The annual conference takes place on a Saturday in the May Half term at a member school and consists of workshops and seminars followed by a semi-formal dinner. As well as STSG members, there are several industry suppliers in attendance with a small exhibition of products and services. An important part of the day is networking with other delegates and sponsors. The workshops are a mix of technical and non-technical subjects, covering practical topics and the latest trends in the live events industry. Delegate places are subsidised by our generous sponsors with accommodation included in the price.

The dinner and accommodation will be at a local hotel and is included in the Full Conference Package. There is a Day Time Only Package available, as well as accommodation for the Friday night. Partners are also welcome at the hotel for a small fee to cover the meal and accommodation costs

What’s on Offer?

• An event designed specifically for school theatre technicians and managers
•Consisting of four technical/production workshops/seminars led by industry professionals from White Light, AC Entertainment Technologies, Charcoalblue & others;
• Additional sessions covering areas such Performance Support Award, teaching technical support, health and safety, and sustainability;
• Direct industry information, safety updates, and support from the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT);
• In-person networking with like-minded technical, production and venue management people in the same situation as you;
• In-person contact and hands-on product displays from industry supporters, including Stage Electrics, Illuminate Design, Solutions on Stage, Creative Spark & others – away from the hustle and bustle of busy trade shows;
• All-inclusive school lunch;
• Semi-formal three-course dinner with the conference sponsors and industry contacts plus hotel accommodation.

Conference 2024

The next School Theatre Support Group (STSG) conference will take place on Saturday 1st June at Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

Conference fee is just £25 per delegate, including all workshops, lunch and 3-course banquet dinner!  Payment by invoice later (within 28 days), or bank details ac no. 97466667 sort code 09-01-28 (School Theatre Support Group).

Booking form –


Hotel is not included this year. The dinner will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Marlow.

If you wish to stay Saturday night and/or Friday night, this is available for the special rate of £170 per room, per night (bed & breakfast). Limited availability; first-come, first-served.  (Note, this is a fully cancellable flexible rate; you may be able to find a cheaper rate on the hotel website if you pre-pay, non-cancellable.)

Hotel booking link (read below first…)  – School Theatre Support Group 

IMPORTANT – This link will take you to a booking for the Friday AND Saturday (2 nights) and for double occupancy – If you just want the Saturday / single occupancy, please amend the date and room occupancy under “Change Search” at the top of the page (do not change the ‘rate preference’).  You can also sign-in with your IHG Rewards account, if you have one.

Please book ASAP so that we know that we have a viable number of attendees.

Examples of the workshops and seminars can be found below, full details of the programme will be announced over the coming months.

The conference is open to all members and any others in your department/school who may be interested, even if not members.  (If your membership has expired, then this is a catalyst for you to re-join).


If you wish to be a sponsor at the event or book additional accommodation with your sponsorship package please use the form on our contact page.

Past Conferences

2022 held at The Leys School in Cambridge on Saturday 28th May.

09:00 – Tea/coffee/arrivals & exhibitor time.
09:30 – Welcome.
10:00 – Workshop 1 (45 min) – Practical demo; affordable LED – AC Entertainment Technologies.
10:45 – Break / exhibitor time & optional breakout sessions 1:
A-level technical support; Association of Sound Designers; Venue tour.
11:30 – Workshop 2 (45 min) – Health & Safety talk; rigging maintenance – Solutions on Stage.
12:30 – Lunch.
13:15 – ABTT (30 min).
13:45 – Open Forum (30 min).
14:15 – Introduction to the ‘Green Book’ (30 min).
14:45 – Workshop 3 (30 min) – Design talk; venue sustainability – Charcoalblue.
15:15 – Break / exhibitor time & optional breakout sessions 2:
Sustainability Q&A; Performance Support Award; Venue tour/Charcoalblue Q&A.;
16:00 – Workshop 4 (45 min) – Industry masterclass – White Light.
16:45 – Closing.
17:00 – Finish.
Evening – at the hotel for dinner and drinks.

Subject to change. Workshop details will be announced as they are confirmed.


“I thoroughly enjoyed the conference. It had a relaxed friendly feel, and I found it a pleasure to speak with like-minded individuals.”
“Thank you for your work in organising this year’s conference. It was as usual interesting and informative. The discussion on staffing issues helped to put into perspective what might be changed in our venue.”
“Just on the way home after my first visit to a STSG conference and would like to thank you firstly for the incredible organisation but to all the presenters, sponsors and hosts for the invaluable information.”
“It was a very useful, friendly, informative conference and just the right mix of social, business and networking.”
Thank you for such a well organised weekend. I really felt it was worthwhile and have plenty of new ideas to put to my boss today!”


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our annual conference took place online. The day followed a similar format to our normal conference, with webinars presented by our sponsors, break-out sessions and networking, and a Virtual Pub Quiz in the evening.

