Annual Conference & Trade Show 2019

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Tuesday 29th January – Thursday 31st January 2019

The Corn Exchange, 10 New Market Rd, Edinburgh EH14 1RJ

The biggest event in the Farm Attractions calendar.

NFAN Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition

Last year’s conference and Trade Exhibition was a sell-out with 70 exhibitors and over 200 owners and senior managers from UK farm attractions attending. The 2019 Conference will be held in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. This is the first time the NFAN conference has been held in Scotland and we hope that you will join us for a fantastic three days of attraction visits, conference speakers, trade show and networking events.

Venue – The Corn Exchange, Edinburgh The Corn Exchange has been voted Scotland’s best large venue 2 years in a row! The imaginatively converted former Corn Exchange features over 1300m2 of floor space for trade stands with room for the drinks reception, coffee breaks and lunch to be held among the trade stands. The Baron room where the Awards Dinner and Conference are being held is just across the concourse.

Hear what Delegates and Exhibitors have to say about the Annual Conference and Trade Show – watch the video above.

Exhibitor Stand Bookings

Exhibitor bookings for NFAN trade members click here for details

The Programme

Tuesday 29th January

Optional Afternoon Visit
PMChance to visit Edinburgh Zoo which is conveniently located next door to the Holiday Inn conference hotel. Arrive at a time to suit you and explore the zoo at your leisure. Tea & Coffee will be served at 3.30pm followed by a presentation from Edinburgh Zoo and Q&A
Informal Dinner & Ceilidh
7:30pmJoin us in the heart of Edinburgh for an evening of great Scottish fayre, hospitality,and dancing. The Ghillie Dhu is one of Edinburgh most famous bars with a beautifully restored award winning Auditorium. An informal buffet dinner followed by Ceilidh. Make your own arrangements to get to the Ghillie Dhu but it is on a direct bus route from the Holiday Inn with buses running 24hrs.

Wednesday 30th January

Pre-Conference Open Day at East Links Family Park

9.30amCoaches will leave the Holiday Inn at 8.30am for the 40min journey to East Links Family Park. Tea & Coffee on arrival, the first presentation will be at 10am. Split into groups for an escorted tour of the farm park followed by lunch and further presentations. The coaches will leave at 3.30pm to be back at the Holiday Inn by 4.30pm. Time to get ready for the night to come.
Drinks Reception in the Corn Exchange Edinburgh
6.00pmAll conference delegates, annual dinner guests and exhibitors are invited to the Drinks Reception held in the Trade Exhibition on Wednesday evening prior to the Annual Dinner & Awards. This is an ideal opportunity to visit the trade stands and meet with exhibitors in a relaxed atmosphere. There will be a free shuttle bus service running regularly (roughly every 10 min) between the Holiday Inn and the Corn Exchange.
Annual Dinner & Awards
8.00pmYou don’t have to be involved in the awards to enjoy this sparkling social occasion. Hosted by TV and Radio presenter Arlene Stuart, there will be a Scottish flavour to the night and the winners of the annual awards will be announced. There is a seating plan for the dinner. If there are two or three people from the same company we will endeavor to seat you on the same table (unless you prefer to be split). If there are four or more we will split the group to promote networking. If you would rather your large group is seated together please let us know. There is no specific dress code but most would go for smart but not formal.

Thursday 31st January

8:30amRegistration: Coffee/tea, pastries. A chance to visit the Trade Exhibition
9:30amWelcome, NFAN review, Code of Practice & AAA update – NFAN Chairman – Richard Powell
9.40amSpeed Networking session, chaired by Doug Douglas, Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park
9.55amKeynote: If we’re selling ATTRACTIONS – how do we ATTRACT!? Nicky Pattinson
10:55amBreak: Coffee/tea and an opportunity to visit the Trade Exhibition
11:45amBringing learning to life, taking the classroom to the countryside – Katrina Barclay, Royal Highland Educational Trust
12.05amFuture trends in visitor attractions, lessons from KidZania and others – Bala McAlinn  (Bala is standing in for Eddie Kemsley who is unfortunately unable to make it).
12:30pmNFAN AGM
12:40pmNetworking lunch and chance to visit the Trade Exhibition
2.30pm – Trade Exhibition closes
2:30pmFarm Park Operators, where we are going and where we have come from. Presentations from three NFAN members with different sized attractions:
Fishers Farm Park, Tim, Trina & Tom Rollings
Streamvale Farm, Chris Wilson
Mini Meadows, Ben Barraclough
3.25pmFuture Trends Panel Discussion. Panel discussion drawn from today’s presenters with interactive Q&A, hosted by Doug Douglas
3:50pmClosing remarks – NFAN Chairman, Richard Powell

Introducing our sponsors

For every event, NFAN are always extremely grateful to sponsors, who help keep delegate prices down.

