For those of you who had a chance to fill in the Conference 2016 Questionnaire, many thanks.
The results have now been carefully analysed and quite clearly there is a wealth of enthusiasm out there for this event.
We looked closely at what you as members and delegates liked, didn’t like, would like to see; we find 62% of you were happy with the location, 34% fairly happy and 80% of you thought the Conference was good value for money. 96% felt the overall content and agenda were useful, and 92% of you found the Showcases either useful, bookable or entertaining.
From an entertainment point of view the Andy Kershaw interview was by far the top of the list and quotes like ‘really friendly’, ‘sociable’ and ‘a great networking opportunity’ were prominent.
Of the few things that some of you didn’t like – cost of drinks at the bar as you know is out of our hands but we will make the point to the management. And just like the AFO Team, after the PRS presentation we were not a lot wiser as to what was to come. (The latest on this is ‘the debate goes on’ and although we hoped to make an announcement before Christmas it is now likely to be nearer to Easter, without any detrimental effect on the 2017 season).
The twin session on ‘Women at Events’ needed more time and we will look at repeating some of that in future.
Some of you felt that the content from the previous year was repeated – you are quite right it was, by request from new delegates, something we wrestle with quite a lot.
The clash of some of the subjects when you want to see both is always a problem, finding the best way to set the agenda is a tricky hoop we jump through every year.
Some of you suggested we look for new venues. Rest assured we are doing that all the time and currently looking at the possibility of finding a good venue with a nearby hotel rather than trying to combine the two together. Any thoughts and ideas on that will be gratefully accepted.
What you want to see at Conference in future is almost always led by ‘fund raising’ which we will do again in some detail later this year. Other topics requested include negotiating skills, more one to one and round table sessions, a focus on free events and long term sustainability i.e. where is the next generation of organisers?
Finally the majority of you seemed to find the trade exhibition valuable, in particular Eventbrite, LMS Events and Staging and agents Midnight Mango and Strada Music. And in keeping with one of the comments we will continue to listen to what members want and do our best to supply.
For those of you who couldn’t make it to last year’s Conference - we had a good number of people telling us that they had other commitments on the same weekend - try your best to join colleagues at AFO Conference, provisional dates 10 – 12 November 2017. You know it’s worth it and ‘one of the most valuable weekends’ to quote another delegate.
We look forward to seeing you.
Steve Heap, General Secretary