Royal County of Berkshire Show
Local Buzz interviews Daren Bowyer about "The Newbury Show" and BuzzConnect.
You are best known for the Berkshire Show but what else do you do?
Newbury and District Agricultural Society’s best known event is the Royal County of Berkshire Show (still known locally as ‘The Newbury Show’), one of the region’s best family days out. But that is only part of what we do to meet our charitable purposes of promoting and educating the public about farming, horticulture and country life.
Throughout the farming year we run local on-farm competitions to promote and celebrate best practice and social events to bring together our members. Every October we run a ploughing match that includes modern and vintage tractor and traditional horse ploughing competitions and even vintage steam ploughing displays. We also deliver schools educational programmes across the county and into Oxfordshire and Hampshire, too. Our Education officer, Jan, and her fabulous team of volunteers are in schools almost every day of the school year. Usually accompanied by their wooden animals Buttercup the cow, Clover the goat and Rasher the pig, they teach children where their food really comes from.
What are your plans and priorities for the next 12-18 months?
Our main priority is to complete our new building - a £1 million investment to improve presentation of the cattle at the Show. This will be a great new facility for our education programmes and a venue we can let commercially for a range of events, to give us an important income stream for supporting our charitable activities. I also aim to increase sponsorship, in order to make sure we keep our position as one of Britain’s top ten agricultural shows and ensure the Show remains a value for money day out for the whole family (£16 for an adult ticket and £5 for a child!) It is another great resource for bringing people into the area to support local businesses.
Why did you join BuzzConnect?
I joined BuzzConnect to meet more local businesses, tell them what we can do for them and how they can get involved. We’re hosting BuzzConnect Networking at the Showground on the evening of Thursday 15th September so businesses can see us in the final stages of setting up and experience first-hand some of what we do!
What are your top marketing tips for local businesses?
I think my tip would be first to understand your audience(s!) and then use channels that will work best for them. For us this means pretty much a bit of everything but carefully analysing the response so we can tailor what we do in future. Don’t be afraid to try something new but be clear about how you will measure its impact. And network, network, network making sure you are giving as well as seeking to take!
D G Bowyer PhD FCMI Chief Executive Newbury & District Agricultural Society