Conference Archive

AHI's annual conference is the best place to meet other interpretation professionals, hear about innovative projects, and discuss current issues.

2023 - Lincoln - ReBalance - Exploring balance, equity and the environment, changing the climate of natural and cultural interpretation

This year we explored how heritage interpretation adds value to the key issues of our times - biodiversity, environmental sustainability, social inclusion and urban regeneration.

Our venue was The Lincoln Hotel, opposite the historic cathedral. In addition to our programme of inspirational speakers and site visits the winners of the Engaging People Awards for 2023 were announced.

Delegates also had the option to take part in one of two tours:

Group 1 - Guided walk from hotel to Lincoln Museum. Sample of three Hi!Street self-guided heritage trails to a
Working lunch at Southside (formerly St Catherine’s Church) then onto a bus to The International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) Command for talks and tour. Finishing with a 2000 Years of History open-topped bus tour and return to hotel.

Group 2 - walk from hotel to Lincoln Castle (Magna Carta, Victorian Prison & Wall Walk). Then a 2000 Years of History open-topped bus tour and return to Cathedral area, then delegates were able to choose from a number of experiences within walking distance.

Kate Measures of Heritage Insider added some sparkle to evaluation during her pre-conference workshop.

2022 - Snowdonia, Wales - Y cysylltiad / The connection - In an age of change, how can heritage interpretation adapt, embrace, and connect?

After virtual conferences in 2020 and 2021, we were very proud to be running an in-person conference. Hosted in Dolgarrog, North Wales the conference explored the themes through papers from academics and practitioners in interpretive practice.

Delegates also had the option to take part in one of three superb site visits:

  • Coast and Colonialism - The Great Orme and Penrhyn Castle
  • Poetry and Slate - Yr Ysgwrn and Blaenau Ffestiniog
  • Disaster and Faith – a walking tour around Dolgarrog and environs


We also launched the Engaging People Awards for 2023.

Our conference speakers and site visits addressed:

  • How is interpretation helping communities feel more connected with the heritage on their doorstep?
  • How is interpretation helping people to embrace change? (e.g. changes in attitude, population, climate, politics)
  • How is interpretation adapting to stay connected and relevant to the off-site audiences connected with during Lockdown, as well as the on-site visitors who are returning.

2021 - Virtual - Engage - Creating Heritage Interpretation for the future

Creating heritage interpretation for the future reflected on the ways we collaborate with each other, effect change and address some of the key challenges of our time from navigating through the pandemic and economic downturn to shining a light on climate change.

Our conference speakers addressed:

  • How can interpretation help make a better world - from the power of our collaborations to our role in addressing the challenges of our world?
  • How can our heritage sites be agents of change and, if so, how does that change scale up to wider society?
  • How are we reaching for the horizon – what new ideas, stories or technology are we uncovering, how are we reaching out to new people like those with different views to ours and is telling a story really enough?


2020- Virtual - Reignite - How can interpreters reignite, evolve and thrive in this new world?

2020 was the year nobody predicted, from COVID-19 to Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion.

This is the year everything changed.

How can interpreters reignite, evolve and thrive in this new world? What are the questions we need to ask and to answer?

Reignite – our first virtual conference was packed with illuminating speakers and lots of opportunities to be involved and have discussions on the key issues of this year.

Our conference speakers addressed:

  • COVID-19 the challenges and opportunities for interpretation.
  • Black Lives Matter and the response by heritage interpreters
  • A new-found engagement with the natural world? The benefits and challenges of lockdown for interpreters

2019 - Bedford - Facts, Fiction and Interpretation

Whose truth and whose interpretation do we choose to tell about our heritage in the age of ‘fake news’ and propaganda?

Hosted in Bedford the conference explored the theme through papers from academics and practitioners in interpretive practice. We visited Bletchley Park, a place of exceptional historical importance which remains highly relevant to our lives today and for the future. It is the home of British codebreaking and a birthplace of modern information technology. We were welcomed to the site and enjoyed a guided tour around the iconic Codebreaking huts, Victorian Mansion and grounds by volunteer guides and experienced the new displays and exhibitions.

