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Freelancers' Fair 2015

The 2015 Freelancers' Fair will happen on Friday 29 May and we'll be returning to Ravensbourne where the event was a marked success last year. You can pre-register here: to receive details of the programme when this is published. Follow us on twitter @bectu 

NB: All of the programme information below relates to the 2014 event and remains here as a guide to what the day offers. 

Book now for BECTU's 2014 Freelancers' Fair! Curated by our Writers, Producers and Directors branch, the event will be delivered in partnership with Ravensbourne and will take place on Friday 6 June (09.00-18.00) at Ravensbourne's base close to The 02 in London. Doors open 09.00. 

Ravensbourne(If you're travelling by tube, get the Jubilee Line to North Greenwich and follow the signs to Ravensbourne; it's a 2-minute walk from the station. The typical travel time from Waterloo to North Greenwich is just 15 mins). 

6 Penrose Way
Greenwich Peninsula
London SE10 0EW

Visit this page for more travel information. 

Designed for workers in TV and film, this event is open to BECTU members and non-members. BECTU members attend for free; non-members pay £13.25 (includes vat and booking fee) *

All pre-registered visitors can take advantage of a free sandwich lunch (available 13.00-14.00).

Booking via Eventbrite

To book for the Freelancers' Fair visit: but first, we recommend you review all the programme information here. (Any updates will be posted on this page). Download the event flyer (also attached to this page).

Join us for seminars, workshops, one-to-one advice on CVs, and Tax, event exhibition and technical area. Free to BECTU members; non-members pay £13.25 (inc VAT and booking fee)* Don't miss it!

Programme notes: important

As you’d expect from the Freelancers’ Fair there’s lots to choose from. Please help us to maximise attendance when you visit Eventbrite by NOT selecting sessions which clash. NB: Most sessions last 75 mins and in the main two sessions run during the same time slot; all sessions will allow time for Q&A. One session, Accountancy Question Time, giving the latest tax advice on the pros and cons of sole trader v limited company status, runs for an hour from 13.30.

Full programme line-up

10.00 – 11.15

Marketing Yourself: Brand (New) You?

We all know that the targeted approach, when looking for work, is the best way to get ahead in our fast paced creative industry, but with thousands of new entrants all jostling for their elusive first job and an experienced workforce looking to step up into their careers, how can you make sure that you stand out from the crowd?  Join our expert panel to find out what it’s like to be on the receiving end of all those CVs, emails, tweets and Linked-in requests. How do talent managers and heads of production like to be contacted and what is it they are looking for that will get you on their right side, so that you’re a step closer to your next role.

Chaired by Daniell Morrisey, head of talent , BBC Comedy, with Joe Churchill, international development producer, Sony International, Kate Monaghan, MD, MarkThree Media and Adeyemi Michael, National Film and Television School graduate and winner of Sky Atlantic's Best Student Documentary prize at the Grierson Awards 2013.

Also 10.00-11.15

Show Me The Money: Fund Your Feature from the UK, the EU and Beyond!

With constant downward pressure on production budgets across TV and the arts, freelancers are having to be ever more creative in their attempts to find money to get their projects on air and out there. Join our experts to talk about how to make it happen.

Our panel will include Tarkan Ahmet, (previously, Caroline Couret-Delegue, head of sales, Metrodome Group, Olivier Kaempfer, senior Microwave executive, Film London, Agnieska Moody, BFI, and Luke Schiller, Clownfish Films. Andreas Wiseman, chief reporter at Screen International (also senior reporter for Broadcast) will chair the discussion.

11.45 – 13.00

Pitch Perfect

Returning after its success in 2013, this is a rare opportunity to meet programme commissioners and to hear, direct from them, what makes a perfect pitch. In the first part of this session, join our diverse panel to find out what they’re looking for. In the second half, the session transforms into 'Speed Dating Meets Pitching' with visitors taking the opportunity to pitch directly (one-to-one) to our guest commissioners.

This year's commissioners will be: Aaqil Ahmed, commissioning editor Religion,and head of  BBCReligion and Ethics; Tom Beck, commissioning editor, Entertainment, Channel Four; Catherine Catton, senior commissioning editor, Factual and Features, UK TV; Helen Hawken, director of production, Factual West, Discovery; Tom Porter, commissioning editor, News & Current Affairs, Channel Four. (Attached to this page are a biog and guidance for each commissioner to assist those wanting to pitch with their preparation).

For your chance to pitch, submit a brief outline of your proposal or simply request a slot by emailing by 1pm Tuesday, 3 June. Pitches will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. We may be able to accommodate pitchers on the day, but there is no guarantee so it's best to submit your idea/request a slot in advance. We will try to accommodate requests to pitch to a specific commissioner however this cannot be guaranteed.

Also 11.45 – 13.00

Shooting in 3D - The Creative Possibilities (previous title 3D from Ravensbourne)

The emerging Stereoscopic technology and fantastic ideas for shooting in 3D are opening up new worlds for filmmakers. But is 3D on a low budget really possible or just a dream? Martin Uren and Christine Orme from Ravensbourne talk about their recent experiences of making short 3D films. They will show clips and discuss the art and craft of 3D independent filmmaking, focusing on some of the issues around low-budget 3D production.


1.30 – 2.30

Accountancy Question Time with Blue Skies Partnership

Join BSP’s Steven Sykes and BECTU’s research officer, Tony Lennon, to discuss the pros and cons of sole trader v limited company status. There’ll also be time to put additional questions on how to manage your tax affairs. Pick up a copy of BECTU's Tax Guide for Freelancers. 

