NFAN Membership Hub

2020 Conference & Trade Exhibition

in Annual Conference, Events tagged

PAST EVENT – NFAN’s biggest event of the year – Doncaster Racecourse – Tues 28th to Thurs 30th January

A friendly Yorkshire welcome awaits in Doncaster for our 2020 Conference.

Expecting 200 attraction owners and managers from all over the UK, the 2020 Conference & Trade Exhibition is set to be the biggest and best so far.

With an exciting programme full of inspirational and motivational speakers, fantastic entertainment, great networking opportunities, large trade exhibition and so much more, this is one event you must attend!

The theme for the 2020 NFAN Conference is ‘The Visitor Experience’

A Packed Programme

We’d encourage members to come for as long as possible. In addition to the full Conference programme, Awards Dinner and Trade Exhibition, meeting fellow operators is always one of the event’s key benefits.  

Tuesday 28th January

Visit to The Pink Pig (previous Farm Attraction Award Winner), followed by a fun networking dinner at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel, next to Doncaster Racecourse.

Wednesday 29th January

Open Day at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Find out how this former farm attraction transformed into a wildlife park, growing from 70,000 visitors in year 1 to 800,000 in 2019.  An impressive story with plenty of learnings!

Trade Exhibition Drinks Reception and NFAN Awards Dinner at Doncaster Racecourse.

Thursday 30th January

Trade Exhibition Breakfast and Browse

Main Conference and Trade Exhibition

Main Conference 

Visitors are the lifeblood of our business and our 2020 theme focuses on The Visitor Experience. Find out how we can evolve, improve, measure and learn from other businesses.

7 Reasons to attend the NFAN Conference

Below are our top 7 reasons for attending the NFAN Conference. Ask us for our full list of 25 reasons if you need any more persuasion.

  • You’ll discover innovative ideas to take back and implement 
  • You’ll sharpen your existing skills
  • You’ll meet experts and influencers face to face
  • You’ll  meet over 60 suppliers under one roof
  • You can take advantage of Conference only promotions 
  • You’ll grow your network and catch up with fellow operators 
  • You’ll have fun and be inspired 

Where is the Conference?

At the Award winnng Doncaster Racecourse ( DN2 6BB) where the Conference & Trade Exhibition is taking place.

Hear what previous delegates have said…


Have a look at our programme.

Tuesday 28th January

12pm – Visit to Pink Pig Farm

7:30pm – Informal networking meal with entertainment at Doncaster Racecourse

Wednesday 29th January

Open Day at Yorkshire Wildlife Park (Coaches from 8:45am)

9:30am: Arrival Drinks & Refreshments

10:00am: Welcome, Richard Powell, NFAN Chairman

10:10am: The Yorkshire Wildlife Park Story
John Minion, Chief Executive Officer

10.50am: Tour of Yorkshire Wildlife Park

12pm: Networking Lunch

1pm: Meet the Yorkshire Wildlife Park Senior Management Team and learn about how they manage guest experience, animal husbandry, sales & marketing and catering

2:15pm:  Catering Talk

3:00pm: Q&A

3:10pm: Another chance to look around Yorkshire Wildlife Park

3:30pm: Coaches Depart

6pm: Drinks Reception and the Trade Exhibition Opens

8pm: Awards Dinner

Thursday 30th January

8:30am: Registration, Refreshments and Trade Exhibition Opens

9:30am: Welcome from NFAN Chairman Richard Powell

9:40am: Speed Networking

9:50am: Keynote: How to Be Brilliant – Michael Heppell, Customer Service Expert and International Best-Selling Author of 6 books, including 5 Star Service – How to Deliver Exceptional Customer Service

10:50am: Refreshment Break and Trade Exhibition

11:45am: Keynote: The Economics of Visitor Experience and the Visitors Journey – Tony Sefton, Director and Founder of VisionXS, Visitor Experience Expert, Strategic Advisor   

12:30pm: NFAN AGM

12:40pm: Lunch and Trade Exhibition

2:40pm: Trade Exhibition Closes

2:45pm: Achieving Excellence – Bob O’Connor, Managing Director of Port Lympne Safari Park, Wild Animal Reserve & Hotel and NFAN Award Judge

3:20pm:  Hear from the best – three inspiring NFAN Award entries

3:50pm: Q&A

4:00pm: Conference Ends

Introducing our sponsors

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

Main Gold Conference Sponsors

Marsh and Company’s Exclusive NFAN-Approved Insurance Scheme continues to include a Free Independent Health and Safety Audit as part of our service offering. This is a one-day health check by our appointed fully qualified independent company partner whom is well acquainted with the Visitor Attractions Insurance Industry. 

