These gatherings fall into two distinct groups... Evening Meetings of County Associations... Or more formal Conferences of one, two, three days, six days or a week or more.
Most Beekeeping Associations run Lectures and these will usually be advertised by monthly newsletters produced by the Association concerned. The cost is usually included in the yearly subscription... (but if a charge is made it will usually be only a nominal one).
The other group are usually advertised on "fliers" often an A4 sheet folded into three panes. The charges are kept to a bare minimum... a one day (4 lectures) meeting will be about £12 - £15. The multiple day conventions are usually about £35 per day including bed and breakfast. (1999 prices).
The most common format is registration on Friday evening often with a lecture after the meal. The Saturday morning will have two lecture slots with the afternoon usually giving a choice of practical work or a coach trip. Saturday evening often takes the form of a formal dinner. The Sunday morning gives the opportunity for two more lectures and the event is wound up often with a question and answer session with a finish time of 5:00 PM giving adequate time for travel home.
I have been to a good many of these events over many years... The quality of speakers and the standard of organisation is usually very high. I mention a few here that I have been particularly impressed by:-
Cambridgeshire Beekeepers one day event... Usually late March... Always a high standard and lunch is included.
Midland and South Western... Usually three days... moves about to different locations each year.
Apimondia... Six days... every two years... a different country each time.
FIBKA Summer School... Gormanston, Six days... I went for the first time in July 2000, see my report... Gormanston 2000 (A personal View) Strongly recommended, In fact I will go further than that and say that I consider it much more important that it ever gets recognition for. I have been every year since the first time mentioned above, there are further links to reports that I have generated on every year's event... Including in later years many photos of what you can expect, when you visit for yourself.
BIBBA... Organise various events and workshops... Venue changes, in order to cover the country more effectively.
Stoneleigh Show and Convention... Late April... One Day, but BIBBA AGM is usually on the following day on the same site. Lectures and trade stands.
The National Honey Show... Three days, has been at Kensington Town Hall London, but currently being held at the RAF Museum, Hendon nr London. Honey Show, Lecture stream and trade stands.