Steven Richards Price's pre conference workshop discussed whether content is king in Interpretative writing.

Our conference speakers and site visits addressed:

  • How can interpretation speak truth to power in the current political and cultural climate?
  • What is the role of heritage interpretation in addressing issues concerning truth and propaganda?
  • Critical examination of case studies which address the conference theme
  • Where is Tilden’s ‘revelation of a larger truth’ in today’s interpretive practice and what demonstrates this?
  • Explore the importance of being true to your audiences, collection, and funders

2018 - Chester - Provoking Conversations

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.

We gathered in the historic city of Chester to discuss how interpretation can provoke conversations and address provocative or sensitive issues. We discussed how you get your visitors to deliver the interpretation for themselves.

James Carter's pre conference workshop/masterclass discussed the development and use of interpretative themes. Site visits included Chester's historic centre and the award winning Chester Zoo.

Our conference speakers and site visits addressed:

  • 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.

Older Conferences

2017 - Inverness

In October 2017 we had three great days in Inverness, at the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Making connections: Re-imagining landscapes highlighted the power and potential of the interpretive approach enabling people to discover meaning, value and ownership in landscapes, past, present and future. The conference built on the connected landscape by giving the opportunity for decision-makers, managers, curators and interpreters to learn from each other – across disciplines and beyond Inverness, at the heart of the Scottish Highlands.

2016 - Belfast

"Can Interpretation Change the World?"

Wednesday 5th October

Optional Pre Conference Workshop 9.30-12.30, sponsored by Tandem Design

Using interpretation to influence behaviour with Sam H. Ham, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus. This workshop will give participants practical experience in thinking about a behavioural problem through the eyes of strategic communication. We will learn to define the problem, analyse the reasons people might have for doing the right thing, and arrive at an interpretive solution capable of making a purposeful difference. Participants will leave with a clear understanding of two prevailing theoretical views of human behaviour (the reasoned action model and normative approach) and will see practical ways to put them to use in their work.

12:15 Conference opens with registration and buffet lunch at Hilton Belfast
13.25 Welcome to the conference – Bill Bevan, Chair AHI
13:30 Keynote Paper – Mark Leslie, Martello Media: Witness History at the GPO - Multiple Perspectives on Ireland’s Pivotal Moment
14:00 Keynote Paper – Ethna Murphy, Ethna Murphy Consulting and Susan Cross, TellTale - The making of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland
14.30 Questions, discussion and debate with speakers followed by comfort break at 15.00
15.15 Keynote Paper - Sam H. Ham, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus, sponsored by Tandem Design - “If they could know what we know, they’d behave as we behave.”  Ha, if only it were that simple! with questions and answers
16.00 Anne Fletcher, Fletcher Teckman Consulting and Dr. Oliver Cox, Oxford University - Interpretation & the Ivory Tower
16:20 Lily Pender and Josh Gaillemin, theWholeStory - How can storytelling be applied for purposeful change?
16.40 Questions and discussion with speakers
17:00 Chance for delegate check in and networking
18.00 Welcome to new members – a chance for new members and attendees at the conference to meet full members, trustees and fellows
18:45 Dr Thomas Aneurin Smith & Ria Dunkley, Cardiff University, with Suzanna Jones, Brecon Beacons National Park Authority - Measuring our interaction with mobile device applications ‘in the wild’ – can they change visitor behaviour?
19:05 Ria Dunkley, Cardiff University - Interpreting a dark past for a brighter future? The contentious nature of heritage interpretation at thanatourism sites
19:20 Questions and discussion with speakers.
19:45 Dinner with guest speaker Northern Ireland Tourist Board

Thursday 6th October

9.30–17.00 Site visits to SS Nomadic, the Titanic Experience and the Ulster Museum.

