Conferences & Training

AFO Conference 11 - 13  November 2016 

Ettington Chase Conference Centre, Stratford-upon Avon, CV37 7NZ.

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2015 Annual Conference, held this November. Speakers notes can be downloaded here.

If you were unable to join us, please fill in this short feedback form for a chance to win a delegate pass for next year.

'Real proper issues and solutions via people with real experience'  - Joy Durrant, Shropshire Council

Open to all in the industry: our delegates are a exciting mix of volunteer and professional festival organisers, bringing together festivals that have been running for generations with first time organisers, new suppliers with familiar names, programmers with marketing specialists. 

Whatever your role or interest in festivals, if you are dedicated to learning and teaching, sharing and networking to continuously improve the festival scene, you'll find plenty of common ground at AFO Conference.

From Friday evening to late lunch on Sunday, the session rooms and stages are buzzing with headline speakers, presentations, discussions, 'how to do that' sessions and panel debates. The trade market is the place to meet the latest industry suppliers and network, plus there are numerous opportunities to share your knowledge and experience with others. A whole host of industry professionals and lead suppliers together in one space at one conference.

With One2Ones to save you £100s, showcases, networking dinner and more!

Plus enjoy some of the best new music with Friday & Saturday Showcases and acoustic breaks throughout the days.


The Conference is held in the charming Ettington Chase - comfortable accommodation based in 11 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, modern conference facilities. Great food and the use of the swimming pool and sauna all add to the experience.

'Always welcoming and a great place to get valuable/relevant event info’  - Brian Lisowy, De Montfort Hall

'Approachable, knowledgeable people.  Good sessions with relevant info’  - Festival at the Edge

Other Conferences & Training Events:

Looking for training in a particular area, or just a refresher for new team members? 

Contact AFO for details of our bespoke training days.


Some comments from previous delegates….

"We sent two reps to the last festival organisers conference and were knocked out by the response they
got and the information the were able to absorb. At last Christine and I are not voices
in the wilderness." -
Brian Kell, Whittlesea Straw Bear

'All relevant, up-to-date and friendly’ - Emma Leslie, Barnsley Music Service

'A very enjoyable and extremely useful Conference- Alan Castle, Tenterden Folk Festival

'I first did the AFO (Conference) in 1994! . . . and I still learn something new every year. 
I’ll vow to stop when I know it all (i.e. never
)’ - James Shepard, Larmer Tree Festival Director

'Excellent levels of organisation and positioning’ - Dave Kushar, Spiral Earth

'Real proper issues and solutions via people with real experience'  - Joy Durrant, Shropshire Council


Associates at AFO Conference:

But I don't run a Festival....

Throughout the Conference there is a dedicated Trade & Agents Market, giving you the opportunity to talk to artists’ agents and event suppliers. Past traders have included medical care, temporary roadway, mobile bars, fireworks, ticket suppliers and even balloon modelling and street entertainment!

It's the ideal opportunity to sell your product or service by having a stand at the Conference and meeting hundreds of potential customers OR by placing an insert in the Delegate Goodie bag or both!