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2016 Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition

in Annual Conference, Events tagged , ,
Past Event – Tuesday 2nd – Thursday 4th February 2016

The biggest event in the NFAN calendar, the 2016 Annual Conference and Trade show was held at the Titanic Hotel, Liverpool.

With exciting and motivational speakers, visits to Stockley Farm Park and The Ice Cream Farm, a large trade exhibition, annual awards dinner plus much more, the 2016 Conference proved to be a stand out event.

NFAN members who are logged in can view the presentation slides on the Speakers tab below.

The Programme

Tuesday 2nd February

Visit to Stockley Farm Park, CW9 6LZ
2.00pmOver 80 delegates enjoyed a visit to Stockley Farm Park. Just 10 minutes off the M6 or M56, Stockley Farm Park specialises in ‘hands-on’ experiences for all the family and has an active Education visits programme. Included guided tour, Q&A and afternoon tea.
Informal Evening Dinner – Chinese Banquet
7:30pmLiverpool has a vibrant Chinese community and just 5 minute walk from the Titanic Hotel is one of the city’s biggest Chinese Supermarkets and restaurants. Delegates enjoyed a relaxed Chinese banquet at the Tai Pan Restaurant.

Wednesday 3rd February

Pre-Conference Visit to The Ice Cream Farm Nr Chester CH3 9NE
10.00am- 3.00pmA recent multi-million pound redevelopment, the world’s largest purpose built Ice Cream parlour, an amazing Ice Cream tree that snows, Europe’s biggest indoor sand and water play and farm animals too. This year’s pre-conference open day offered a fascinating behind the scenes look at this re-launched and re-branded farm attraction. The day included welcome refreshments from 9.30am, a talk from the owners, extensive tour, Q&A session and networking lunch.
Drinks Reception in the Trade Exhibition
6.00pmFollowing last year’s very positive feedback we once again opened the Trade Exhibition on Wednesday evening for a drinks reception before the Awards Dinner. This is an ideal opportunity to visit the trade stands and meet with exhibitors in a relaxed atmosphere.
Awards Dinner
8.00pmYou don’t have to be involved in the awards to enjoy this sparkling social occasion. Hosted  this year by Liverpool Radio City presenter Rossie, the awards dinner was a fun evening of fine food and entertainment.

Thursday 4th February

Main Conference & Trade Exhibition
8:30amRegistration: Coffee/tea and bacon rolls. A chance to visit the Trade Exhibition
9:30amWelcome and introduction – NFAN Chairman, Colin Evans
9:45amDomestic Tourism Trends, Farm Parks in context – Sharon Orrell, Visit England
10:10amPreparing for your 2017 increased rates bill! Wayne Cox, Govt Valuation Office and Tom Dixon, Independent Rating Surveyor
10.35amQ&A from morning session
10:45amBreak: Coffee/tea and an opportunity to visit the Trade Exhibition
11:40amOpportunities in the Schools market – Gary Richardson, Countryside Learning
12:00pmEducation Visits case studies – presentations from two NFAN members
12.30pmQ&A from lunchtime session
12:40pmNFAN AGM
12:50pmNetworking lunch and chance to visit the Trade Exhibition
2.50pm – Trade Exhibition closes
2:50pmPresentation from Farm Attraction of the Year Award Winners
3:10pmHow much should I spend in my farm park – Tony Sefton – Vision XS
3:40pmQ&A from afternoon session
3:50pmClosing remarks – NFAN Chairman, Colin Evans

Thank You to our sponsors

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

Main Gold Conference Sponsors
S. GregoryDaviesLogo
Open Day Sponsorsthepartners_logo             marsh_logo
Awards Dinner Main Sponsor LappsetCreative_logo_horisontal_low
Awards Dinner Wine Sponsor  timberplaylimited_logo
Drinks Reception Sponsors innovative-leisure_logo digitickets_logo
Awards Sponsors
booker-wholesale_logoRupertOliverLogoregencypg_logo David Taylor Logo marsh_logo Colour Heroes stacked logothepartners_logo

Sharon Orrell – Head of Research & Insights, VisitEngland

Presentation Summary: Domestic Tourism Trends, Farm Parks in context

Sharon Orrell

Farm Parks have been one of the stars of the attractions sector with visitor number growth outperforming other attraction types. Sharon put farm parks in context with data from the annual Visit England visitor attractions survey, alongside more general domestic trend information.

Download powerpoint presentation – available to NFAN members only. The link will appear below when you are logged in.


Sharon is a market research professional with over 20 years’ experience gained across the FMCG and service sectors. Since joining VisitEngland in 2008, she has led the organisation’s insights team in delivering a comprehensive research programme which includes volume and value measurement, business performance trends, and understanding consumer attitudes and behaviour, ensuring that robust market intelligence is available to the English tourism industry.
Email: Tel: 020 7578 1416

Wayne Cox – National Specialist, Valuation Office Agency

Presentation Summary: 2017 Rating Revaluation
Wayne Cox photo

Wayne Cox

Wayne Cox gives the Valuation Office’s advice on preparing your information for the 2017 rating revaluation.