In addition, we have a choice of Exclusive insurers on our panel that continue to provide bespoke competitive insurance solutions including business interruption extensions for closure of the attraction following risks such as e. coli including an outbreak at a neighbouring farm/attraction. PLUS we have the all important independent facility and insurer network that allows us to go outside of our scheme coverage when required obtaining quotations from Lloyd’s of London insurers and others.

Marsh & Co is also the official Animal Attraction Assurance Scheme Accreditation Supplier and will reduce premiums by 7.5% to a maximum of £1,500 for clients with AAAS certification. 

Come and talk to us about how we can help you, how we can ensure you have adequate coverage and how we can reduce your premiums. 

Chartered Surveyors and Rural Consultants specialising in securing planning permission for farm diversification projects, negotiating business rate appeals, valuation advice for securing funding and grant aid applications.

Davies & Co have extensive experience in helping NFAN members reduce their business rates, assist with planning applications including change of use and arranging specialist surveys.

Their experience in the leisure and tourism industry has helped farm attractions create successful businesses and maximise their assets.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

Tel:- 01536 524808.

Agility Marketing are a bespoke agency, specialising in helping visitor attractions increase footfall. Agility run over 200 marketing campaigns across 20 clients yearly, so know what works (or maybe more importantly what doesn’t).

Agility help clients both offline and online; from implementing digital advertising and creating new websites to writing marketing plans and total outsourcing.

They have an excellent track record; in 2019, Piglets Adventure Farm grew visitor numbers by over 15% for the 3rd year; 2019 was also the best ever year for Mead Open Farm and Tulleys Shocktober Fest.

Pick and mix Agility’s services:

  • Unlock proven results with digital advertising
  • Manage social media networks
  • Review existing marketing strategy
  • Creation of modern, mobile-first websites
  • Training for teams with marketing workshops
  • Develop full marketing plan for you to implement
  • Become your full-service marketing team

Agility’s clients vary from Mead Open Farm, Odds Farm Park and Adventure Valley to Hamerton Zoo, to Tulleys Shocktober Fest and The Howl Scream Parks. 

Agility acts as the managing agent for NFAN.

Event Sponsors

Pink Pig Afternoon Visit Sponsor

Pre – Conference Open Day sponsor 1

Drinks Reception Sponsor 1

Awards Dinner Main Sponsor

Awards Dinner Wine Sponsor

Award Sponsors

Best Food & Beverage Award Sponsor

Best Digital Presence Award Sponsor

Image result for play area hygiene services

Innovation Award Sponsor

playscheme logo

Day Maker Award Sponsor

Farm Attraction of the Year (<75k visitors) Sponsor

Farm Attraction of the Year (75k+ visitors) Sponsor

Farm Attraction of the Year (75k+ visitors) Sponsor

Trade Exhibition

NFAN Trade Exhibition

With over 80 trade exhibitors, this is your chance to make new contacts, take advantage of event only promotions and speak to experts.

The Trade Exhibition is open on Wed 29th from 6pm – 8pm as part of the Drinks Reception for the Awards Dinner and also open from 8:30am on Thursday 30th January.

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:

Aardvark FX

Activity World

Advantage Buying Limited

Agility Marketing

Air Bouncers LTD

Ark Toys

Artifex Designs


Colour Heroes

Creative Play UK

David Taylor Design

Davies & Co

Deluxebase LTD


DM Gould Wholesale LTD

Formula K International Ltd

Fun Fear

Grass Sledge

Greenspan Projects Ltd


Haven Systems

Huck Netts

Innovative Leisure

JKD3 Limited

Jumping Pillows

Kamarin Computers Ltd

Keycraft Global

kids play


Longfish Leisure BV

Lorica Insurance

Magenta Star

Marsh & Co

Marshfield Farm Ice Cream

Merlinsoft Ltd

NGF Play Ltd

Nicco Parks & Resorts

Pacific Computers Limited

Peppercorn Food Solutions

Play Area Hygiene

Play Creations LTD


Preseli Gifts & Souvenirs

Purchasing for Parks

Rainbow Productions

Regency Purchasing


Robbie Toys Ltd

Robert Frederick

Rupert Oliver’s Idea Factory

Rural Solutions

S.Gregory & Co


Sovereign Play Equipment

Teddy Mountain UK Ltd

TeddyTastic Bear Co Ltd

The Play Inspection Company LTD




Timely Intervention LTD

Ustigate Waterplay


Virgin Money PLC

World of Rides

Awards Dinner – 8pm Weds 29th January

Enjoy a spectacular evening with lots of laughs, drink, delicious food and of course the announcements of all the winners of the NFAN 2020 Annual Awards.



