

Tickets for the Conference are now on sale

Applications for Membership: