The first conference will be held on Friday 21 April 2023
UK - The Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) has announced the launch of the Make A Difference conference, an annual proactive conference day committed to finding solutions to current industry issues. The conference will be more than simply talking and will ask attendees to commit to taking action and developing strategies to achieve solutions for the issues discussed.
The first conference will be held on Friday 21 April 2023 in the Ambassadors Lounge, Lyceum Theatre, 21 Wellington Street, London WC2E 7RQ with thanks to Ambassador Theatre Group for their support of this event. The theme for this year’s discussion is Solving our industry’s recruitment & retention crisis.
The conference has been developed to continue the joined-up thinking that is happening in the many ABTT seminars which are convened throughout the year and at the ABTT Theatre Show. “With support of academic theatre production staff from Guildford School of Acting we shall facilitate these continuing discussions at our conference day and provide a more focussed proactive platform to encourage actions and find practical solutions to move us forward with industry issues,” says ABTT.
ABTT co-chair & senior lecturer at Guildford School of Acting, Mig Burgess Walsh comments, “I am excited to see what this conference can achieve. It’s my privilege in my role as co-chair of the ABTT to attend many exciting and passionate seminars and talks from all parts of our industry. I hope this conference will provide a focussed time away from busy trade shows so that we can think, consider, collaborate and commit to real actions. I can’t wait to be in a room with dedicated people united by a desire to find solutions to the current recruitment and retention crisis. I’m excited that we will all be aligned in our goal to make a real difference.”
Robin Townley, ABTT chief executive, adds, “The ABTT is very pleased to facilitate this opportunity to harness our industry’s collective commitment and talent for developing and implementing solutions and to provide a space and time, with the generous collaboration of ATG and GSA, to allow a focussed effort to tackle this huge challenge our sector is experiencing. We very much hope that the Make A Difference initiative will be a real help in resolving the challenges that our industry faces now and in the future.”
The ABTT is inviting people, businesses and organisations to sign up and join in with the campaign to Make A DiFfference. Spaces are limited so if you want to join in let them know by expressing your interest via with the title ‘Make A Difference conference 2023’.
As part of your commitment to attend, the ABTT will ask those participating to agree to do more than just join in on the day, but also agree to leave with clear and feasible actions that will help improve recruitment and retention in our industry.
“To help us obtain opinions and ideas ahead of the event, we are launching a very short survey, inviting anyone from the industry to participate, get involved and share their thoughts,” says ABTT. “The results from this survey will guide the development and structure of the conference, and give us some data to help us move forward.”

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