8am – open for exhibition and refreshments
9am – first sessions starts
See schedule for last session times
Edmunds Restaurant Bar will be open after the event for wind-down networking for anyone who would like to pop along
‘A FESTIVAL NOT A CONFERENCE’
What’s the main difference?
Numbers in sessions in many cases are limited to approximately 30 due to fire regulations across the campus, although there are some larger areas. Whilst this does limit the numbers of people who can access a specific session, it lends itself well to a more intimate and interactive environment than large keynote halls. We have secured in some cases up to 20 sessions at any one time, meaning that there should always be something on. We have also staggered timings to enable people to get to sessions in good time, and to get into something if they are not able to get into a session they were hoping to get into after all signed up delegates are inside.
In keeping with most festivals of this kind, we cannot fully guarantee access to sessions . With the scale and eclectic nature of the content, is not possible to check every attendee into every session without creating queues, errors, forgotten tickets, conflicts and ultimately – late starts.
Also, the majority of our delegates are from groups within teaching organisations and need a degree of flexibility to make changes to who might attend leading up to the event (illness, cover etc.)
This is the nature of a festival approach over a conference, and we very much rely on professional integrity. i.e. people attending the sessions they have chosen. You will be able to keep an eye on numbers in sessions by using the app and book in when spaces become available. You can also arrive at a session and see if there is space after everyone else has gone in.
We request that all delegates respect this approach.
Food and drink update!
£4.50 for a great choice of ’Street Food’ and unlimited drinks – from 10am to 3.30pm
In order to provide you with the best possible festival experience, we have teamed up with Vertas to bring you a ’street-food fayre’. This has replaced a rather plain ’sandwich in a bag’. Please bring cash on the day (there is also a fee-free ATM in Leonardo House if you forget) and make the most of the options below:
- We encourage you to make the most of the flexible food times and spread food stops over the course of the day. This will help to reduce queues and to access content. We urge people to throw off the ‘teacher lunch shackles’ for the day and eat at a different time from the normal lunchtime!
- For £4.50 you can choose one of our Street-food options and
- Small snack items can also be purchased from a Vertas snack shop (such as biscuits, flapjacks, fruit etc.) or from vending machines around the site
- Free drinking water can be accessed from water dispensers around the site
- Please note that we cannot guarantee fully allergy free food. Please check with food vendors on the day or bring food with you
- There will be a bar open on the day where you can use cash to purchase wine and beer
Groups: optional pre-festival food and drink voucher purchase for organisations (schools, colleges etc.)
- If your organisation wishes to purchase food and drink centrally for your staff, please let us know numbers by completing this form: CLICK HERE
- We will invoice you separately for the vouchers
- Staff will just need to show their ID or schedule on the day at the voucher vending points (in both West Suffolk College Gateway and University of Suffolk Buildings)
- The price for pre-pay food / drink is £4.50 and allows delegates one meal and unlimited drinks
- This is only available to organisations who are bringing groups
Mobile Web App for iPhone, Android & Blackberry
Bookmark on your phone by visiting
View your personal schedule, browse what’s happening right now or search for what you want.
iCal for Google Calendar, Outlook & Apple iCal
By subscribing to the iCal feed in your calendar program or mobile phone you can have instant, offline access to your schedule or the entire schedule of events. It even automatically pulls in updates of schedule changes.
iCal links below are for your personal schedule. Use all.ics instead if you’d like to subscribe to the entire schedule.
Apple iCal Subscribe Link.
On next screen, set “Auto-refresh” to “Every hour” to ensure you get schedule changes.
Google Calendar Subscribe Link.
You can’t set the refresh rate but Google automatically updates the feed once per day.
Microsoft Outlook Subscribe Link.
At the prompt, click yes.
Export Link for Downloading.
Save to your desktop and manually import into your calendar.
This is a one-time import so updates to schedule will not sync like the subscribe links above.
‘A Professional Trust Approach to Session Attendance’
We embrace the ideal that delegates will take a professional and trusting approach to attending sessions, and give way to those who have indicated their attendance prior to the event to avoid delays, conflicts and awkward situations between delegates and room managers. We aim to stagger timings of sessions, so if you cannot enter something, there’s likely to be something else starting soon.
