Conferences & Training

Join hundreds of other organisers at the 31st annual Association of Festival Organisers Conference, 10-12 November 2017 at Ettington Chase Conference Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 7NZ

Eventbrite - The Association of Festival Organisers Conference 2017

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We are pleased to announce that Mike Bushell, BBC Breakfast Sports Presenter will be with us on Saturday.  A supporter of many festivals and events, Mike will be sharing his stories and experiences.

Other speakers joining the agenda include:

- The Colin Irwin Interview - join the Guardian journalist as his shares the famous AFO armchairs with a prominent personality  
- Copywriting to Improve Sales  - Al Best (Entsweb)
- Engaging Your Community: the links between local venues and festivals - Mark David (Music Venue Trust)
- Legal Advice - Jon Payne (LSL Solicitors)

Other confirmed topics include:
- PRS for Music
- Fire Insurance
- New Licensing Regulations
- Trust in the Management
- How to Improve Growth of Your Event
- Can Artists Assist Marketing?
-  Medical Cover
- Support from Local Authorities – it’s not just cash
- Dance (in all its styles)
-  Apprentices in the Events Industry  
- Stage Management Workshop

More topics and speakers to be announced over the coming weeks.

The Trade Market is booking up fast. Traders so far include Awen UKDCRSDerek Block ConcertsEcosse Music PromotionsGigLooHospitality GuaranteedThe Morris Federationand NMTF Ltd

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. There are numerous opportunities to share your knowledge and experience with others.

Expect lively discussions, new ideas, money-saving tips, great networking, interactive presentations and in-depth one2ones.

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.

There are Keynote Speeches, Case Studies, One2Ones with La Playa Insurance Services – check out the AFO special rates for comprehensive cover year-round - Jon Payne from LSL Solicitors will join us to advise on licensing and legal issues.  Keep an eye on the website for confirmed speakers and subjects as they happen.

And you can enjoy some of the best new music with Friday AND Saturday Showcases.

A whole host of industry professionals and lead suppliers together in one space at one Conference. 

AFO Conference is YOUR Conference.  What speakers and sessions would you like to see?  Let us know



Some comments from previous delegates….

"AFO Conference has real integrity as an industry meeting/gathering" Chris Johnson, Shambala Festival / Kambe Events

“Brain buzzing from AFO Conference. Some great sessions, chats, music, links and all round sense of "all being in it together"!” Bob Rushton, Derby Live

It is a pleasure [to attend AFO Conference] and I always learn something” Danny Kilbride, trac Wales

“A weekend to get right into the mind-set of running a festival” Blokefest

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

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

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



Trade Stands and Goodie Bags

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!



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.

Thank you to our sponsors and partners:

       ID & C     




What happened last time?

Read the 2016 Conference Report here

The 2016 Agenda


Other Training Events:

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

Click here for details of AFO training days.