The Hilton Garden Inn is now fully booked on 29th January.  If anyone would like to add 28th or 27th Jan, please call Debbie Wood at the hotel on 01302986888, then press option 0.

NFAN’s chosen hotel is Hilton Garden Inn, a 4 star hotel located just next door to the conference facility.

Early booking has now ended, therefore if you require a room it will be subject to availability under the best available rate.

Alternative Accommodation

Earl of Doncaster Hotel
This South Yorkshire Art Deco hotel is less than 500 metres from both Doncaster’s town centre and race course. There is free secure parking, and free Wi-Fi in public areas.

To book please find best available rates through either their website or price comparison sites.


Michael Heppell – Customer Service Expert and International Best-Selling Author

Michael is an international best-selling author of 6 books, including How to Be Brilliant and Flip It. But his passion is presenting. He has been described as ‘One of the top 3 professional speakers in the world.’ He works with individuals and organisations who are dissatisfied with being good and have a desire to be brilliant.

Tony Sefton – Director and Founder of VisionXS, Visitor Experience Expert, Strategic Advisor

Tony is a creator and designer of many new attraction experiences around the world, designer of several new heritage tours including the Gold Mine tours in Gold Reef City, International Speaker and Senior Advisor to UKTI for exporting UK Creative and Heritage Expertise. Tony has 26-years’ experience in the visitor attraction industry and is an inspirational leader.

Bob O’Connor – CEO and founder of Bob O’Connor Ltd, leisure consultancy and NFAN Award Judge

Bob has been in the leisure sector for over 30 years, 5 years in resort management with Butlins, 5 years in Hotel general management Rank Organisation, 6 years General manager of Brighton Pier and over 15 years as Group Managing Director of the Aspinall Foundation.

Ashleigh Crouch – 4 Kingdoms Adventure Farm

Ashleigh, who has worked for 4 Kingdoms for the last 2 years, was brought in to streamline the booking systems, increase the immersivity of the Christmas Experience through ICT, cut costs through the development of inhouse systems; and look at future benefits technologies can have to the farm.

Jim Howell – Little Owl Farm Park

After farming pigs for 50 years, Little Owl Farm Park opened its doors to the general public in October 2013. What started off as an all family business now employs over 30 members of staff. It has been busy re-developing the site over this time, adding multiple indoor and outdoor play areas. The activities available to visitors have previously been animal focused, however, the business is looking to develop its entertainments and events going forward.

Robert Nicholson – Cannon Hall Farm

Farmer Robert Nicholson and his family run Cannon Hall Farm, in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. As well as being a life-long farmer, he also has made the move into TV by appearing as a series regular on both The Yorkshire Vet and Springtime on the Farm.

Sally Jackson – Pink Pig Farm

Sally Jackson co-owns the Pink Pig Farm near Scunthorpe and has two cafes – one outside the farm park serving breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas (60 covers) and the other in the playbarn serving ‘good food, fast’ (100 covers). The farm produces it’s own free range pork, sausages and bacon, free range eggs, homemade cakes and savouries.

Lindsi Blakeman – Yorkshire Wildlife Park

I have done numerous roles in highly commercial companies such as Fitness First and Bannatyne’s to a not-for-profit local Leisure Trust based in Huddersfield. My job roles have included sales, marketing, operations and events to name a few. Currently, I work as the Head of Sales & Marketing for Yorkshire Wildlife Park, where I’m focused on maximising income through planned and proactive marketing and a focused sales process. My work ethos is you are only as good as your team!

Louise Moss – Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Louise started out as a trainee nurse whilst at college but decided to take another career path. Working next at a newly built warehouse in Doncaster, before moving into the admin department and being promoted to senior admin. Following this, she moved into projects and then team management, later becoming assistant site manager. What followed then was a complete and exciting career change into retail management and the Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

Phil  Bracegirdle – Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Phil finished A Levels and decided to go and work at Center Parcs where he pursued a career. He worked through the ranks for over 12 Years, eventually heading up a department and doing Village Duty Management Shifts. After 3 successful years in the role, Phil looked outside the company to test his skills and take on an Operational Management role for multiple sites which Yorkshire Wildlife Park was a perfect fit for.

Welcome to NFAN

With over 200 farm members, The National Farm Attractions Network (NFAN) unites the farm and rural attraction industry.

Encouraging best practice and knowledge sharing, we proactively update members on the latest HSE advice, represent the farm attraction industry at government meetings, run events and provide ongoing support and guidance.

Find out more about the role of NFAN.


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