Frequently Asked Questions

Please check these FAQs for answers.  If the information you seek isn’t here, or in the Full Programme, contact details are at the end of the page.           


Where and when is the Convention?

The Convention is held at Harper Adams University, Shropshire, TF10 8NB;

3rd – 5th April 2020, with a Welcome dinner at 7pm on Thursday 2nd


When is the Tradeshow?

The Commercial Tradeshow is on Saturday 4th only: 08.30 – 16.30.

There is a Not-for-Profit Exhibition on both Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th.

Find out more about the trade show on the Bargains at the Spring Convention page


When are online bookings open?

From noon on 13th January until 3rd February (for accommodation), until 24th March for most other items, or until individual workshops, dinners, etc are full.  After 24th March, wristband tickets cannot be booked until Thursday 2nd April after 15.00, when they can be purchased at the ‘On-the-Day’ rate, at the Convention Reception in Harper Adams Faccenda building.  Harper Adams staff do NOT have wristbands, workshops or dinners for sale.


What are the accommodation options?

This year there is limited accommodation at Harper Adams, with more, similar quality en-suite accommodation a short distance away at the University of Wolverhampton’s Priorslee Campus, TF2 9NT.  All accommodation bookings on the BBKA website have now closed.  Bookings direct with Priorslee may be possible by clicking on the link:, select Telford as the location and enter BBKA20 as the promotional code. 
Without any endorsement or recommendation by BBKA, a list of other local hotels and guest houses is also available here.


Can I get to the Spring Convention by public transport?

Harper Adams is around 15 minutes from the M54 in rural Shropshire, with ample parking.  Information about public transport is available via the Harper Adams University website.  The nearest rail stations are Telford Central and Stafford. One-way taxi fares from these stations are around £12 and £20 respectively. The alternative accommodation at Priorslee, Telford, TF2 9NT is about a 20 minute walk from Telford Central station.  There will be complimentary buses between Priorslee and Harper Adams for those staying at Priorslee.

Why are wristband tickets needed?

Three-day or full Day wrist-bands are needed for lectures, workshops, seminars and the Commercial Tradeshow. With a wristband (except ‘Tradeshow only’ bands) there is NO further charge for lectures, some workshops and seminars nor to enter the Tradeshow. The cost of all workshops is kept as low as possible because participants also buy wristbands.


How much do wristband tickets cost?


In Advance

(until 24th March 2020)

‘On-the-Day’ – from Reception, Faccenda building, Harper Adams

Convention Three-day Wristband 

Admits Fri 3rd, Sat 4th & Sun 5th



Convention Day Wristband, Friday 3rd



Convention Day Wristband, Saturday 4th



Convention Day Wristband, Sunday 5th



Tradeshow only Saturday 4th



17 Years and under



Saturday 4th Tradeshow Only bands are just £5, and also give access to Speakers Corner, but not to Workshops, Seminars nor Lectures. 

Full Day / Three-day Convention wristbands range from £12 to £30.  Please see the Full Programme for full details


How do I make a booking?

Please click the Book Here link. Having selected your wristband, please scroll through other options which are in date order, add any you wish to your basket, check-out and pay. You will have an electronic ticket(s) to bring or to print and bring.


Do I need my BBKA membership number to book?

NO, the Convention is open to non-members.  The booking system will not ask for a membership number.


How do I book lectures?

Unlike Workshops and Seminars, Lectures CANNOT be pre-booked.  Be at the lecture theatre in good time to ensure entry. Latecomers will not be admitted but for lectures in the Regional Food Academy and Teaching Block lecture theatres, the streamed talk may be watched in a nearby room.


How can I find out more information about a Workshop or Seminar before I book? 

A synopsis of each lecture, workshop and seminar is included in the programme.  Please click Workshops & Seminars and read the synopsis of any workshop you are considering in pages 39-52 of the programme. Before you book a full schedule of workshops, please remember to check for clashes with Lectures – and leave time to patronise the Tradeshow on Saturday!


What can I do if online workshop booking has ended?

Please come to the Convention Reception in the Faccenda building at Harper Adams to book any remaining places on Workshops and Seminars.


What if I didn't get the booking confirmed by email?

Check your SPAM or JUNK folders on your email account.  If you still can’t find an e-mail confirmation, please e-mail the SC Chair or SC Treasurer (details at the end of these FAQs).


The workshop was fully booked, can I add my name to the waiting list?

Yes, please put your name and mobile phone number on the waiting list Ticket CW00. If another delegate cancels, we will contact you. 


Why are there extra charges for some Workshops and Seminars?

The extra charges cover materials, or Workshops that are specialised or costly to run.  These charges already assume a contribution from a wristband fee.


Can I make a booking for some-one else?

YES, please provide the name of the person for whom you are booking when this is requested on the booking site.


Are there tea & coffee making facilities in bedrooms?

Kettles, mugs and sachets for tea and coffee making are provided in the kitchens adjacent to groups of rooms at Harper Adams.  At Priorslee there are tea and coffee making facilities in bedrooms.


Can I ask for a hairdryer or firm / extra pillow?

Sorry, no.  We suggest you bring these items with you.


Can I camp at the Convention at Harper Adams?