Get behind the scenes with designers, museum directors and learn about the how these attractions have tried to gain attention, change perceptions and provoke insight into their subject.

18.15 Emeritus Professor Jane James, Flinders University, Australia -  Interpretative Planning changing South Australia’s tourism world.
18.35 Julie McNeice, Oli and Fáilte Ireland – A fresh approach to interpreting Dublin
18.50 Questions and discussion with speakers.
19.30 Conference Dinner, sponsored by Marcon Fit-Out
21.00 AHI Conference Raffle: A chance to win prizes to attractions plus free and discounted training! 

Friday 7th October

09.00 AHI Annual General Meeting followed by open discussion on continuing professional development for our members and the industry as a whole
09:45 AHI Awards and Conference 2017
10.00 Comfort break
10.15 Andrew Todd, Tandem Design – Challenging… tackling people’s perceptions of their own heritage
10.40 Spencer Clark, ATS Heritage - Exploring the Inclusivity of Visitor Experiences
11.00 Dr. Antonieta Jimenez, El Colegio de Michoacan, Mexico - Human Values in Archaeological Heritage: A way to recognize what makes us 'us'
11.20 Questions and discussions
11.40 Refreshment break
11.55 Dr Nigel Mills, Hadrian’s Wall Connect Project Manager - Confronting Heritage - the contemporary past
12.15 Ewan McCarthy, Bright 3D - TBC
12.35 Questions and discussions with speakers
12.50 Closing Thoughts – Has interpretation the potential to change the world? With AHI Fellows and Trustees
Followed by a light lunch until 14.00

2015 - Berkshire

"Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future"

Wednesday 21st October

Optional Pre Conference Workshops 9.30-12.30

Interpretation in Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) projects Whether you are working on a multi-million pound HLF Landscape Partnership Scheme or a smaller HLF Sharing Heritage project you will know that interpretation can be a key element. Join fellow Full Members and HLF for this exciting, interactive and forward-looking workshop which aims to explore and discuss the development and delivery of interpretation in HLF projects. How does the process work? What are the challenges? What are your personal experiences? And importantly, how can we work with HLF to inform interpretation development and delivery in the future? This workshop is designed for Full Members and Fellows of the Association.

Digital Interpretation. A guide to the complex but exciting world of digital interpretation. Led by industry experts this session will give an overview of the latest, emerging technologies with insight into how to employ technology effectively to improve visitor understanding & enjoyment. This workshop is open to all members.

12:15 Conference opens with registration and buffet lunch at Hilton Central Newbury
13.20 Welcome to the conference – Steven Richards-Price, Chair AHI
13.25 Keynote Paper – AHI Members, Celebrating our anniversary - The past present and Future of Interpretation – a chance to hear the thoughts of leading experts on the development of UK interpretation and what the future holds
13:55 Keynote Paper – Eric Langham, Barker LanghamTranscendental Interpretation
14.15 Questions, discussion and debate with speakers followed by comfort break at 14.45
15.00 Carolyn Lloyd Brown, The Heritage Angel LtdWorld Heritage nomination, interpretation and… ruination: outstanding universal values 40 years on
15.15 Paul Hibberd, Forest Commission ScotlandNothing to see here: some new guidance for interpreting wildlife
15:30 Tim Crump, Wildlight - 'Voicing Ironopolis -  an app based audio trail in a postindustrial townscape'
15.45 Andrew Jenkinson, Scenesetters - Interpreting rocks and the landscape: geology without the ‘…ology’
16.00 Neil Rathbone, Webnebulus – WiFi in the late Neolithic!
16.15 Questions and discussion with speakers
16:30 Comfort break and delegate check in
17.15 Welcome to new members

18.00   AHI 2015 Discover Heritage Awards Dinner with our Patron, Loyd Grossman CBE

Our awards scheme for excellence in cultural and natural heritage interpretation in Britain and Ireland is back and with 49 entries from museums, landscapes and attractions. This looks set to be a fantastic evening celebrating the very best of interpretation. We will first hear from those shortlisted in short 2 minute presentations before the announcement of the awards and the dinner itself.

