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The Festival of Learning - Fit for the Future 2024

The Festival of Learning - Fit for the Future 2024

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This is a diary marker - fuller details will be revealed in due course.

The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers, (ABPCO) is the UK’s leading professional body for association conference & not-for-profit event organisation. We are excited to announce that the Festival of Learning event is returning next year and it will be taking place in person on Tuesday 30 April 2024, with some activities the afternoon and evening prior.

The Festival of Learning brings the association events industry together and provides opportunities for sharing, learning and collaboration. After unprecedented change in our industry its more important now than ever that we come together to support each other and the theme of ‘Fit for the Future’ reflects that.

The Festival of Learning will be attended by over 100 leading PCOs in the UK and a range of industry partners.

We need your help 

To help make the day as valuable as possible we’re calling for contributions and are looking for a range of content and formats for both plenary and breakout sessions. We request that all opportunities are interactive and allow delegates to engage with the content as well as provide key learnings and takeaways that can be put into action.  We also ask that the content has not been presented before to event professionals.

The content must also support the theme ‘Fit for the Future’ exploring what we need now as an industry to move forward, so we welcome ideas form students and academic departments as well as our more experienced members. We also want content which is focused on the following areas:

Innovation and Creativity

We want to hear about the brilliant ways you have been innovative and creative through the conferences and events that you deliver – whether that is through content, use of technology to enhance an event, the use of social media, delegate acquisition strategies or working differently with sponsors and stakeholders to achieve event outcomes. Can you share your experiences, share the skills needed as well as challenges to being innovative and creative to help others to thrive in this area and to think innovatively and creatively?

Adapting for the future 

We know events are changing, but do we understand the different aspects and external factors that are influencing events and how we prepare for them positively. Can you share your experiences of how you prepared and responded to challenges, how you work and collaborate with others to achieve greater things, provide details on changes we’re seeing in the industry (e.g. sustainability, EDI, legacy or tech) or ideas for how we can do more with less as we ensure that our conferences are future-proof.


It’s not just about the delivery of events or event solutions, but the beating heart of what makes our industry thrive, its people. We want content across a range of areas that will help you and your organisations to support our people – from recruitment and development of evolving skills, to retention and mental health and wellbeing.

How to submit

Submit a title and abstract using this form

• Deadline is 30th November 2023

• You will be informed of the outcome by 12 January 2024

Please note: If we do not accept your submission for the Festival of Learning it may be considered for future learning opportunities.

If you have any queries email Heather Lishman on

We would like to thank the SEC and Glasgow Convention Bureau in their support of this event.

Thank you to our industry partners for their ongoing support.

Organised by: Heather Lishman of ABPCO
Phone Number: +447818287086


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