Top Sessions You Can’t Miss at FestForums Santa Barbara

Photos courtesy FestForums.

Are you heading to the 5th annual FestForums conference in Santa Barbara this week? Beginning this Wednesday, November 20th, festival industry leaders, influencers, and enthusiasts will descend upon the SoCal beach town to discuss all things festivals – and WE. CAN’T. WAIT.

FestForums packs a ton of education, information, and opportunity into its three days, and the schedule can be a bit overwhelming (particularly if this is your first time attending). We’ve broken down a few of the top sessions to make mapping out your agenda a bit easier. Check it out:

Festival Bootcamp-Getting Started in the Festival Industry (Wednesday, 1:00 p.m.)

Festival industry newbies, this is for you! Whether you’ve attended a ton of fests and are interested in the behind-the-scenes side or you’re considering taking your skills and applying them to the festival world, this session can help you learn about what goes into working in the festival industry and how you can apply your skills (or build those needed).

This session will include speakers from successful industry companies and organizations such as Jensen Communications, Idlewild Experiential, and more.

2018 FestForums panelists (including our own Stephanie Rosa!) talk camping.

#FORTHECULTURE: How Culture Based Festivals Are Disrupting The Market (Thursday, 10:00 a.m.)

Essence Festival, AC3, Broccoli City – what do these events have in common? They’re all fests that focus on and celebrate African American culture, and they’re wildly successful. This can’t-miss session will explore what makes these festivals stand out, why they’re important, and how you can get involved.

You’ll hear from a lot of panelists in this one, including speakers from Harlem Film House, BET, Broccoli City, Essence, and Kool & the Gang’s Skip Martin.

Safety and Security- Your First Priority (Thursday, 11:00 a.m.)

We’ve all been there – you’re at a festival, surrounded by thousands of people, and suddenly a thunderstorm hits…or a transportation system fails…or you hear reports of theft in the campgrounds. When you have events of this size, it’s hard (or impossible, in the case of weather) to prevent some things from going wrong, but with proper preplanning and crisis management skills, your team doesn’t have to become the next Fyre Festival.

This panel will explore the liabilities that should be discussed and prevented ahead of your event, and how to mitigate risk and handle negative PR situations – listen for insight from the Oak View Group, TOURtech, Goldenvoice, and more.

2018 FestForums attendees at a networking event in Santa Barbara.

Why Sustainability at Your Festival Matters (Friday, 10:00 a.m.)

Massive festivals – think 90,000 people in a field in the middle of nowhere for nearly a week – can create a lot of waste. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to lower the amount of trash, reduce your environment footprint, and positively impact your brand by showing that your fest is green.

This panel, which includes speakers from the Association of Independent Festivals, Glastonbury, and more, will go over the basics of making an event sustainable and how to take these efforts to the next level.

Featured artist Carly Jo Jackson performing at FestForums 2018.

Some other can’t-miss events and activities include the Opening FestTalk (5 Festivals that Changed the World), the “Build a New Festival” group competition, keynote address from pro surfer Shaun Tomson, and SO many more sessions, with topics varying from marketing, to camping, to food and beverage.

Not registered for the conference yet? You still have time. Register here, and make sure to follow the event on social media to stay in the loop on all things FestForums:




See you in Santa Barbara!

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