Thursday 22nd October

9.15 Site visits to gain an insight into the multimillion pounds rejuvenation of the Stonehenge Visitor Attraction.
10.15 Wiltshire Museum, Devizes. We will first visit this rejuvenated museum, which is one of three locations that have joined together to tell the Stonehenge story. David Dawson, Director, will take us through their approach together with Rob Campbell, Head of Interpretation for English Heritage. Introduction and discussion will then lead to exploration of the gallery space.
12.00 Feedback and debate
12.30 Rob Campbell will introduce the interpretive planning, development and implementation of the on-site new Stonehenge experience and share insights into its success through evaluation and feedback.
13.00 Lunch at the Wiltshire Museum
14.00 A chance to experience the full Stonehenge experience in two groups with Rob Campbell and visitor experience staff.
16.00 Return to hotel and discussion and feedback with Rob
18.15 PechaKucha style 2 minute presentations on the emerging interpretive projects from across the UK
19.30 Conference Dinner
21.00  NEW! AHI Conference Raffle.

Friday 23rd October

09.00 AHI Annual General Meeting followed by open discussion on continuing professional development for our members and the industry as a whole.
10.00 Comfort break
10.15 Keynote paper- Kate Pugh OBE, Chief Executive, The Heritage Alliance: Campaigning for the future of heritage
10.40 Anne Fletcher, Fletcher Teckman Consulting Ltd - Back to the Future - how the past can help us shape future audience engagement
11.00 Alison Smith, Jurassica, an introduction to one of the UK’s ground-breaking interpretation projects
11.15 Questions and discussions
11.35 Refreshment break
11.50 Keynote paper-James Carter, It's education, Jim, but not as we know it
12.10 Dirk Bennett, Tower Bridge ad Monument1894 and all that. The future of an international landmark
12.30 Scott Sherrard, Studio LR – The Role of Enjoyment in Engagement.
12.45 Questions and discussions with speakers
13.00 Closing keynote with Michael Glen FAHI, Founding Member of AHI
Followed by a light lunch until 14.00

2014 - Manchester

"The Art of Interpreting Emotions and Challenging Subjects"

Wednesday 24 September

Optional Pre Conference Workshops 09.30-12.30

The case for heritage interpretation. Led by AHI Fellow, Susan Cross, this workshop will help practising interpreters identify and articulate the value of interpretation and its contributions to the heritage profession and wider society.  This workshop is designed for Full Members and Fellows of the association.

Interpretive Planning. Led by Nigel McDonald who has 16 years’ experience of planning, developing and producing innovative and accessible interpretive media. This workshop will give all delegates new to interpretation a toolkit for developing your interpretive plans.

12:15 Conference opens with registration and buffet lunch at Park Inn Hotel, Manchester
13.25 Welcome to the conferenceSteven Richards-Price, AHI Chair
13.30 Keynote Paper - Helen Rees Leahy, University of Manchester - Structures of Feeling: Objects, spaces and emotions.
13:50 Keynote Paper - Susan Cross, TellTale - Beyond Memory: Interpreters and the centenary of the First World War.
14:10 Keynote Paper - Ewan McCarthy, Bright 3D - A Question of Landscape: The challenges of interpreting a landscape and how putting aside pre-conceived ideas of interpretation can deliver a surprising visitor experience.
14.30 Questions and discussion with speakers

14.50 Comfort break and delegate room check-in

15.30 Dan Boys, - From catastrophe to camaraderie: the Lofthouse Colliery App.
15.45 Bill Bevan, inHeritage - Conflicting Connections: Turning War Statistics into Real People.
16.00 Catherine Brew, Red Plait Interpretation - A Body of Work: Unfolding the realities of death through personable latex.
16.30 Visit to Belle Vue exhibition at Chetham's Library to learn about a project focused on recording one of the city’s most important library archives.

