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Freelancers' Fair

*The 2014 Freelancers' Fair, which will be delivered in partnership with Ravensbourne, will take place on Friday 6 June, at Ravensbourne's base close to The 02 in North Greenwich.*

The following info, which relates to the 2013 event, is retained here for reference only.

Full details of the 2013 programme are set out below. 

Front cover image of flyer

Thank you to our sponsors

Once again, we say a BIG thank you to our sponsors: the Blue Skies Partnership, Creative Skillset, Hencilla Canworth, Production Base and Thompsons Solicitors.

Exhibition & technical area

Our sponsors will join with other high profile exhibitors - including the BBC Academy - in the Fair Exhibition. Don't miss the opportunity to meet with training advisors and many others who want to help your career. Check out the full exhibitors list  shown right.

The exhibition will also include a substantial technical area this year with input from Visual Impact, Rycote, PAG and Ianiro UK.

Seminar programme

10.00 – 11.15 Marketing Yourself

Presentation online, in person and on paper has never been more important. With so many opportunities to make an impression it’s essential to try to understand what approach works best to give yourself the best chance of fitting the bill. Join our expert line-up for insight into what the industry is looking for. Chaired by Joe Mahoney MD of ProductionBase, the discussion will include contributions from Gemma Hodgson (recent new entrant to TV), Marsha Witter (talent scheme manager, ITV), Susie Worster (head of creative talent at Shed Media) and Simon Wright (talent executive, BBC).

11.45 – 13.00 Fund Your Feature

In an era of austerity, how hard is it to find the funds for a feature film? This panel discussion chaired by Screen International's chief reporter Andreas Wiseman explores the various methods of funding open to filmmakers today, from government-funded bodies, to commercial broadcasters, to crowd-funding platforms. Our panel will include Tarkan Ahmet (, Chris Collins (BFI), Sue Bruce-Smith (Film4) and Rebecca O'Brien (Sixteen Films), Andrew Orr (Independent).

13.45 – 15.15 Britain’s Got Bullies

What do the BBC’s Respect at Work Review and BECTU’s ‘Say No to Exploitation in TV’ campaign have in common? They both point to the widespread abuse of workers in broadcasting. This seminar tackles an issue which is present throughout the creative sector – bullying – and which needs to be confronted in the interests of staff welfare and the reputation of the sector. With a panel of experts drawing on their personal, professional and legal knowledge we’ll explore what workers and employers can do to see off the bullies. Chaired by Lisa Campbell, Broadcast editor, our contributors will be Dinah Rose QC, Graham Russell (Change Associates), Donna Taberer (BBC), Anne-Marie Quigg (author of Bullying in the Arts) and Rebecca Peyton (actor and playwright) and sister to the former BBC journalist Kate Peyton who was killed in Somalia in 2005.

*NB: In a curtain raiser for the above session Rebecca Peyton will perform excerpts from her play Sometimes I Laugh Like My Sister from 1pm in the Council Chamber. More info here.*

In a related feature, Sue Ahern (training director, Creative People) will host a number of one-to-ones to assist individuals with experience of bullying.  Booking info will be released shortly.

15.45 – 17.00 4K Demystified

Technological innovation is central to broadcasting and 4K is the latest advance; but what does it mean and what will its impact be?  Join our guest speakers, Andy Quested (BBC Academy) and Andy Kydd (Sony) to hear more about this latest development and to see the promise of 4K for yourself.

60 Minute Sessions

11.30 – 12.30 Your Career, Your Profile: How to Get Noticed Online

This session, led by Paul Buller from the BBC Academy College of Production, will show you how to make the most of your online profile, what content to fill it with and how to get series producers, execs and commissioners to take notice of you and your ideas. The session will look specifically at Twitter, You Tube, Tumblr, Pinterest and Flipboard.

13.00 – 14.00 Move on Up: Organise with BECTU

There have been some notable industrial successes by BECTU members this year. From hair & make-up artists working on Oscar-winning production Les Miserables, to visual effects artists (VFX) joining together to challenge poor working conditions and new organising drives in costume, sound and factuals. Hear from the workers involved how they are using BECTU to win improvements and to make their voices heard.

14.30. – 15.30 Copyright: Protect Your Work

Content is king but are you doing everything you can to protect your intellectual property? Find out more too about the rights of content creators on the continent compared with those of UK creatives. Join copyright lawyer Kate Fox and former MEP and copyright campaigner, Carole Tongue to discuss the issues. This session will be chaired by Tony Lennon, research officer.

16.00 – 17.00 Pitch Perfect

This is a rare and great opportunity to meet programme commissioners and to hear, direct from
them, what makes a perfect pitch. Join Sky’s Michele Kurland, Discovery’s Liz McIntyre, Channel 4’s Tom Porter, and Al Jazeera’s Dominique Young for their insight. You could even meet a commissioner on a one-to-one basis in the ‘speed-dating-meets-pitching’* part of this hour. If you'd like to pitch, submit your idea in advance by emailing  Closing date for receipt of pitches is 12 noon on Friday 14 June. *Time is restricted so this will be on a first come, first served basis.

CV One-to-Ones - now full, do not book

Thanks to The Crewing Co and careers adviser, Beverley Hills, some visitors to the Fair will be able to take advice on this most important of self-marketing tools. To secure a spot, complete the booking form selecting the One-to-One option and we’ll endeavour to offer you a slot (places are limited) to fit in with your chosen schedule. Don’t forget to bring two copies of your CV with you on the day.

Social Media Advice

Actor and PR advisor, Samantha Baines will offer one-to-one advice on how best to use social media. (These appointments will be offered to those unable to secure a CV one -to-one). Samantha is the founder of Penguin in the Room an award-winning arts marketing business specialising in online presence and social media for creative people.

Accountancy Corner

Visit Blue Skies Partnership for general advice on accountancy matters. The Blue Skies team will also be hosting Accountancy Corner. Arrive early to book a One-to-One (places are limited) to discuss a pressing tax question.

Fair Workshops - now full, do not book

David Thomas of David Thomas Media will deliver two different sessions this year.

09.30 – 12.00 Freelance Toolkit helps freelancers to develop their business skills. Aimed at those new to self-employment or more established, this session will tackle financial control, getting paid on time and will offer essential advice on good organisation and record-keeping. Maximum 16 people.

13.30 – 16.00 Make Networking Work for You – this workshop is for anyone who finds networking difficult or who doubts its importance. Learn how to leave the right impression without being a pain, and why face-to-face networking is just as important as anything you do online. Maximum 25 people.

Freelancers’ Fair Social - new for 2013

Join us from 18.00 at the Coal Hole, 91-92 The Strand, London WC2R 0DW. Complimentary first drink (be sure to arrive before the tab runs out!). Members from all areas in BECTU and non-members welcome. Social jointly organised by BECTU’s London Production Division and Young Members Forum.

Members & non-members welcome

This event, devised by the union's Writers Producers and Directors branch, seeks to address the creative interests and practical needs of the freelance community in film and tv and is open to members and non-members.

BECTU members attend for free; please use the booking form at the foot of this page.

Non-members are also very welcome and pay a £10 fee. Non-members' booking form here. After booking non-members should call our membership dept during office hours on 020 7346 0900 to pay the £10 fee by card.

Advance booking for all sessions is strongly advised. Please avoid booking sessions where the times conflict. The Fair programme is subject to minor change; all programme updates will be posted on this page.

Query about the information here? Email

Page updated 14 January 2014.  

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