BIAZA Education & Presenters Conference

The 2016 BIAZA Education & Presenters conference was hosted by Blackpool Zoo, 10th-11th November. This was the 25th annual national zoo education conference I have attended (having only missed a few in my 30 years engagement), and also held in the 50th anniversary year of BIAZA. Over the years many of the attendees have changed, but its still good to meet old friends and make new ones. The strength of these meetings is the exchange and sharing of ideas and information among a community of educators from large and small collections – ‘zoos’, aquariums, safari parks, & bird gardens. The programme of speakers and workshops are also good CPD and training opportunities – I ran one of my workshops at last year’s meeting. This year there was also a focus on inclusivity which brought discussion and activity such as sign language; effective communication and voice training; special education needs and more. Once more the conference also proved that ‘education is fun’ and that “zoo educators” enjoy themselves (not least in social events too in downtown Blackpool) and we never tire of learning and developing, whilst being committed to promoting conservation and behaviour change.

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