Underneath gaily coloured circus programmes, curators uncovered uncomfortable stories including animal cruelty, human exploitation, sexism and child abuse. Learn first hand how they dealt with this dissonance and reconciled seemingly impossible differences. 

18.15 Return to hotel
19.15 PechaKucha style session! Two-minute presentations from you on your latest projects!
20.00 Dinner followed by the optional but traditional location-based quiz.

Thursday 25 September

09.00 A day of site visits in Manchester to explore our conference theme further.

This will include a trip to the Imperial War Museum North at Salford Quays to learn about its latest exhibition From Street to Trench, a powerful display communicating the emotional impact the Great War had on the North West. The museum’s striking design  which was created to interpret the challenging yet inspiring topic of war and peace will also be discussed. A visit is also planned to Quarry Bank Mill and the set of Channel 4’s The Mill.

Return to hotel

18.00 A chance to try a unique tent based experience exploring the emotions of WW1 soldiers, inspired by war poetry, with Alexandra Botham.
19.30 Jacqueline Hyman, The Textile Restoration Studio - Healing Stitches: therapeutic needlecraft at times of conflict.
19.40 Frits Polman, Guide ID - Mixing modern technology with emotional subjects - anything is possible.
20.00 Annual Conference Dinner sponsored by Monty Funk Productions Ltd followed by an exclusive performance of Strike a light – A Match Girl’s Story.

Meet Maggie McCallow, a Victorian match girl involved in the match factory strike of 1888 and find out how she campaigned for better rights for workers. Brought to you by the People’s History Museum, Manchester.

Friday 26 September

09.00 AHI Annual General Meeting followed by open discussion on AHI matters.
10.15 Comfort break
10.30 Keynote paper - Andrew Beer, National Trust - National Trust: becoming bolder about emotions.
10.55 Michael Glen, Touchstone - The role of folk song in interpretation.
11.15 Carolyn Lloyd Brown, Heritage Consultant - One God, two orders, and an atheist: the challenge of interpreting contemporary religious communities to audiences of all faiths and none.
11.30 Gareth Owen, New Forest National Park Authority - New Forest Remembers: Untold stories of World War II.
11.45 Questions and discussions

12.00 Refreshment break

12.15 Susan van Schalkwyk, Churches Conservation Trust - Secular histories in religious spaces: developing a planning toolkit.
12.30 Sarah Turner, Bishop's Stortford Museum - It’s all words: The art of interpreting crimes and misdemeanours on the home front in WW1. 12.45 Questions and discussions with speakers
13.00 Closing thoughts followed by a light lunch until 14.00

2013 - Edinburgh

"Interpretation - gaining inspiration from other fields"

Wednesday 9th October

09.00 Optional pre-conference workshop – run by award winning Bright 3D design company: a master class in blurring the lines between branding, retail and interpretation to create seamless and holistic visitor experiences. This will take place at Historic Scotland’s Education Centre in the city’s historic Holyrood Park. 
12.15 Conference opens with registration and buffet lunch at King James Hotel.
13.25 Welcome to the conference – Ruth Taylor, Chair, AHI. 
13.30 Keynote Paper – David Hicks, Edinburgh World Heritage: Shaping tourism and city identity through interpretation.
13.50 Keynote Paper Carl Atkinson, Natural Resource Wales: Psychology, visitor studies and the theory of interpretation. 
14.10 Keynote Paper – Lorna Ewan, Historic Scotland: Stirling Castle – an insight into the innovative latest project from Historic Scotland.
14.30 Questions and discussion with speakers.
15.00 Comfort break and delegate room check-in.
16.00 Keynote Paper – James Carter and James Loxley: Linking literature to interpretation.
16.20 Chris Walker, Bright White Ltd and Tom Ingrey-Counter, National Trust for Scotland: Battle of Bannockburn – an insight into cutting edge 3D digital design technology in interpretation.
16.35 Sarah Watts: Who tells the story? involving communities in interpretive planning decision-making.
16.55 Questions and discussion.
17.30 Visit to Scotch Whisky Experience to learn about blending retail with interpretation, with a drinks reception hosted by Bright 3D.
19.30 Return to hotel.
20.00 Dinner followed by Scottish-themed quiz and networking time.