We kindly ask you not to attend a session you haven’t indicated an preference for in advance, although it’s fine to hover around until near the start of the session to see if there are any spaces, after those who have signed up have entered
We kindly ask you to attend sessions you have indicated a preference for, or pop along to the room to let the room manager know you won’t be attending. This way it is much easier for the room manager to manage expectations of speakers and delegates, and avoid awkward situations
Some speakers are fine with standing room. This is indicated when you arrive at the session. (Delegates with disabilities will be supported in finding a suitable space)
The college has a lot of ‘smallish’ rooms – holding between 20 and 40 people, with a small number of larger keynote spaces. The keynote spaces will largely be used for panels – and where we have had very high numbers of signups. (This means, for example, that you may be attending a high-level speaker but in a relatively small space!)
There are a very small number of sessions that are ‘closed’ for a particular group of delegates, or where we have reserved a small number of spaces. This is purely down to some very individualised variables.
Please read carefully
Indicate your preferred sessions using the link sent to the person who booked your tickets. The same link can be used for all delegates in a group.
The system will initially enable you to choose up to four sessions, then it will open up to allow more choices.
We will continually review uptake across the whole spectrum of sessions and assess how we can maximise further opportunities (e.g. adding or duplicating sessions, moving speakers to different sized spaces and potentially re-opening the signup link).
It is not possible to fully guarantee entry to any specific session, but you will have the option to join a waiting list and you will automatically be added if a place becomes available. If you are on a waiting list, you will also be able to go along on the day to check if there are any spaces after everyone else has entered the room.
Managing the flow of people
Capacity is limited for each room due to the structure and fire regulations of the building, and we rely on the professional integrity of festival-goers to attend the sessions they sign up for as it will be impossible to fully ’police’ who attends each session without causing delays and queues. Some sessions will have standing room availability where fire regulations permit, and where speakers have agreed to this.
A festival rather than a conference
This will have a very different feel from a formal conference, and by providing more than 120 sessions, we anticipate that if you don’t get into one of your top choices, you will almost certainly find something else of benefit, and we thank you in advance for approaching this festival ethos with positivity. There are also plenty of networking spaces, the exhibition and informal activities going on too.
Room Managers will be able to make spot checks and manage the attendance in some sessions, particularly where sessions are likely to be very full, so please stick to your chosen sessions to help avoid those awkward “are you sure you’re signed in for this session?” moments 🙂
You will be given a wristband and sticker rather than a lanyard (we are aiming to avoid the ‘Lanyard Graveyard’ and feedback tells us that more delegates prefer a wristband to a lanyard. The wristband grants you access to sessions.
There Will be Changes
We aim to pin down timings and venues as early as possible. However, with such a huge range of content and people involved, itis a continually shifting set of variables which means that timings will be fully confirmed around one week before the event. There will be a few small tweaks in the days leading up to the event, but the majority of sessions will be fixed by this time.
We advise you to keep a check on this all the way up to the event day itself, and even on event day where small things can change.
WiFi – Managing Expectations!
- A limited number of guest WiFi codes will be available on the day to avoid bandwidth overload. These will be allocated on a first come first served basis, with priority given to speakers, sponsors and exhibitors
- However, we kindly ask you not to upload files using the college internet. Please use your own data for uploading, although you can use the college internet for browsing the web, using social media etc. This is because with up to 1000 people using the system, even a few uploads drawing from the same area can seriously slow down internet speeds.