White Light provided the first session of the day with a video presentation of their SmartStage and a look at other interactive solutions for education. This was followed by a webinar from Theatreplan on the topic of providing a technical theatre learning environment. The morning concluded with a breakout session where delegates could ‘meet’ with the presenters and also network with other delegates.

The afternoon opened with our regular ABTT update from ABTT CEO Robin Townley, and then an Open Forum session where discussion topics included live streaming and filming events, and backstage pupil activities.

The next webinar was an informative session by Stage Electrics looking at the latest updates to the requirements for in-service inspection and testing of portable electrical equipment. This was followed by a presentation of various educational resources available from ETC. Another breakout session closed the main conference business, before a gap for dinner and then a Virtual Pub Quiz in the evening. General chat continued online into the small hours.


Set in over 2,000 acres of beautiful countryside with an Abbey at its core, Ampleforth is home to reportedly the oldest purpose-built school theatre dating from 1909.

A packed program gave delegates the opportunity to attend a variety of workshops and seminars provided by ABTT ISG members and other industry contacts. A practical scenic textures workshop was delivered by Flints , exploring techniques for creating wood grain and marbling effects. AC Entertainment Technologies  demonstrated data networking options, whilst Stage Electrics  spoke about how delegates can ensure their venues are complying with LOLER and PUWER regulations. White Light  and ETC rounded off the day with a sneak preview of Augment3D, ETC’s first integrated 3D programming environment. These suppliers were also joined by Hawthorn Illuminate Design Technical Stage Services  and Mountview  for the supplier’s exhibition for delegates to network during the breaks.

Further sessions throughout the day were led by STSG committee members to enable the sharing of ideas and working practices between members in what is a relativity niche field. We were delighted also to have Mountview in attendance, providing advice on how best to support students who wish to go to university, as well as Robin Townley, ABTT CEO, who gave an overview of the recent updates to Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment and the background to two recent high profile H&S; cases involving fibrous plaster ceilings and the control of noise at work, informing delegates of important actions in their own venues.

Following the conference, delegates had further opportunities to network over a splendid dinner at Ampleforth College’s very own on-site pub, The Windmill.


For our tenth conference we were hosted by The Perse School in Cambridge at their brand-new Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre.

Workshops were provided by our industry sponsors and other invited speakers, including diverse topics such as weight loading on truss, props-making with thermoplastics, electrics for temporary and outside events, Zero 88 lighting control, and 3D visualisation/virtual reality with Preevue.


Workshops included pyrotechnics, electrical safety and projection mapping. There were also the usual opportunities to network with other members and the company reps/exhibitors. This year we held a symposium for the STSG Performance Support Award on the Friday afternoon before the main conference, including an in-depth talk-through of the scheme and a look at future plans. There was also a chance to share examples of the Award in use.

On the Sunday after the conference, the day was spent at Hawthorn Theatrical, who are based nearby. Hawthorn kindly provided a day of rigging training, including details of maintenance and LOLER regs, plus plenty of hands-on time in their warehouse with all sorts of rigging kit.


This year’s conference had a Digital Media flavour, with technical workshops on LED screens and moving lights, and systems for connecting digital systems, plus an introduction to effective digital marketing by Ticketsolve and an offer for STSG members from Digital Theatre+.


Thirty STSG members met at St Peter’s School in Bournemouth for workshops including moving light maintenance and working at height. This year, in addition to the workshops provided by our sponsors, STSG held a discussion/information session on the new GCSE Drama options for those of us who assist/deliver the teaching of technical/design exam modules, plus an update session for the STSG Performance Support Award.


Workshops included LED lighting, pyrotechnics, sound mixing and projection mapping, alongside displays from GDS and Independent Studio Services. STSG also launched the project to create the Performance Support Award.

This year’s conference marked the tenth year of STSG as an organisation, having grown from an informal group of like-minded individuals, to now being affiliated with the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT). The conference was opened by Robin Townley, chief executive of the ABTT.


Sessions included lighting design with LED, stage management and theatre design, as well as a discussion forum to chat about ideas and problems relating to working in school theatres.


Workshops included projection, acoustics for beginners, practical sound, rigging techniques and props making with Flints.


There was a busy line-up of technical workshops and seminars, plus a backstage visit to the recently rebuilt Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford on the Friday before the conference, courtesy of Charcoalblue.

Read a full report


Workshops included KV2 Audio loudspeakers, Showcomms communication systems and Selecon lighting fixtures. A forum session was hosted by The Stage newspaper, where first suggestion was made for STSG to develop a relatively simple, self-administered, ‘reward’ or qualification scheme to recognise the many students involved with backstage theatre at an extra-curricular level, with the intention that it will encourage them to consider taking a career further.


The first ever STSG conference was held at Rugby School, including sessions on moving light maintenance and good theatre design for schools, as well as starting the tradition of a lively post-conference dinner.