Thursday 10th October

09.00 Visits to the old and new city including a costumed themed tour with Jackie Lee from Artemis Scotland and city centre historic attractions. Followed by free time in the city, with interpretative trail and networking at the hotel.
19:00 Cathy Lewis, Cathy Lewis Communications: Can you hack it? What interpreters can learn from the world of journalism.
19.15 Mick Ashworth, Ashworth Maps and Interpretation: Cartography and interpretation – creating truly interpretative and inspiring maps.
19.25 Maureen La Frenais, Waking the Giant: A master class in working with artists – top tips to creating artistic interpretation.
19:35 Emily Scott, amaSing, and Michael Glen, Touchstone / QuiteWrite: Musical interpretation – linking interpretation with song.
20.00 Annual Conference Dinner with drinks kindly sponsored by Monty Funk Productions.  

Friday 11th October

09.00 AHI Annual General Meeting followed by open discussion on AHI matters.
10.15 Comfort break.
10.30 Hedley Swain, Arts Council: Linking the world of art to the art of interpretation.
10.50 Nick Needham, Bright 3D: Incorporating strong branding into interpretative design from the outset.
11.10 Questions and discussion.
11.25 Refreshment break.
11.45 David Masters, Imagemakers: Richard III creating interpretation under the media spotlight.
12.00 Jo Scott, Heritage planning & interpretation: Taking interpretation to the high street.
12.15 Alan Chalmers and Paul Hibberd, Forestry Commission Scotland: Delivering holistic and interpretive visitor experiences
12.30 Nigel McDonald: Interpretation and tourism creating an interpretative visitor experience.
12.45 Questions and discussion with speakers.
13.00 Closing thoughts followed by a light lunch until 14.00.

2012 - Shrewsbury

"Placing Interpretation at the Heart of the Visitor Experience"

Wednesday 17 October

09.00 Optional pre-conference workshop:  Interpretation, visitor behaviour and meaning making.
12.15 Conference opens with registration and buffet lunch at Hawkstone Park
13.25 Welcome to the conference: Ruth Taylor, Chair, AHI
13.30 Keynote: Graham Black, Nottingham Trent University: Rising to the challenge: Interpretation in the ‘Age of Participation’. How social change has impacted on the visitor experience.
13.50 Keynote: Gerri Morris, Morris Hargreaves McIntyre: Summative evaluation is not enough! Best practice and innovation in the use of formative evaluation to place audiences at the heart of the exhibition development process.
14.10 Keynote: Carolyn Lloyd Brown & Cathy Lewis: From art to archaeology – exploring the challenges of creating meaningful and integrated experiences in multiple collection galleries.
14.30 Questions and discussion with speakers 
15.00  Comfort break and delegate room check-in
15.40 Explore the Follies: A golf buggy safari into the heart of fantasyland and a themed treasure hunt, followed by storytelling and mulled wine at the cliff-top limestone caves.
17.30 Return to hotel for networking
18.45 Jamie McCall, PLB: The view from the Terraces – Interpretation for true fans! The challenges of developing a high quality visitor experience with interpretation at its heart for football fans.
19.00 Bill Bevan, Playaway: Experimental thoughts on creating interpretative experiences for preschoolers.
19.15 Marion Blockley: Creating experiences with local communities
19:45 Dinner followed by Shropshire-based quiz and networking time