14.00 – 15.15

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner: Protecting yourself in work experience and running

*Runners were invited to take part in a survey linked to this session* - survey closed Thurs 29 May 2014

In an increasingly competitive industry, and an age of diminishing production budgets, greater expectations are heaped onto freelancers at all levels. But worst affected are often the new entrants trying to break into film and TV. Join us to discuss the findings of BECTU’s recent runners’ survey exploring the problems runners face right now, and get advice on how to address some of the issues. We ask: How long is it 'normal' to work as a runner? What are standard hours and rates of pay, if any? At what point does running become exploitation? How can runners make sure they are running to get where they want to go?

Our panelists will include: Priscilla Baffour, industry  talent specialist, Channel 4, Donald-Iain Brown, head of talent network, BBC Production (and head of editorial operations, BBC Scotland),  Amy Mobley, drama production manager, Tiger Aspect (credits include Peaky Blinders and Ripper Street), Grace Owen, talent co-ordinator, researcher and founder of Telly Talk and Martin Spence, assistant general secretary, BECTU.


Also 14.00 – 15.15

From Here to Diversity: What are the ways to secure and reflect a new inclusive broadcast future?

The year is 2014. The month is June. Though employment numbers in the UK entertainment industry have grown since 2009 when the BBC open up its new base in Salford, the numbers of Black and Minority Ethnic workers has plummeted. Creative Skillset research found that BAME employment dropped to 5.4 per cent in 2012, down from 12.1 per cent in 2009. OfCOM refused to release its 2013 statistics leaving broadcasters and industry professionals fearing the worst. So what is the future for BAME talent? Could The Henry Report hold the key? And what do we have to do to get transparency and accountability?

Join us to debate the issues with Lara Akeju, development manager, Creative Diversity, Channel 4, Tom Edwards, commissioning editor, Factuals Features and Formats, BBC, Olivier Kaempfer, senior Microwave executive, Film London,  Derren Lawford, commissioning executive, London Live and Cameron Roach, acting head of drama, BSkyB. The session will be introduced by Faisal Qureshi, chair of BECTU's Black Members' Committee and will be chaired by Michelle Brooks, MD ShowPatrol Productions and series producer of OH TV's Black Women in the Media


15.45 – 17.00

Using Social Media 4 Jobs (courtesy of BBC Academy)

Which of the many online platforms are best suited to your skillset and how should you use them to market yourself for work? Join Paul Buller from the BBC Academy for this essential session giving you the latest on online platforms serving our sector and showing you how to use the virtual space to progress in the real world.

Also 15.45 – 17.00

New opportunities for distribution: which one will you choose? 

The number of outlets for content distribution is growing. But which one is right for you and what’s the route in? Our guest speakers will include: Andy Green, chief operating officer and co-founder, Distrify, Marcus Markou, filmmaker (Papadopoulos & Sons), Vivienne Avery, BFI Research and Statistics Unit and Julia Short, distributor.

Workshops and One to Ones

David Thomas of David Thomas Media will present two 2.5 hour workshops for small groups: 

9.30 - 12.00 Freelance Toolkit will give you the inside track on business skills 


13.30 - 16.00 Make Networking Work for You will help you to perfect your all-important networking skills.

You can also plug any gaps in your schedule by booking a CV or Accountancy one-to-one. Beverley Hills, careers adviser, will be on hand to give CV advice, whilst a team from Blue Skies Partnership will run Accountancy Corner. Arrive early on the day to book an advice slot which fits in with your schedule.  

Exhibition & Technical Area

The event exhibition will run throughout the day. Our 2014 list of exhibitors appears on the right of this page.

Equipment sales company Visual Impact together with 24-7 Drama, a leading drama rental company, will be demonstrating an array of production equipment in the technical area.

Renowned for supplying equipment to top tv and film productions, 24-7 Drama will be demonstrating products from ARRI's camera and lens range including the ALEXA and AMIRA cameras. Meanwhile Visual Impact will be demonstrating a selected range of products from both Canon and Sony. Rigged with the appropriate accessories the cameras will include Canon's EOS C300 plus Sony's PMW-300 and PMW-500 XDCAM camcorders. More information 0208 977 1222 or

Networking drinks ...

And to wrap up another successful event, join us for a drink from 17.00 hours. (Stay with us all day and qualify for entry into our raffle - prizes donated by VET, NFTS, MEWE360, Talent Manager, Thompsons Solicitors and BECTU). The event will finish at 18.00. 

Sponsors, guest contributors & exhibitors

We acknowledge the generous support of our returning sponsors who'll also be taking part in the exhibition: Blues Skies Partnership, Creative Skillset, Hencilla Canworth, ProductionBase and Thompsons Solicitors. You'll have seen that Ravensbourne, our host, will be contributing to the programme with a session on 3D and they'll also be on hand in the exhibition to talk about the support they offer to fledgling creative businesses.  We also want to say a special thankyou to our guest contributors and exhibitors. (Full list of 2014 exhibitors in the panel on the right of this page).

Be part of the Freelancers' Fair book at:

*We fully expect the programme to remain as published although this may be subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control.

Cancellation policy (1 May 2014)

1. BECTU members: please contact us as soon as possible if you book and then decide not to attend the Freelancers' Fair so that we can release your space to another visitor.

2. Non-members: please contact us as soon as possible if you book and then decide not to attend the Freelancers' Fair so that we can release your space to another visitor. A full refund will only be organised where we are notified of a cancellation no later than Thursday 29 May 2014. No refund will be organised for a booking made after this date.

Event information published 1 May 2014; last update 5 February 2015. 

Query about the information here: email

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