I had a very busy time in August with three country shows to attend with a client, sounds easy doesn’t it? Turn up with a marquee, chat to people then go home…. well you’d be wrong! There’s so much work that goes on behind the scenes to make events like this a success and it is certainly all worth it in the end. By attending these shows, it really does help to raise a business’ profile within the community. Most of all, they are great fun!
Though the show season for 2018 has come to an end, they are certainly something I recommend clients to consider in the future and it’s never too early to start planning. In fact, many people are already booking their stands for next year.
This year I attended Honiton, Chagford and Okehampton Shows but there are many more of varying sizes throughout the county, all suiting a variety of budgets.
Obviously, Devon County Show is the big one but with so many other popular one-day shows, you will be spoiled for choice. If this is something you are interested in do get in touch, I have become somewhat of an expert!
As part of my work for this year’s shows I started with ensuring the stand was booked correctly, it’s very easy to end up with the wrong pitch size, it’s all in the detail.
Once the marquee size had been agreed I was able to book the pitch and sort out the finer details with the client including what refreshments would be available and the look they wanted for the stand.
You need to first consider what type of stand you want, are you wishing to provide people with refreshments and entertainment, or do you simply want a table set up with some flyers? Obviously, I would advise the more you offer the more engagement and interest you will draw to your business, but it depends how much you want to put in to it.
Here’s some information of just some of the detail I dealt with to make what looks like a simple stand a success:
First, I had to ensure there was enough storage for all the items being purchased and so I made a garage available; I also had to ensure I could transport them to the show and so I bought a trailer for DM PR & Marketing’s use. I could have hired one, though I will get plenty of use from it and it gives me much more flexibility for future events for my clients.
There were various meetings with the client and plenty of emails and phone calls with lists and suggestions flying around before I got the final purchase list. Before purchasing I had to ensure the logistics were doable, if the client wanted hot drinks could I keep the water hot, if the client wanted locally produced food did I have an appropriate supplier, and so it goes on. The purchase list included all food and drink, crockery, cutlery, bin bags, water, health and safety materials like extinguishers.
I needed to ensure the stand looked fabulous and so it was decided I would purchase hydrangeas, they look stunning – when well cared for. Thanks to some sweet talking by myself I purchased the hydrangeas and it was agreed they would be looked after by the retailer until needed, no chance of them dying just before the event – you won’t get this kind of sweet talking from other marketing agencies!
Entertainment was decided on and booked, I worked with local organisations and businesses and ensured there would be plenty to keep the kids occupied on the day – happy kids = happy, relaxed parents.
Finally, I needed a team to be at the stand to talk to people, to hand out the strawberries and Pimm’s and to make them welcome and so more communication between the business, their staff and us resulted in a rota and some keen volunteers.
Here’s some photos from the events, I won’t lie it was hard work, but thoroughly enjoyable and really helped to raise the profile of the business locally.
It’s not just country shows we can help with, we have experience of organising and hosting a variety of events. Find out more on my website here and get in touch if you’d like us to help you with your next event. The most recent event we have been organising has been for a MOD contract in London, it’s a massive event so we really can help no matter how small or big your event is.