‘Provoking Conversations’ – AHI Conference 2018

It's good to talk but are our visitors talking about the right things?

Heritage interpreters want people to talk to each other; about our places; about our heritage; about our landscapes; about the issues; about their own memories. When interpretation generates conversations then it is generating engagement and interaction.

Join us in the historic city of Chester from Wednesday 3rd to Friday 5th October for our annual conference, to discuss how interpretation can provoke conversations and address provocative or sensitive issues.  Find out how you get your visitors to deliver the interpretation for themselves.

Our conference speakers and site visits will be addressing:

  • How can interpretation be used to generate meaningful discussions within visitors to heritage sites?
  • How can informal conversations be evaluated and how can it be used as an evaluation method
  • Critical examination of case studies that promote dialogue.
  • Identification of best practice in engaging visitors through dialogue and conversation.
  • How to manage controversial, contentious, or challenging conversations in heritage interpretation.

Our site visits will include;

  • Historic Chester locations
  • the Within these Walls Attraction
  • and Chester Zoo

Conference Programme

We are just making the final edits to the conference programme, which will be published here shortly.

Early Bird tickets now available!

Early bird tickets are available if you book and pay for your conference place before 31st August 2018

Pre-conference workshop - Sowing seeds for conversations- the role of themes in interpretation

Join us on Wednesday morning for a masterclass with James Carter FAHI, Heritage Interpretation Consultant.

This year’s conference is all about provoking conversations. And the best way to get visitors thinking and talking is to make sure your interpretation offers them some interesting ideas, or themes. Good themes can inspire the work of writers, guides, designers and illustrators. They guide your selection of which stories and content to include, and they’re an essential reference point to keep a project on track. But what’s the difference between a theme, a message, a story and a topic? And how do you choose between all the different themes you could use?

This workshop will look at the idea of a theme in depth. It will give you a chance to see how themes work, discuss any difficulties you have with them, and practice working with them. James Carter, who will lead the event, has made a special study of thematic interpretation and has helped many people to understand the topic through his training and teaching work.

The workshop will include presentations and activities, and provide inspiration and ideas that you can put into practice.

Tickets cost £60.00.  We anticipate this being popular so please book soon.


Sponsorship opportunities

If you are interested in a trade stand at the conference or wish to supply conference pack inserts please contact us at admin@ahi.org.uk.


  • Conference (Residential)
    October 3, 2018 - October 5, 2018
    12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
  • Conference (Non-Residential)
    October 3, 2018 - October 5, 2018
    12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
  • Workshop (Pre-Conference)
    October 3, 2018
    10:00 am - 12:30 pm
  • Day ticket - Wednesday afternoon
    October 3, 2018
    1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Day ticket - Thursday site visits
    October 4, 2018
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Day ticket - Friday morning
    October 5, 2018
    9:30 am - 2:00 pm
Details Price Qty
The AHI Member - Residential (£395.00 (GBP)) is available to members only. On Sale
The AHI Member - Non-Residential (£200.00 (GBP)) is available to members only. On Sale
Non-member - Residentialshow details + £445.00 (GBP)  
Non-member - Non-Residentialshow details + £250.00 (GBP)  
Pre-conference workshopshow details + £60.00 (GBP)  
Wednesday afternoonshow details + £60.00 (GBP)  
Thursday site visitsshow details + £120.00 (GBP)  
Friday morningshow details + £60.00 (GBP)  


Venue Phone: 44-0871-9429162

Venue Website:

Trinity Street, Chester, CH1 2BD, United Kingdom

Crowne Plaza® Chester hotel is located in the heart of the city centre. Chester station is a 20 minute walk from the hotel and has direct trains to London, Manchester and Liverpool and the bus station is a short walk away. Manchester (MAN) and Liverpool John Lennon (LPL) airports are both within a 40-minute drive. Please note there is limited on site parking available, at £10.00 for 24 hours.