Download powerpoint presentation – available to NFAN members only. The link will appear below when you are logged in.


A Chartered Surveyor having qualified in 1991, Wayne Cox has specialised in local taxation since 1988. Since joining the Valuation Office he has been responsible for the valuation for rating of specialist property, such as airports, wedding venues and farm attractions. He is a past Chairman of the RICS Joint Rating Forum, past Chairman of the RICS Rating Diploma Holders Section, and a past external examiner to Liverpool John Moores University.
Email: Tel: 03000 505 292

Tom Dixon – Independent Rating Surveyor

Presentation Summary: Preparing for your 2017 increased rates bill.
Tom Dixon Photo

Tom Dixon

Tom gave the Independent Rating Surveyor’s perspective on preparing for the 2017 rates revaluation.

Download powerpoint presentation – available to NFAN members only. The link will appear below when you are logged in.


Tom is consultant to the Daniel Watney Rating Team. He has some 45 years’ professional experience. Following posts in the private sector, he spent 13 years in the Valuation Office, subsequently forming the niche rating practice of Dixon Rankin. He has written and lectured widely on Rating, and is joint author of ‘’Business Rates-Your Guide’’. He is an accredited mediator and is included in the Law Society’s Directory of Expert Witnesses.

Gary Richardson – Chief Executive, Countryside Learning

Presentation Summary: Opportunities in the schools market
Gary Richardson Photo

Gary Richardson

School and education visits are already a significant part of many farm parks visitor mix,  whilst others would like to attract more mid-week school visits. Gary Richardson outlines what teachers are looking for in a visit to a farm attraction, and how best to meet their needs. The session includes case studies from Nick Hastings, Walby Farm Park who won the award for Outstanding Contribution to Learning Outside the Classroom, and Sophie Green from Stockley Farm Park who get a significant proportion of their visits from School Groups.

Download powerpoint presentations – available to NFAN members only. The link will appear below when you are logged in.


Countryside Learning is a national education charity dedicated to informing, inspiring and educating children, parents and teachers about farming and the countryside. A trustee of Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) Gary has sat on the organising board of Year of Food and Farming, Countryside Classroom and the Code of Practice working group. In addition to chairing Access to Farms he also chairs the Growing Schools Partnership.

Tony Sefton – Director, Vision XS

Presentation Summary: How much should I spend in my farm park?
Tony Sefton photo

Tony Sefton

Identifying the right levels and best mix of investment for your farm park can be daunting. Investment is the key to growth, but are you spending wisely to achieve your objectives? Using data compiled from a number of attractions, Tony will outline the key factors to consider when making your investment decisions.

Download powerpoint presentation – available to NFAN members only. The link will appear below when you are logged in.


Tony has devoted himself to understanding how visitor experiences can be broken down into measurable parameters, which led to the development of Vision’s current analysis software, X-MOD. Tony has worked with a number of farm parks on their investment and development plans. Alongside developing his core business of understanding the science of experience, Tony also administers business recovery packages for attractions. He has also played a key part in the initial planning stages of The Paramount Theme Project in Kent.

Trade Exhibition

NFAN Trade ExhibitionWith over 60 stands the Trade Exhibition is very much part of the Conference. The 2016 trade exhibition opened on Wed 3rd from 6pm – 8pm as part of the drinks reception, and on Thurs 4th from 08.30am – 2.50pm.

Delegates were able to 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 their requirements with specialist industry experts from the marketing, planning, insurance and accountancy professions.

Click the stand layout plan below for a larger image

Trade Exhibition Stands 2016 26.01.16

Companies exhibiting at the 2016 Trade Exhibition:

Agility Marketing
AP Leisure
Auto Culture
Booker Wholesale
Colour Heroes
David Taylor Design
Davies & Co
DM Gould
Flamingo Marketing
Fun Fear
Greenspan Projects
Haven Systems
Innovative Leisure
Kids Play Childcare
Lappset Creative
Leisure Life
Little Grey Fergie
Marsh & Co
Marshfields Farm Ice Cream
Natural Play Company
Partners Leisure
Preseli Gifts & Souvenirs
Rainbow Productions
Regency Purchasing
Robbie Toys
Rover International
Rupert Oliver’s Ideas Factory
Russell Play
S Gregory & Co
Shoot Systems
Shopper Anonymous
Soft Brick Company
SPI Global Play
Teddy Tastic
The Play Inspection Company
Tornado International
Tractor Ted
TYG Tickets
Unique Catering
Vanessa Bee Designs
Vision XS
World of Rides

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