AoC Annual Conference & Exhibition

17 - 19 November 2015, The ICC Birmingham

As a sector we are facing unprecedented change. Our challenge is to ensure colleges remain at the heart of the community and the economy, and continue to educate our students – what they learn today powers the economy of tomorrow.

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The countdown to the AoC Annual Conference and Exhibition has begun. Bringing together the further education sector under one roof to learn, develop, influence, exchange information and network. As the highlight of AoC’s events calendar, the conference combines keynote speakers, plenary sessions and breakout sessions to inform, stimulate debate and to provide the latest news and information from senior figures from government, further education and wider business sectors.

To help you plan your time around college commitments, we offer flexible packages for just one day, two days or for all three. In addition, there is a multiple booking discount available to AoC members booking two or more delegate places, so book your tickets now.

Inspirational and thought provoking

Louise Tearle
Leeds City College

AoC Annual Conference and Exhibition sponsors

Why you should attend

AoC’s Annual Conference and Exhibition is the must-attend event for senior leaders, policymakers and organisations linked to further education.

Here are five good reasons why you should attend this year’s AoC Annual Conference and Exhibition:

  1. Learn Find out about the latest policy changes directly from those responsible for making them. Our conference also attracts leading experts from education and business, and provides delegates with the chance to learn from experiences both nationally and internationally.
  2. Network There are plenty of opportunities for you to catch up with friends and colleagues, as well as meet new sector leaders. You can also network with representatives of relevant businesses and organisations within the exhibition.
  3. Question Our conference is attended by many high-level politicians and policymakers. The event provides the opportunity for you to question them directly.
  4. Share With your peers from across the country, you have the opportunity to share best practice and use their experiences in your own college.
  5. Celebrate Not only is the conference and exhibition an opportunity for you to work, it’s also a time to celebrate the achievements of the sector. The AoC Beacon Awards, the ‘FE Oscars’, will be announced during the event. The Student and Student Photographer of the Year will also be announced during our gala dinner.



AoC's Annual Conference continues to be the single most important development event in a Principal's annual calendar

Ian Ashman
Principal, Hackney Community College

AoC's conference provided a sense of recognition for the sector which transforms the lives of those who are the future contributors, developers and leaders of our great society. Beyond raising the profile of post 16 providers, the conference allowed for the sector to be united under one roof and one cause – “to raise the quality and standards of learning to improve the life-chances of our future generation.

Shah Sher Ali
Assistant Principal, St Francis Xavier College

This is a crucial opportunity to meet and learn from colleagues in a large and complex sector. It is where to go to find out about and learn best practice. It's an opportunity to stop and reflect upon one's own role and contribution. For all these reasons it is time well spent.

Helen Birchenough
Chair, Wiltshire College

New for 2015


Teachers’ Strand - Thursday 19 November

This year, acting on feedback received, we are adding a new element to our Annual Conference – a Teachers’ Strand.

On Thursday 19 November, teachers in our sector will have the opportunity to join the conference to find out about the latest innovations and outstanding practice in FE teaching in dedicated sessions. We are looking for teachers to deliver interactive workshops showcasing their best practice in ‘Effectively embedding current key themes into classroom delivery’ and ‘Meeting varied needs in the FE classroom’.

Find out more here about delivering a workshop or nominate a colleague.

Teachers can book their ticket through this website priced at £75 + VAT.


Networking for delegates and exhibitors

A new feature for the 2015 conference is the opportunity for delegates and exhibitors to meet away from the exhibition stand. The space, close to the refreshment and exhibition space, allows for one-to-one meetings in a quieter environment.

It also offers delegates space to sit and catch up with colleagues or check emails.


Improved Governors’ networking lounge

Improvements have been made to the networking lounge, providing a more relaxed environment for Governors and Chairs. While still being easily accessible to the main halls, it is slightly set back from the exhibition hall and provides excellent networking opportunities.


Links with The Skills Show

This year, The Skills Show will open straight after our Annual Conference and Exhibition. Transport will be available on Thursday afternoon to take delegates from The ICC to the NEC, where it is taking place.

There will also be sessions on the Thursday morning designed specifically for stakeholders who want to be part of our Annual Conference and Exhibition, prior to the start of The Skills Show.


Student Participation

It’s unbelievable and unexpected to have won Student of the Year.  It feels really good. I said to my brothers the hard work would pay off in the end so I’m very happy. Burton and South Derbyshire College were brilliant, and I received so much support from everyone in the college – from the principal to all of the teaching staff.

Najibolah Rahimi, Student of the Year 2014
Burton and South Derbyshire College

Students are an integral part of AoC’s Annual Conference and Exhibition and the 2015 event is no exception. We are delighted to offer a unique opportunity for the students of AoC member colleges to gain work experience at our flagship event.

We also have fantastic opportunities to highlight success and achievements through our Student of the Year and Student Photographer of the Year awards.

Sponsorship opportunities

Meet and present your products to senior college leaders at our annual flagship event. We offer a range of sponsorship and exhibition opportunities to help suppliers engage with the key decision makers of colleges.

Our conference and exhibition creates a unique environment for over 100 suppliers to showcase their products to over 250 colleges in an environment focused on further education.

Breakout Sessions

Breakout sessions are always a key part of the conference and we would like to invite you to submit session proposals which will form part of the overall programme. This is your opportunity to deliver one of the 60 minute sessions.

Applications Deadline: 17:00, Friday 14 August 2015

Join the conversation

Use the hashtag #aocconf to find, follow and stay up to date with the Annual Conference.


We are delighted to be continuing to sponsor the Students Work Experience at this years Conference



Our first speaker for is announced - . Looking forward to seeing him in Nov!



Pleased to announce that will be Chair of Annual Conference 2015!



.@AoC_info conference & exhibition is taking place 17-19th Nov 2015 @ICC_Birmingham #aocconf



Have you nominated students for work exp or Gala Dinner at #aocconf? Submissions need to be in by Fri 31st July.



Inisoft look forward to discussing your business requirements at the AoC in November.



One more week to enter the Student Photographer of the Year award. Have you entered? #AoCConf…



I'll be doing my bit for the tax receipt forecast at @AoC_info's Conference 17-19 Nov 2015. #AoCConf