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Business Conferences and Exhibitions for Festival Organisers

Andy Robertson

The business of organising any type of festival is becoming more complex and organising teams need to keep up to date with new developments in the industry. One possible route is to attend a relevant conference or exhibition to learn about new technologies and developments that can make their jobs easier and more efficient. 


Here is a quick guide to some of the business events that festival organising teams can consider in expanding their understanding of latest developments as well as networking and connecting with their peers or even finding new suppliers.

Confex. 
More of a generic ‘event’ industry conference and exhibition the main event takes place in London but with sister conferences around the world. The next UK Confex is scheduled for 8th - 9th March 2022 and regularly attracts over 7,000 visitors and the format is a mixture of conference and exhibition.

Event Production Show (Part of Confex). 
Taking place in London each year the next event is scheduled for 8th March 2022 it’s one of the biggest live event industry events. The 6,000 attendees are typically event professionals from every sector including event promoters, festival organisers, production companies, corporate event planners, charities, marketing agencies, local authorities and government bodies. The format is a mixture of conferences and supplier exhibitions.

AFO Conference. 
The Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) run an annual conference for festival organisers and takes place in the UK with the next conference scheduled for 4th - 5th February 2022. The conference will include Keynote Speakers, Panel Sessions, One2Ones, Music Showcases, a Supplier Exhibition and Debates around how the industry is recovering from the pandemic. 

MIDEM. 
Midem takes place annually in France and is scheduled to run on 7th - 10th June 2022 with more of a focus on the industry around performance artists. The conference may be more relevant to Artist Directors, Curators and those responsible for artist management within a festival organising team.

MICS (Monaco International Clubbing Show). 
This specialist industry conference usually takes place in November each year and is aimed at the nightlife sector with an interest in beverages, sound and lighting, design, new technologies and bar equipment. The visitors are generally club and bar owners, promoters, party organisers and event agencies.

Event Organisers Summit.
Takes place in London and is scheduled for 17
th - 18th October 2022. The event brings together suppliers and event organisers with format based on one-to-one business meetings, interactive seminars and networking opportunities. Although the format does not suit everyone it can provide connections to potential suppliers.

Although this list is not comprehensive it does give a flavour of the industry events that festival organising teams can consider attending to broaden their knowledge, find new suppliers and network with their peers.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Luis Quintero from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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