Conferences & Training

AFO Conference 2016

30th AFO Conference – sold out! Success

Read the 2016 Conference Report here

Next year's AFO Conference is 10-12 November 2017.  Get the date in your diary now! Join our mailing list so you don't miss out


Download the full Agenda here

2016 Conference speakers and sessions included:

► The Colin Irwin Interview with Andy Kershaw - Volume 2.  

► Festival Vision:2025, a pledge to act on climate change - Chris Johnson (Powerful Thinking)

► Don't risk it for all our health and safety - Mike Richmond (The Event Safety Shop Ltd) Download Mike's presentation

► Sell More Tickets - optimise your conversion rate - Jonny Patrickson (Eventbrite)

► Women at Events - 1) Why so many men? - Sarah Cole (The Network of Women in Events - NOWIE) 2) Women's safety at Festivals - Dave Boardman (The White Ribbon Campaign)

► Disability Dilemmas - how to make your festival as accessible as possible - Paul Hawkins (Attitude is Everything) Download Paul's presentation 1 and presentation 2

► A Festival Story - Colin Gorrie (Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival)

► Revenue, Service, Attraction? - What is Festival Trading? - Mark Laurie (NCASS), Rebecca Stewart (Cambridge) and Andy Lever (NMTF)

► All About Children © - Lioux Heap (Towersey Festival)Emma Holling (Underneath the Stars Festival) and Kate Rouse (Folk Weekend: Oxford)

► You spend how much on artists!? - Laura Carrivick (musician), Dick Dixon (Bromyard and Warwick Folk Festivals), Phil Simpson (Strada Music)

► Eventree case study - Mo Jones (TheTicketSellers) and Jon Walsh (Shambala Festival)

Beginners Guide to Festivals - with Steve Heap (AFO)

 Delivered, Accommodation and Riders with Eddie Barcan (Glastonbury Festival)

 Arts Council Funding with Chloe Brookes (Arts Council England)

► Don't use my photograph" - How to avoid misuse with Cat Kelly (Folk Weekend: Oxford) and Nick Morris (Wallis Agency)

► Legal advice with Jon Payne (LSL Solicitors)

 Insurance with Sonia Maio (La Playa)

 Drones: Killer Machines or an Event Organisers Best Friend? including a demonstration on how to fly a drone safely with Andrew McQuillen (Crowded Space Drones)

 PRS for Music with Rob Kirkham (PRS for Music) Download Rob's presentation

► Festivals without CASH (A Code of Conduct) - Mark Laurie (NCASS)


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

Whatever your role or interest in festivals or events, if you are dedicated to learning and teaching, sharing and networking to continuously improve the 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 lunch and more!

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

Thank you to our 2016 sponsors and partners:

       ID & C     


Conference Sponsorship

Get great exposure to our delegates with this invaluable opportunity. We have a variety of sponsorship packages available or we can talior make a package to specifically fit your needs. For more information about sponsorship please email the AFO Office or call us on 01629 827014.

Some comments from previous delegates….

“The most useful trade event I have attended all year. Focused, informative, well organised and enjoyable. What more can you ask for?” Midnight Mango

“The AFO Conference is an event you should attend if you are serious about running a festival.” Regent Music

“A weekend to get right into the mindset of running a festival.” Blokefest

 “The AFO Conference is essential to a festival’s planning.” The Hawth, Crawley

 “Immersive, inviting and enjoyable.” Wicked Events

“A friendly, welcoming networking opportunity.” Wild Rumpus

"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

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

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 or event....

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!

Other 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.