Events and Activities


Festivals Edinburgh Pre-conference Workshop

Join the team from Festivals Edinburgh for a day-long intensive on festivals management. Rooted in case studies and reflections on real-world work and scenarios, the day’s agenda includes presentations and discussions in the following areas:

Business Models: Explore the concept of business models, starting with an examination of the different models through which Edinburgh’s Festivals create, deliver and capture value.

Collaboration: Learn about Edinburgh’s notions of collaborative working, the factors at work in developing and formalizing festivals collaboration, wider policy contexts and the stakeholder engagement.

Marketing/Innovation: Explore both the practices involved in taking cultural brands to market and the increasing challenges and opportunities presented by new markets and digital technologies.

Creative City: This part of the agenda places the festivals within the wider context of the city’s cultural eco-system and identifies the manner in which they seek to add value to the creative city.

Registration Required for the Festivals Edinburgh workshop. $80, includes lunch.

Opening Reception

The 2017 conference will kick off with a happy hour reception at the Dovecot Gallery. Join colleagues from all over the globe for drinks, appetizers, and a presentation on Edinburgh’s cultural planning process from a panel comprised of the city’s cultural leaders. The evening’s events will all take place at the Dovecot Gallery, a landmark center for contemporary art, craft and design built around a leading international tapestry studio. The gallery is a short walk from the conference hotel in the heart of Edinburgh’s city centre.

RSVP required for the opening reception. $20 for registrant guests.


Dine Arounds

Conference organizers have selected an array of restaurants in different areas of the city for this year’s dine arounds. Sign up on site at the registration center to enjoy a meal with fellow attendees at some of Edinburgh’s most delicious and culturally-rich locales.

Sign up on site for the Dine Arounds when you arrive for the conference. Deadline for signing up is Thursday, June 1 at 3:30 pm.


Site Visits and Workshops

The final morning of the conference will be spent all over the city! Travel to the Kings’ Theatre, Stills Photography Gallery, the Festival Theatre, and more for exclusive tours and Q&A sessions with the leadership of these institutions. Site visits are still being planned, so check back here for more information and be prepared to make your selection once you get on site.

A series of morning-long workshops will also take place at QMU on Friday morning. Watch this space for more information.

On-site sign-up required for the site visits and workshops.

Traditional Scottish Ceilidh and Dinner

Close out the conference with a distinctively Scottish cultural experience! The Scottish ceilidh (KAY-lee) is a wonderful exploration of the country’s musical and social heritage and a signature experience for anyone seeking Scottish cultural immersion. The evening will begin with a traditional Scottish meal, followed by a ceilidh dance demonstration. Following the demonstration, conference attendees and guests will get a lesson in ceilidh dancing and have the opportunity to participate in the AAAE ceilidh celebration. Ceilidh dancing is structured, and the steps are called out–so everyone can enjoy this rich tradition to the fullest as we celebrate our time together in the UK. This event all takes place at The Hub, a distinctive site on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and the headquarters of the Edinburgh International Festival.

RSVP required for the Scottish dinner and Ceilidh. $65 for registrant guests.


Scotland in a Day coach tour

For those who are extending their stay in the UK, AAAE is organizing a coach tour of the Scottish countryside. Participants will visit a variety of major Scottish highlights, including:

Rannoch Moor – Admire unforgettable views at this epic expanse of untouched wilderness.

Glencoe – Be moved by the sheer beauty and tragic tales of one of Scotland’s most famous landscapes.

Great Glen – A humongous fault line through the Scottish Highlands; it’s a location that’s as historically important as it is beautiful.

Fort Augustus – This wee town of 650 inhabitants is a great spot to watch boats traversing the Caledonian Canal.

Loch Ness – Take a chance to go on an optional boat cruise or wander around this alluring and eerie loch.

Grampian Mountains – Enjoy classic views of one of Scotland’s most mesmerising mountain ranges.

Highland Perthshire – Travel through thick pine-clad slopes and take in views of fast-flowing rivers.

Registration required for the Scotland-in-a-day coach tour. $90 per person.