Main Gold Conference Sponsors
S. Gregory DaviesLogo
Open Day Sponsor
Awards Dinner Main Sponsor
Awards Dinner Wine Sponsor timberplaylimited_logo
Drinks Reception Sponsors innovative Leisure Logo DigiTickets logo
Awards Sponsors
booker-wholesale_logo David Taylor Logo marsh_logo playscheme logo

See prices below – these are member only rates.

Non-members are welcome. Prices are detailed on the booking form. You can download a booking form here.

  NFAN Member (Ex VAT)
29th Jan – Visit to Edinburgh Zoo (refreshments included) £15.00pp
29th Jan – Buffet Dinner and Cèilidh £28.00pp
30th Jan – Pre Conference Open Day East Links Family Park (price per person – includes lunch & refreshments during the day) NFAN Member (Ex VAT)
1 person £45.00pp
2 people £40.00pp
3+ people £35.00pp
30th Jan – Annual Dinner & Awards £39.95pp
31st Jan- NFAN Conference delegate price

Book by 11th Jan

Save 10%

NFAN Member (Ex VAT) Non-Member (Ex VAT)
1 person £95.00 £105.00 £145.00
2 people £89.50pp £99.50pp £145.00pp
3+people £85.50pp £95.00pp £145.00pp

Only members can book online. Members can also book by completing the booking form and returning to the NFAN office with payment. Details of how to pay are on the booking form, Download here.

Online booking is only available to NFAN Members. You must be logged in to access the booking form. If you have lost your login details or if you are not a NFAN member please contact the NFAN office.


Tuesday 29th & Wednesday 30th Jan: The Holiday Inn EH12 6UA next to Edinburgh Zoo is the conference hotel. NFAN have a special rate of £76.00 single, £86.00 double occupancy B&B per night. Rates are inclusive of VAT, full cooked breakfast buffet, WiFi, car parking and leisure club facilities. Book your accommodation directly with the hotel – to book call 0131 314 7027 from Mon to Fri 9am-5pm and quote code  XDL when booking the room.  Cancellation policy is 7 days prior to arrival date. Rooms are subject to availability and must be booked by 11th January 2019 to get these rates, however, it is possible you may find better rates elsewhere.

Travel to and from the hotel is easily accessed via several buses that each travel to both Waverly and Haymarket train stations. Passing every few minutes routes 12, 26, 31 operate into the night and 100 goes directly to the airport. The hotel shares the bus stop with the zoo.

Coach transfers between the Holiday Inn and Corn Exchange

The Corn Exchange is 10min from the Holiday Inn. We will be arranging coaches to transfer exhibitors and delegates between the two.

Wednesday 30th: Coaches will depart the Holiday Inn at 4.30pm and 5.00pm, they will then operate a shuttle service every 10 min from 5.30pm – 7.30pm and then after the awards dinner a shuttle service will get everyone back to the hotel. The coach transfer is included for all exhibitors and delegates.

Thursday 31st: Most people will choose to drive from the Holiday Inn to the Corn Exchange and park there. There will also be coach transfers available from the hotel in the morning and subject to demand back after the conference in the afternoon. If you are not driving and need a coach transfer on Thursday please let the NFAN office know your travel plans.

Nicky Pattinson

Presentation Summary: If we’re selling ATTRACTIONS – how do we ATTRACT!?

Nicky Pattinson our keynote speaker this year knows a thing or two about what compels paying guests to your business …keeps them there, has them spend more and even has them returning.

This unusual – (but obvious!) information is based on fact…and what she learned from a market stall business selling cakes and biscuits …that she took from £1,000 a week to almost 2 million a year.

In recent years – she’s worked with some of the biggest business ‘experience names’ names out there such as TESCO , SELFRIDGES and HALFORDS – and spoken to thousands of people in retail, face to face marketing and small business owners alike…often tripling sales overnight.

”What i do is all about behaviours – thoughts and words…not marketing spend and social media….it cost’s nothing but actually ends up being EVERYTHING”

What people are actually driven to FEEL as they arrive at your place – meet your people…read your emails and generally immerse themselves in the world you have created is win or lose in these so called precarious times.

Where do you START???

FIND OUT in Nicky’s presentation 09.55 at the NFAN conference 2019.


Nicky Pattinson is as they say ‘’an uncommon sales speaker’’.

With reflections on sales…life – and how we actually express who we are and what we do in a way that compels people towards us – this lady can’t be missed.

Her first job on leaving school was in a shoe shop where she sold more shoes in one day that most would sell in a whole week. Let her tell you that story, and the reasons why she became the best in the company at sales. It may shock you – but you will surely recognise a part of yourself in her words.

