The Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) has announced the dates for its 2018 Conference.

Now in its 32nd year, the Conference will take place from 9-11 November at the prestigious Stratford Manor Conference Centre and Hotel near Stratford upon Avon.

Based in the heart of the country with good road and rail transport links, Stratford is an ideal choice of location for the Conference, which attracts festival representatives from across the UK.

Over the years the AFO has played a pivotal role in raising awareness of the socio-economic impact of the festival and events industry and brought about changes in attitudes, presentation and image of the sector.

This year’s Conference will continue that role with seminars which will cover sensitive, political and day to day topics. Discussions and talks will aim to address ways in which the festival industry can play its part in helping to conserve valuable resources, focusing on the current crisis with plastics, recycling, and other pollutants.

It will also look at how festivals can reduce reliance on non-renewable energy. The impact Brexit may have on the festival industry will also be high on the agenda.

General secretary Steve Heap said: “Over the years the AFO has grown from a meeting of minds and shared experiences to an annual gathering that helps guide those involved in the festival industry towards best practices across all areas of an event.

“By keeping our finger on the pulse of changes, new legislation and new initiatives as they affect the events industry, we can bring those subjects to Conference to share the knowledge and the ramifications.”

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