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The Association of Festival Organisers Conference 2017

Ticket Zone recently joined The Association of Festival Organisers (AFO).

We attended this years' conference, as part of our ongoing marketing programme to both promote Ticket Zone services. We also wanted to meet like-minded festival and event managers who believe in learning and teaching, sharing and networking to continuously improve the festival scene.

The AFO Conference

The AFO 2017 Conference was held on 10th – 12th November at the

Ettington Chase Conference Centre near Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Over the weekend, a number of sessions took place by AFO members. The event certainly lived up to its message of being a conference dealing with the 'nuts & bolts' of organising a festival. The conference could also be planned on the app.

In the evening there was a superb showcase of artists. This year the AFO was supporting the Jasper King Trust (JKT), set up in remembrance of Jasper King who died of cancer in 2015, aged just 44 , He was a juggler, clown, balancer, dancer, musician and entertainer, who largely plied his trade on the streets and at festivals.

AFO Sessions

One of the most interesting sessions was held by Marie Lacey (DRP) and Eddie Barcan (Splendid Events) on Crisis Management.

As a leading box office service provider, and to some extent the guardian of our clients' reputation and brand, it was interesting to learn about the types of crisis, how they can affect an event and the detail of the necessary crisis management plans and how we can support our clients in working towards normal working during and following a crisis.

Apart from some homework in learning about ISO 22301 in Business Continuity Management, there were many points discussed and this session also highlighted areas of consideration during the on-boarding of new festival clients.

Key thoughts on the AFO

My key thoughts after the conference and on the drive home included:

  • firstly, how wonderful festivals are for local communities;

  • the experience and knowledge of AFO members was outstanding and that they truly underwrite the belief that anyone buying a ticket should be rewarded with a great event;

  • finally, the reason people are travelling less distance to festivals now is because there is now more choice regionally and locally.

On the whole, this was a great weekend. We learnt a lot and it was a good opportunity to meet new people with a common interest. The CD "Northern Lights" by Birnam found in the registration goodie bag was also a great listen!

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