Association of Independent Festivals conference to address bad weather and event marketing

AIFThe Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) is hosting a one day conference on February 6 to discuss bad weather and festival marketing and sponsorship.

The event, which takes place at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, takes the format of a series of seminars broken into morning and afternoon sessions – in the morning, the AIF will delve into the details of how to prepare for bad weather – right from the planning of the festival through to what to do if bad weather hits. It will be kicked off with a seminar by The Event Safety Shop’s (TESS) Simon James that will cover contingency planning for UK outdoor events and how to respond to emergency situations that arise as a result of the weather.

This will be followed by a panel discussion investigating measures that can be put in place so that, should bad weather arrive, procedures can be swiftly and safely implemented and all the necessary legalities are covered. The panel of experts in the area will include Emma Parkinson (Oxfam), Shaun Coyne (Hyperion Adjusters), Simon James (TESS) and Steve Reynolds (Showsec).

In the afternoon, the event will look at festival marketing and provide information on how to make sure the right audience is reached with the right message and at the right cost. Ian Compton of CMS will look at media strategy on a small budget through to the ins and outs of social media. Tom O’Meara, a digital content specialist, will then cover how to effectively utilise all the free promotional tools available.

A panel discussion will cap off the day on securing sponsorship and funding in order to deliver exceptional events, without compromising the festival’s brand. The line up for this panel will include Greg Parmley (Intellitix), Chris McCormick (Bluepeg) , Dan Walsh (We Are Full Fat) Freddie Fellowes (Secret Garden Party) and Gary Pitt (Get In Bed).

Ben Turner, co-founder and deputy chair, AIF said: “Problems arising from increasingly frequent episodes of extreme weather conditions during the festival season are becoming far too common. It used to be an issue we’d read about in Europe but now it’s in the UK and it’s likely to continue.

“It’s the responsibility of the organisers and their staff to ensure that contingency planning is properly considered prior to the event, should it need to be implemented at the last minute. The morning sessions in this series of seminars will cover everything necessary to make sure all festivals are committed to giving their audience a safe and enjoyable experience – come rain or shine.”

The event begins at 9.30am and finishes at 5.15pm. Tickets for the event can be purchased in advance by clicking here.