At 29 she met her ‘’soon to be ex-husband’’ – they bought a market stall selling cakes and biscuits. Together they took that business from 1k a week to 37k a week using Nicky’s natural and intuitive selling concepts and ability…within 2 years . A huge achievement , this was 20 years ago.

Tripling sales instantly isn’t unusual – and you won’t have seen this take on commerce before that’s for sure!

These days she takes what she learned on the market, modifies it and reapplies it to other situations – from big Supermarket chains to Legal Services…and of course. The individual business person.

Listen to her speak if you’re lucky enough to have the chance – all her words come from experience not a textbook.

Your world will be all the better for it….WHOEVER you are.


Katrina Barclay – RHET

Presentation Summary: Bringing learning to life, taking the classroom to the countryside

Whether Life skills Maths, Healthy Eating or history is the subject driving a teacher to request a farm visit, knowing how to bring learning to life has never been so exciting than using real life examples. RHET work across Scotland with a network of farmers and growers, all year round providing activities free of charge for 3 – 18year olds. Katrina will cover the who, what and how of RHET, looking the next 20 years and how bring the classroom to the countryside.


Katrina Barclay – Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) Manager. Katrina joined RHET as a project coordinator in 2011, responsible for linking schools to working farms in the Edinburgh area. In July 2014 she returned from maternity leave to take up her current position as the RHET Manager, based at the head office at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston. As Manager of the National Charity RHET, Katrina manages a central team of staff based at Ingliston and a national team of over 14 contractors. Working alongside the RHET Board of trustees, she is responsible for the delivery of the strategic priorities of the charity which is namely ‘taking the classroom to the countryside’, creating engagement opportunities for Scotland young people, aged 3-18, to visit the working countryside. RHET engage with over 70,000 young people annually, including the education programme run during the Royal Highland Show in June.
Having previously worked for several years with National Trust tenant farmers in the Lake District, England, trailing on-farm education for all ages, Katrina has kept to her roots and passion for food, farming and the countryside. Her family run a beef, sheep and arable mixed farm in Banffshire, where she regularly returns to get hands on with the lambing, shearing and harvest.

Bala McAlinn

Presentation Summary: Future trends in visitor attractions, lessons from KidZania and others

Unfortunately Eddie Kemsley who was due to speak is not able to make it. We are grateful to Bala McAlinn for taking over the slot. Bala will cover much of Eddie’s presentation as well as drawing on his own considerable experience working with a range of visitor attractions.


Bala began working in the visitor attraction industry in 2007, writing and directing shows for London Zoo and the Science Museum. Since then he’s been involved in many projects including creating tours for the Olympic venues, recruiting and training the FOH teams for Dreamland and has also recently signed a permanent contract with the National Gallery to staff and manage their fundraising and membership sales teams. Bala says he is passionate about creating unique, engaging and exciting experiences that inspire and entertain a diverse range of audiences.
Bala is a Director at Boo Productions (www.booproductions.com) and a First Ruffian at Ruff Trade Training (www.rufftradetraining.com).

Trade Exhibition

NFAN Trade Exhibition

With over 50 exhibitors the Trade Exhibition is very much part of the Conference. It is only accessible to delegates who have paid the appropriate conference fee. The Trade Exhibition is open on Wed 30th from 6pm – 8pm as part of the drinks reception for the annual dinner, and on Thurs 31st from 08.30am – 2.50pm.

You can see the latest products from play and entertainment providers, find out about the latest online ticketing and web innovations, as well as have an opportunity to discuss your requirements with specialist industry experts from the marketing, planning and insurance professions.

Companies exhibiting at the Trade Exhibition include:

Aardman Animations
Agility Marketing
Air Bouncers
AP Leisure
Ark Toys
Colour Heroes
David Taylor Designs
Davies & Co
Deluxe Base
Gateway Ticketing
Greenspan Projects
Infinite Playgrounds
Innovative Leisure
Interfun Magazine
Jumping Pillows
Jupiter Play
KC Solutions
Kids Play Childcare
Lorica Insurance
Magenta Star
Marsh & Co.
Marshfield Farm Ice Cream
Nicco Parks & Resorts Ltd
Outdoor Play People
Pacific Computers
Play Area Hygiene Services
Play Inspection Company
Playdale Playgrounds
Preseli Gifts & Souvenirs
Proludic Ltd
Rainbow Productions
Robbie Toys
Rupert Oliver’s Ideas Factory
Russell Play
S. Gregory & Co
Teddy Mountain
Usborne Publishing
Vimto out of Home
Wicksteed Playgrouds
World of Rides

For the 2019 Trade Show Exhibitor booking information click here

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