Health and Safety
- Fire exits are well-signed, and the Fire Assembly Point is on the Quad (green space in the centre of the college surrounded by buildings (adjacent to Leonardo’s and Australia House)
- Toilets are well signposted in each building
- Disability access is available throughout the building, with lifts to many areas of the college
- Disability parking can be booked via the college by emailing Sharon Cain – [email protected] (no other parking can be pre-booked in this way)
- First-Aid: the main First Aid control point will be at the Info-Point in the entrance foyer. Other First-Aiders will be available throughout the College, and if in any doubt – please speak to one of the Festival Support Staff
This is strictly a ‘dress how you like’ festival
We hope you will feel happy and relaxed. There is no formal dress code and you are encouraged to come in what you feel comfortable in
You can move around the festival freely during sessions you’re not attending and there are plenty of great exhibitions to keep you busy
We ask you to keep to one-way systems where indicated. (These may be tightened or relaxed at different times to help the flow of people)
Free tea, coffee and water will be available throughout the day from outlets and vending machines, but speciality coffee may not be available or
There will be a bar where you can buy wine or a beer and relax and chat
Workshop room layout
- Rooms will be set up with a theatre style layout of chairs and a projector / whiteboard at the front, with the likelihood of having no tables. The number of tables is dependent on various logistical factors, including how numbers of delegates vary up until the festival. However, please plan for a chairs only approach
- Workshop rooms range in number capacity from 20 to 40 – and we will be continually shuffling speakers, spaces and timings – all the way up to the event, based on our insights into take-up of particular keynotes
- Our aim is to keep some Workshop rooms free for on-the-day advertisement of duplicate sessions where take-up is very high. We ask all speakers to let us know if they are willing to do a duplicate session
- Standing room in Workshops will not be encouraged, although in some cases it will be reasonable to enable standing room (number capacities are based on health and safety and comfort)
- There will be no microphones in workshop spaces
- Any disability access arrangements should be discussed in advance with Sharon Cain: [email protected]
Session timings and styles
Sessions will vary in delivery style. They are loosely defined as workshops, keynotes, lightning talks, in-conversation etc. although there will no doubt be all sorts of hybrids and speakers have free reign to interact with audiences as they see fit. Each session will either be within a 45 minute or 1 hour capsules.
Liaison with delegates after a session
- There will be an inevitable short time period when speakers and delegates are packing up at the end and engaging in further one-to-one conversation. Our room managers will be briefed to politely ask delegates and speakers to move post-session conversations outside the delivery space in order to prepare for the next session. Again, they are not being rude… the key brief for them is to ensure that speakers and delegates receive the optimum experience
- Speakers and delegates can continue uninterrupted conversation by moving to one of the many social areas and open spaces.
- There are approximately 350 usable parking spaces in total on the college grounds. Parking on the College site will be limited, and we urge people to park off site at one of the other local car parks, or to take the train / taxis
- We kindly request that delegates take careful note of the following guidelines:
Restricted parking on college car park
- West Suffolk College staff are kindly asked to make alternative arrangements for parking (as guided by college senior leadership)
- Individual delegates (i.e. not car sharing in groups of more than two people) will not be granted access to the main college car park
- Parking is on a first come first served basis and we urge people to avoid the college car park as it can become very congested with limited flow of access in and out
Drop off points
- Back of college – at Sports Centre car park / West Suffolk House or before, leaving yourself room to drive out and avoid bottlenecks. Please drop off further out and walk in if possible
- Front of college – bus stop / drop-off point just inside the college drive, near the mini roundabout (avoid this where possible as it will become congested)
- Drivers / taxis – please do not wait more than the time it takes to drop off passengers.
- Minibus parking : use front drop-off point, or there is limited parking on a first come first served basis for minibuses at the back of the college. You can drop off passengers at the front, then go round the back to park if it helps with getting delegates there on time
- By Rail – the train station is only a 10 minute walk from the College.
Other tips and guidance…
- Leave as much time as possible to park. It will be easy to miss your first session if not well planned!
- Vehicles must be removed overnight prior to the event or on other days leading up to the event
- We will reserve a small number of parking spaces for speakers and guests who are unfamiliar with the area or who are travelling a long way to be with us. We ask local speakers – or those with high capacity for finding alternative parking or walking (e.g. if staying in a hotel) not to park on the main college site
Further support and complaints
We hope your experience will be fantastic. However, in the event that it falls below your expectations to the point where you wish to make a complaint, please follow the following guidelines:
- Please try to put in context – the scale and ambition of the event and the notion that there will almost inevitably be glitches and hiccups. This is the first time it has been run in this way at this venue, and we believe that the ticket price also reflects a genuine approach to provide a quality experience at a very reasonable price. That said, you are entitled to exactly that – a quality experience – hence this section of the website
- Please speak to one of the Young Leaders and ask to speak to a Floor Manager, or to be shown where the Info Point is (main reception area). Please do not ‘complain’ to Young Leaders – but they can help with queries and general issues.
- Speak to a Floor Manager or someone at the Info Point
- Try to resolve the issue before leaving the festival if at all possible
- If this is not possible, please write to: [email protected] where we will consider the issue and we will do our utmost to make things right.
Many thanks for your understanding – and please don’t hesitate to read all the relevant information on the website and in the programme, and talk to any of our staff to help avoid problems before they arise.