Yes – but you must pre-book on the Spring Convention website and camp only in the permitted areas.  Please collect your camping permit from the Hospitality Kiosk in the Queen Mother Refectory foyer on arrival and display it on your van (or keep it available for checking in your tent).  Overnighting in cars / vans / lorries, other than in the designated areas and on display of a permit, is not allowed.


Can I buy something to eat at Harper Adams instead of the bookable dinners?

On Thursday 2nd the Graze café will serve sandwiches, cakes and hot drinks until 16.30.  However, there will be no hot food after 14.00 other than the Welcome Dinner.  Graze will be open until 21.00 on Friday 3rd and 20.00 on Saturday 4th.  Confectionery and snacks are available from vending machines in Graze and residents can make tea / coffee in their kitchens.


Will there be vegetarian alternatives at dinners?

Yes, please give details of special dietary requirements when booking and suitable alternatives will be provided.  On Thursday evening you will make your selection from the servery.  The Convention Dinner on Friday evening is served at the tables with a seating plan and Saturday’s Barn Dance will also be served at tables – but on Saturday please be ready to tell your server the main course you requested.


Can I sit with friends at the dinners?

Yes, on Thursday and Saturday there is no seating plan for dinner.  Please sit wherever you prefer.  We ask you to choose your dining companions for the Friday Convention Dinner before noon on Friday at the Hospitality Kiosk in the Queen Mother Refectory foyer.  Unless you are at a pre-selected table as a Speaker or Trustee, there will be a named label which we will ask you to affix to the table plan.


How late can I collect my accommodation room key?

Harper Adams Room keys can be collected from the Hospitality Kiosk in the Queen Mother Refectory foyer until 19.30.  If you arrive after 19.30 your key will be with a member of the SC Committee dining in the refectory.  After dinner finishes (about 21.30) the Harper Adams Security Staff will hold any remaining room keys. If you arrive after dinner has finished, please phone 07980 061128 / 01952 815321 to contact Security. 

Those arriving at Priorslee should check-in from 15.00 at the main reception (see plan on P59 of the Convention Programme).  After 18.00 keys at Priorslee will be available from security, contactable using the main reception phone.

I'm now unable to attend the workshop/meal/room I booked, can I cancel rather than waste a place?

Wristbands are not refundable but if you book workshops, accommodation, dinners etc and find you are unable to attend, you can make a request to cancel by contacting [email protected]. Please do this as soon as possible, in order to free up the place for others.


Can I bring a trolley to the Trade Show?

Trolleys will only be allowed as far as the three rear traders’ entrances. The passageways are too narrow to allow them to enter the Trading Halls.


Can I store my purchases securely while I attend lectures / workshops?

Yes. There is a Purchase Creche supervised by Cadets outside the main Faccenda building. You can drive your car up to the Creche for collection.  The bus-stop for the complimentary bus to Priorslee is near the Creche, so you can store portable items to take back in the bus with you.  Please note that the Creche will close at 5pm on Saturday, so purchases cannot be left there over dinner.


Can I drive up to the wax exchange and pre-order collection area?

Yes. But only on Saturday. 8.30-4.30.


How late can I come to the Welcome Dinner on Thursday 2nd?

The servery opens at 19.00 on Thursday 2nd.  Booked dinners should be available until 20.00.


Can I bring my dog to the Convention?

No dogs other than Assistance Dogs are permitted on the Harper Adams site.  Harper Adams adheres to stringent animal welfare policies.  Consequently, dogs and other pet animals must NOT be left unattended in vehicles.


I have mobility / other access needs.  How can I ask for assistance at the Convention?

If you require a ground floor bedroom, please request this when booking.  If you may need other assistance on campus, such as help to evacuate in the unlikely event of an emergency, please advise a member of staff in reception on arrival and the lead steward for any workshop or lectures you are attending. If you would like to discuss your requirements in private, please contact Joyce Nisbet, the SC Volunteer Chair (details below).


I don't have a credit/debit card, can I send a cheque or pay at the event?

Booking using the Ticketsource website minimises the BBKA staff and volunteer time needed to arrange bookings.  However, in special circumstances please contact the BBKA Office (details below) in the first instance.


First Aid, Emergencies and Medical help

During Convention hours, first aid support at Harper Adams is available from BBKA reception, in Faccenda reception.  Out of hours, contact the SC Chair on 07798 680398 or Harper Adams Security on 07980 061128.  For emergency medical treatment call 999 and also notify Harper Adams switchboard of the emergency via 01952 815599 or 5599 internal.


What do I do if there is a problem with my room?

Accommodation issues at Harper Adams should be reported to the Short Courses and Conferences Office: 01952 815324 and to BBKA reception in Faccenda.  Out of hours, to Security 07980 061128.

Accommodation issues at Priorslee should be reported to reception: 01902 323900


Contact Details

BBKA Office: [email protected]  or 02476 696679
Accommodation (SC Volunteer): [email protected]

Cancellations (SC Volunteer Treasurer): [email protected]

Workshops (SC Volunteer Convenor): [email protected]

Dinners (SC Volunteer Catering Manager): [email protected]

Other Enquiries (SC Volunteer Chair): [email protected] / 07798 680398


Please note

BBKA Spring Convention volunteers will respond to emails as soon as they can.  However, particularly in the week before the Convention they have many competing demands.  Your understanding of any delays is appreciated.