Australian Festival Industry Conference program announced

AFIC 2023 will offer industry professionals a platform for knowledge exchange, networking, and innovation.

The Australian Festival Industry Conference (AFIC) has announced the program and speaker lineup for its third annual event, taking place 30-31 August at Luna Park Sydney.

In partnership with H2 Insurance Solutions, AFIC has solidified its position as the leading gathering for festival management personnel in the Asia Pacific region, encompassing music, arts and culture, food and drink, sports, and ‘ideas’ festivals.

Spanning two days, the conference program will feature two keynote presentations by industry veterans and visionaries Rhoda Roberts AO and Anthony Bastic AM, updates from the NSW Government and Austrade, three engaging panel discussions, presentation from more than 20 industry-leading professionals, a trade exhibition and two evening networking events.

AFIC founder and event director, Carlina Ericson, expressed her enthusiasm for the conference program, emphasising the invaluable learning and networking opportunities it offers to the industry.

“This year’s program offers learnings like never before; across a range of hot topics such as accessibility, sustainability and crowd science,” Ericson said.

“Delegates will hear the latest research on audience purchasing behaviour. They’ll also walk away with insights into how to maximise marketing effectiveness, and how best to prepare for crises through careful communications planning. This year is certainly not one to miss!”

Keynote speaker Rhoda Roberts will discuss how festival directors can collaborate with First Nations peoples to co-design festival programs that are culturally sensitive, inclusive, and authentic, while Anthony Bastic will explore innovative approaches to program content development and activating non-traditional public spaces.

Delegates can also expect timely updates from two distinguished government personnel: Samantha Palmer, general manager visitor economy and client programs at Austrade, who will cover the implications of the newly reimagined Thrive 2023 visitor economy strategy for the festival industry, and the Hon. John Graham, MLC, NSW Minister for the Arts; Minister for Music and the Night-time Economy; Minister for Jobs and Tourism, who will provide insights into the government’s priorities moving forward.

Sustainability takes centre stage as a key theme with a presentation by Justyna Jochym, chief executive officer of Festival City Adelaide, unveiling Adelaide’s inaugural city-wide event sustainability strategy. Jochym will outline how major festivals in Adelaide have collaboratively partnered with Green Industries SA and Green Music Australia to develop this groundbreaking strategy, the first of its kind in Australia.

Greg Donovan, managing director of Big Red Bash, will discuss his approach to waste management at the world’s most remote music festival. He will also join a panel of experts dedicated to discussing sustainability.

A new addition to this year’s program is the “Ask the Experts” panel, providing AFIC delegates with a unique opportunity for a Q&A session with experienced industry professionals who will be ready to share their expertise.

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