Thursday 18 October

09.00 Visit to Much Wenlock: birthplace of the modern Olympics movement, where we will explore the newly refurbished museum, then go outdoors to try out the personal and digital interpretation, including a new augmented reality app which brings the founding father of the Olympics to life!
11.15 Arrive at the award-winning Blists Hill Victorian Town to look at first and third person interpretation. After an introduction by the Chief Executive, delegates will be given ‘old money’ to spend within the town’s cafe and shop. This will be followed by a traditional fish and chip lunch in the historic Forest Glen lodge, and discussions with key staff.
14.00 Visit RAF Cosford’s acclaimed Cold War Experience: As well as exploring the attraction, we’ll be given presentations about the creation of the experience, and evaluation of its success. 
17.15 Arrive back at hotel for networking
18.30 Digital Media – a successful tool for enhancing and creating modern interpretative experiences? Three papers from industry experts: Andrew Kerry-Bedell, KB Consultants: Using QR Codes, NFC Tags and Augmented Reality to create interpretation experiences – lessons learnt from evaluation. Neil Rathbone & Paul Palmer, Webnebulus: A cow ate my QR code – getting to grips with the age of mobile computing and the challenges of using it to create interpretive experiences.     Alyson Webb, Frankly, Green & Webb: Using visitor motivation to design digital interpretation 19.45 Conference dinner – A feast from Shropshire!
21.30 Music with Shropshire musician Chris Quinn

Friday 19 October

09.00 AHI Annual General Meeting followed by open discussion on AHI matters
10.15 Comfort break
10.30 Keynote: Tony Berry, National Trust: Interpretation in the experience economy: The National Trust’s Experience Design model.
10.50 Keynote: Alexandra Gaffikin, Interpretation Manager, Kensington Palace: Creating a whole new visitor experience approach at Kensington Palace.
11.10 Questions and discussion with speakers
11.25 Refreshment break
11.45 David Masters, Imagemakers: Riding the Dragon: The challenges and lessons of heritage interpretation in China – creating visitor experiences on an international stage.
12.00 Ivor Coleman & Kevin Brown: Visitor Experience – The Full Monty.
12.15 Andrew Holland, VocalEyes: Creating interpretative experiences for blind and partially-sighted people.
12.30 Questions and discussion with speakers
12.45 Closing thoughts followed by a light lunch until 14.00.

2011 - York

"Interpretation Today: A survival guide"

Wednesday 19 October

09.00   Optional pre-conference workshop: DIY A&A: Developing your own cost effective Audio and Apps, with Dan Boys of Audiotrails
12.00   Conference opens with registration and buffet lunch at Burn Hall, Huby
13.15   Welcome to the conference: Ruth Taylor, Chair, AHI
13.20   Keynote: Jamie McCall and Sarah Oswald, PLB: Save money, save the world? Thinking and acting sustainably in interpretive design
13.40   Keynote: Sarah Maltby, Jorvik: income generation & award winning experiences
14.00   Keynote: Dr Sarah Tatham, English Heritage: The free sites factory
14.20   Questions and discussion with speakers until 14.45
15.00   Depart by bus to York Minster
16:00   Keynote: Vicky Harrison, York Minster: Delivering a premier visitor experience on a tiny budget & tour of the Minster’s interpretation developments
17:30   Return to Burn Hall and downtime and networking at the hotel
19:10   Delegate:  Paul Davies, Imagemakers: Beyond digital guidebooks – a new breed of mobile experience
19.20   Delegate: Vicky Smith and Sarah Baylis, Stride Design and Freelance Interpreter: Death and Disease in Cambridge
19.30   Questions and discussion
19:45   Dinner at Burn Hall
21.30   Yorkshire Quick Quiz: Know a Ginnel from a Snicket? and networking time

