Annual Conference

Mark your calendars!

It’s becoming more and more evident that we live in an experience economy. Community event organizers and planners need to create optimal festival experiences for their festival audiences in order for the festival to succeed. Through this year’s conference theme “Create the Experience!”, we invite you to innovate, integrate and collaborate to create memorable experiences for your festival attendees as you grow your much loved festivals and businesses!

Join us February 28th – March 2nd, 2018 for FEO’s 2018 annual conference at the Hamilton Convention Centre by Carmen’s in Hamilton! Visit this year’s conference website at for all the details. 

FEO’S Annual Conference

Festivals and Events Ontario annual conference is held in late Winter in any one of Ontario’s communities across the province and boasts vibrant presentations, collaborative industry education, in-depth workshops and an outstanding opportunity to learn from and network with top industry professionals. The conference attracts 250 + festival and event professionals from across the province of Ontario. With a major tradeshow, an industry recognition Award Program and numerous showcase entertainment auditions, the FEO conference provides the perfect backdrop for industry professionals to soak up the excitement of a successful festival and event year gone by and prepare for another exciting year ahead!


Every year industry members eagerly anticipate the opportunity to relax, have fun and rub shoulders with other festival and event industry professionals. The annual conference provides an ideal forum for delegates to network, exchange ideas, gather insights and hone skills. Interested in becoming a member? Click here for more details!

Conference attendees come from a wide range of environments across the arts, heritage, sports, food, music and many other platforms. Industry professionals you might run into at our annual conference are Festival/Event Organizers, Event Planners and Producers; Festival Suppliers; Partner Associations; Representatives of Municipalities, BIAs and Chamber of Commerce; Representatives of Regional Tourism Offices; Non Profit Organizations; Corporate Sponsors; Educational Institutions; Event Management Faculty, Students and Post Grads; Recreation and Parks Department Representatives; and Community leaders.


FEO takes pride in carefully selecting top industry professionals to lead dynamic presentations and in depth workshops. FEO’s Keynote Speakers are known for their ability to inform, educate and entertain conference delegates with the aim to motivate and energize professionals as they enter the upcoming festivals and event season.  


Each year as a part of the Annual Conference, FEO provides the opportunity to performers of all genres to give a performance audition in front of hundreds of industry planners and organizers. These performance auditions are built into our special Showcase evening on Thursday and our Gala dinner on Friday night, providing entertainment for the delegates throughout the evening. To express your interest in participating in Showcase 2018 please download and submit the 2018 Showcase application form.     

Silent Auction

Every year as a part of the Annual conference, FEO reaches out to their members to donate at least one item to the FEO Silent Auction so we can continue providing excellent programming value for both the conference and regional educational and networking events. EVERY dollar raised through the silent auction is utilized towards educational initiatives, such as providing guest speakers at these events. If you are interested in learning more about the Silent Auction or need help to brainstorm, contact us for more details.


As the largest trade show of its kind for festival and event professionals, FEO’s Marketplace promises to feature suppliers from a wide range of services and products. This is a one stop shopping opportunity under “one roof” so to speak, as vendors and suppliers are available to share and reveal industry products and services meeting almost every festival need. This is a great opportunity to engage, connect and collaborate in the sustainability and success of Ontario’s festivals and events industry! Interested in purchasing a booth? Please click here for more information or contact Debbie Mann at 519 742-2226. 


FEO’s annual Conference is the place to be as each year, FEO rolls out the red carpet, so to speak, to acknowledge and recognize industry excellence through the annual Awards Program. These highly revered Awards and award winners reflect the best of the best in industry practices, the hard work and commitment of those who make the festivals and events industry in Ontario such a success. If you are interested in learning more about the FEO’s Award Program, click here or contact us for more information.


FEO welcomes the opportunity to partner with any organization that shares an interest in the festival and event industry. Festivals and Events across Ontario span over many platforms such as the arts, culture, heritage, sports, food, music and much more. There is plenty of opportunity to narrow your reach within a variety of target markets. Creating a perfect forum for businesses to connect directly with a large number of industry professionals on a personal level, the conference allows companies to interact with major players within the festival industry, revealing valuable demographic and psychographic insights and enabling businesses to steer their brand visibility to a more targeted audience. FEO has a wide range of sponsorship opportunities for companies who want to be involved in our annual conferences. Interested in becoming a sponsor at the FEO conference? Please contact Debbie Mann, Business Development Officer at 519 742-2226 for more information.  

FEO’s Past Conferences

Download for more information on past speakers and past annual conference locations

Have a look at this four page insert from highlighting the 2017 “Celebrating the Past. Igniting the Future!” FEO annual conference in Sault Ste. Marie