Conferences & Training

AFO Conference 2016

Ettington Chase Conference Centre,
tford-upon Avon, CV37 7NZ

Buy your delegate pass before 31 October 2016 and save ££s

Eventbrite - The Association of Festival Organisers Conference 2016

NB: Accommodation is not included in your delegate pass.  Please book seperately.

Topics and Speakers confirmed so far:
The Colin Irwin Interview with Andy Kershaw - Volume 2.  Back by popular demand to continue his story ...
Festival Vision:2025, a pledge to act on climate change – Chris Johnson (Powerful Thinking)
Health and Safety and Risk Assessments - Mike Richmond (The Event Safety Shop Ltd)
Beginners Guide to running a Festival – Steve Heap (AFO)
Eventree case study - Mo Jones (TheTicketSellers) and Jon Walsh (Shambala Festival)
Are there really too many Festivals? - panel debate
And the latest is…. Latest news on current issues chaired by Steve Heap (AFO)
Women at Events - 1) Women who come to festivals 2) Women who run festivals - with speakers from The Network of Women in Events (NOWIE) and The White Ribbon Campaign
Trading and Catering at Festivals - a panel discussion with leading bodies and festival organisers
Launch of the new AFO website - Nick Morris (Wallis Agency) and Jess Haynes (AFO)
Sell More Tickets - optimise your conversion rate - Simon Roberts (Eventbrite)
Disability Dilemmas – how to make your festival as accessible as possible - Paul Hawkins (Attitude is Everything)
All about Children - panel includes Lioux Heap (Towersey Festival)

Round table sessions with:
Legal advice with Jon Payne (LSL Solicitors)
Insurance with La Playa
Drones: Killer Machines or an Event Organisers Best Friend? including a demonstration on how to fly adrone safely with Crowded Space Drones

Other confirmed topics include:
How do festivals attract the 60 million UK residents who have never been?

Plus lots more.

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.

Delegate Pass  - AFO Member                      £110

inc Lunch on Saturday and light refreshments throughout

Delegate Pass  - Non-Member                      £135

inc Lunch on Saturday and light refreshments throughout

Trade Stand - AFO Member                          £300
inc. Exhibition Space, Table, Chairs, Power, 2 Delegate Passes. Lunch on Sat and refreshments throughout.

Trade Stand - Non-Member                           £400
inc. Exhibition Space, Table, Chairs, Power, 2 Delegate Passes. Lunch on Sat and refreshments throughout.

Goodie Bag - AFO Member                          £70
insert into delegate conference pack

Each additional item                                   £30

Goodie Bag - Non-Member                         £90
insert into delegate conference pack

Each additional item                                  £40

Eventbrite - The Association of Festival Organisers Conference 2016

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.

One Conference Session Sponsorship   £800
inc. Exhibition Space, Table, Chairs, Power, 2 Delegate Passes. Lunch on Sat and refreshments throughout and sponsorship of a Session at the 2016 Confereince with banner space, logo display, full programme credit and introduction.

A Showcase – Friday or Saturday              £500
inc. Banner Space, Logo Display, Agenda Credit and Introduction from MC.  Banner and Logo to appear throughout the Showcase.

Full Conference Sponsorship                     £5000
inc. Exhibition Space, Table, Chairs, Power, 4 Delegate Passes. Lunch on Sat and refreshments throughout and Accommodation inc Breakfast on Friday and Saturday Night.
Sponsorship of the whole Conference with front of venue banner space, headline logo display on all marketing, full Conference title credit and introduction and a “meet the sponsor” wine reception on Saturday evening.

Become a Sponsor

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


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.

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!

Thank you to our 2016 sponsors:

    ID & C       


​Thank you to everyone who attended the 2015 Annual Conference.  
Speakers notes can be downloaded here.

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.