Agricultural shows report a record season, despite demise of CLA Game Fair
Other country shows are prospering and attracting record numbers of visitors
According to the Association of Shows and Agricultural Organisations (ASAO), which represents many of British’s food farming and countryside events, both big multiple-day shows and smaller events are reporting a successful season.
The Cheshire County Show has had a steady increase in attendance figures recently and this year’s were spectacular, with 6,000 more visitors and a record high for livestock entries and sponsorship.
Value for money is key
Executive Director Nigel Evans believes that the show’s growth is down to a strategy of providing a quality, value for money event experience.
This is a sentiment echoed by Mark Stoddart, Financial Controller for the Yorkshire Agriculture Show who commented: “It’s tough, so keeping a finger on the pulse and offering visitors a value for money, quality experience is an ongoing challenge.”
Further south, the Royal Cornwall Show had more than 126,000 visitors in 2015, the fourth highest attendance in its 222 year history.
Extra parking had to be provided for the increased visitor numbers at the New Forest & Hampshire Show which also enjoyed a record-breaking crowd in 2015.
Other shows that were significantly up on gate numbers were the Westmorland County Show, which had a gate of 35,551 and the Newport Show in Shropshire.
Christine Knipe, Chief Executive of the Westmorland Agricultural Society, noted that working hard to retain the quality of the event and staying true to its core agricultural message was key to success.