The British Shakespeare Association was formed in 2003 and had their inaugural conference at DeMontfort University in Leicester.
There were four areas of discussion, working with performers and directors, the community, with schools and with academics.
There are associations in countries including Japan, Brazil, Georgia, China and France and Germany was the first to honour the Bard with an association formed in 1864. Prior to 2003 Britain, only had the Birthplace Trust. Deborah Cartmell, an academic at De Montfort University, was quoted in The Independent "Why there hasn't been a Shakespeare association is a mystery."
Judi Dench was named as Patron and seminars during that first conference were given by Sam West, Miles Gregory, founder of the Bristish Touring Shakespeare Company and Director of the British Shakespeare Festival from 2004-2008, David Tennant, Will Houston and Greg Doran