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Advantages of selling or promoting your products at County Shows

With the world returning to normality, County Shows and Country Fairs are back in action nationwide. From Easter onwards, these shows will be attracting thousands of visitors keen to relax and enjoy a day out.

Surprisingly, a lot of companies actually overlook these potential opportunities to promote and build brands, sell products and test out new ideas. Partly this is due to lack of awareness – people living in urban areas might not necessarily think about activities taking place out in the countryside. Yet this can be a costly error.

Pre-Covid, around seven million people were attending agricultural/county shows and country fairs and numbers were rising fast. Taking a few shows at random, estimated visitor numbers are staggering. The Anglesey Agricultural Show is estimated to attract around 60,000 people, the Devon County Show 90,000 and the Lincolnshire Show 68,000 visitors. The range of shows is vast from massive regional agricultural shows to small area based country fairs which may attract just a few thousand visitors – but these are people willing to make the effort to travel to the location, and buy once they are on site.

Characterising all these shows is the mix of entertainment and trading opportunities. Arena displays can include everything from motorcycle stunt riders, army display teams to horse & carriage parades and livestock. The bigger shows generally incorporate three or more arenas, plus smaller ones scattered around the showground. Then there are the exhibitors promoting not just agricultural goods and country ware, but craft tents, food & drink, children’s entertainment, local services as well as numerous market trading areas.

The amount of business that is completed during such an event is massive. In 2020, the University of East Anglia analysed the economic impact of the annual two day Royal Norfolk Show which attracts visitors from across the country. Their research revealed that it generated £20m for the Norfolk economy, which included a £14.3m boost for Norfolk based businesses taking part. The research indicated that the potential scale of the impact could be even higher, if more local businesses took onsite concessions and trade stands.

Hire temporary staff to help you sell your wares!

Clearly, there is a massive potential business opportunity – but only if action is taken quickly. Companies wanting to take part need to research all the different shows within their locality to see which ones suit their concept best, then book up quickly. Work out your staffing needs and book appropriately so to ensure that your stand is never left unattended. No one wants to miss some potential customers! You might even find yourself running out of supplies and having to dash back to your premises to get more.

It is not just sales staff that may be needed. The sheer variety of potential customers, the size of the showground means that there are opportunities for promoting products on a large scale. This could include adding some promotional staff, product demonstrators, sampling services or even a cheerful costumed mascot who can roam around attracting attention and customer goodwill. Allow time at either end of the show for setting up and taking down – you may need additional staff to help out with these tasks.