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Full marks for ASAO Learning Day

Show organisers from right across the country came together this month to exchange ideas on everything from event sponsorship and membership schemes to legislation and IT.

The Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate was the prestigious venue for the ASAO’s Spring Learning Day on March 12, an information-sharing, networking event designed to assist all those involved in running agricultural, horticultural and countryside shows throughout the year.

87 delegates from some of Britain’s one-day and multi-day shows attended the Learning Day this year and feedback has been extremely positive.

The event moves around the country so that different regions have the opportunity to benefit from an agenda of industry updates, syndicate discussions and working group activity.

Clare Farrell, Show Manager of the Newport Show, who is also an ASAO Council Member and the organisation’s Education champion said: “The ASAO is committed to raising the profile of farming and rural life in Britain, and agricultural shows provide the ideal platform.

One of the advantages of ASAO membership is the opportunities it affords for event organisers and suppliers to meet up and network with others doing the same jobs in other regions of the country – the Learning Day being one of those opportunities.

61 people attended the Learning Day in 2015 and we were delighted to see that number rise to 87 this year.”

Nigel Pulling, Chief Executive, and Mark Stoddart, Financial Controller of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society welcomed delegates to the Pavilions, before handing over to Clare Farrell who outlined the day’s agenda.

There were lively group sessions on sponsorship with Cheshire Agricultural Society Executive Director, Nigel Evans and Three Counties Agricultural Society Shows Manager, Doreen Smillie–Gray.

Mark Stoddart joined Amanda Stoddart-West (Yorkshire Agricultural Society) and Christine Thompson (Ryedale Show) to facilitate another group discussion on IT and general computerisation.

Clare continued: “The feedback has been wonderful, with delegates telling us how useful exercises like this are in helping them to plan, organise and run their events, and how much they enjoy meeting colleagues from all over the country.

Education is high on the ASAO’s priority list, and as well as the Learning Day, it supports the delivery of a whole host of activities including workshops, professional development placements, farm visits and countryside projects.”