 Thursday 20 October

08.45   Depart by coach for Castle Howard
09.45   Castle Howard: From Treasure House to Story House? Refreshments and talk by Chris Ridgway, Curator and Hannah Jones, Visitor Services Manager on Castle Howard’s policies for presentation and interpretation
11.00   Opportunity to experience Castle Howard followed by lunch and interactive feedback session
13.00   Depart for Ryedale Folk Museum
14.00   Arrive at Ryedale Folk Museum. Tour by Mike Benson, Museum Director
14.45   Refreshments followed by presentations by Mike Benson on Community Engagement and David Stockdale on the Harrison Project
17.00   Depart the museum for Burn Hall with Delegate downtime and networking at the hotel
19.00   Delegate: Jim Mitchell, New Forest National Park Authority: The £1 Visitor Centre
19.10   Delegate: Jo Scott, Interpretation Consultant: Food for thought: adding flavour to interpretation
19.20   Questions and Discussion
19.30   Conference Dinner
20.30   Virtual tour of York’s past present and future with John Oxley, City Archaeologist
21.30   Music and dancing with local musicians

 Friday 21 October

09.00   AHI Annual General Meeting followed by Open Discussion on AHI matters
10.15   Comfort break
10.30   Keynote: Kate Measures, Interpretation Consultant: A journey of innovative interpretation packed with practical tips that will leave you buzzing with inspiration!
10.50   Keynote: Peter Maxwell & Damon Mahoney, ‘Forestry Commission’: Design & interpretation: a rocky marriage?
11.10   Keynote: Cris Emberson, Heritage Destination Consulting: Making Interpretation pay its way
11.30   Refreshment break
11.55   Delegate: Ewan McCarthy, Bright 3D: Branding & interpretation - chalk and cheese?
12.10   Delegate: Philip Crome, SS Crome Associates: A guide to create cost-effective tendering
12.25   Questions and discussion with speakers
12.45   Closing thoughts
13.15   Light lunch at Burn Hall until 14.00

2010 - Bournemouth

"Effective Communication"

  • James Carter, AHI - Communication or Communion – what's really happening in effective interpretation?

  • Emma Carver, English Heritage: Partnership in practice: developing an interpretation strategy with partners

  • Guided Tour - Russell Cotes Art Gallery & Museum

  • Daisy Sutcliffe, Anjana Ford & David Tucker: Jurassic Coast World

  • Phil Whitfield, Forestry Commission Scotland: Getting practical – trying to influence visitor behaviour.

  • Maureen la Frenais, Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum: Hands-on participatory session on interpreting objects

  • Onsite at The Tank Museum - Richard Smith, Director. Sarah Oswald, PLB; and Cathy Lewis, Froghopper: ‘At Close Quarters’ redevelopment

  • Onsite at Corfe Castle - Jess Monaghan, Visitor Experience Adviser at the National Trust, will tell us about the Trust’s strategic approach to visitor experience masterplanning. Lawrence Roots, NT’s Assistant Visitor Services Manager, will give us a short introduction to the Castle and its new interpretation.

  • Onsite at Durlston Country Park: Hamish Murray, Ranger Service Manager, and Ali Tuckey, Countryside Ranger. Choice of workshops: Guided walk of the site with a ranger, Hands-on Activity Packs for children and school groups, Interpretive Planning for the new Castle Visitor Centre.

  • Sue Hayward, Russell Cotes Museum: Transforming the Russell-Cotes an emotional experience?

  • Jim Mitchell, New Forest National Park:New Forest National Park, the first five years: an interpreter’s point of view.

  • Chris Walker, Bright White, & Carolyn Lloyd Brown: Technology is an enabler, not a product

  • Philip Ryland, Bournemouth University: The guided walk experience – what do visitors think?

  • Jackie Lee, Artemis: Costumed conversations

2009 - Cardiff

"Making the past work for the future"

  • Carl Atkinson, AHI & Interpret Wales
  • Ruth Taylor Davies, Herian (Heritage in Action)
  • Dr Glenn Jordan, Butetown History & Arts Centre
  • Sarah Oswald, PLB
  • Verity Water, Interpretaction
  • Nigel McDonald, No Nonsense Interpretation