48OE Blog  
Aug 19

Written by: 48OE Admin
19/08/2011 10:49  RssIcon

We exhibited at Land Rover Max Stoneleigh Show for the first time last weekend. The most important factor, the weather, was kind to us. This permanent site used to be home to the Royal Show and is well configured for all outdoor events. The camping area in the woods is probably the most attractive of any show we have ever attended. So what was the verdict?

Overall a good effort and I am told more trade stands than the previous year. The atmosphere was good but it was obvious there were vast numbers of club stands but not the ranks of trade stands that you might have expected five years ago. The fun fair and bar were excellent as were the fireworks on Saturday evening. Most importantly the showers all worked but what did let the show down was the toilets.

There was only one soap dispenser in the toilets nearest us which spent most of the show off the wall rather than on it, paper towels were only available intermittently  and the toilets needed cleaning but there were no cleaners to be seen. I never understand why issues such as toilets are not better thought through by show organisers. (In defence of Billing I thought they did a very good job on the showers and toilets this year).

My only other gripe is why do organisers not watch their own arena attractions? At Stoneleigh we had some very excellent arena turns and some so poor it was like watching paint dry. To see vast numbers of club vehicles in the arena for 20 minutes is not entertainment. You only had to look around the barrier and see how many people were watching. I know everything cannot be a jewel but please see what can be organised for the future!

Overall I thought it was a very good effort but the show could be improved.

Perhaps there are just too many shows these days and the economic climate means there is not the spending power out there to keep all the traders happy. Our takings were so-so and we might have just covered our costs. My message to all show organisers is keep costs low for trade and public as it is all about volumes. If we slip below the magic numbers shows will not exist.

It would be great if someone were brave enough to look at different formats and offer something new and exciting. Often you need to look outside your own industry to see innovation. I am off to the Wilderness Gathering this weekend to try some axe throwing!