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National agricultural shows conference looks set to go off with a bang!

Agricultural show organisers from right across the UK, are converging on North Yorkshire this weekend (3rd – 5th November), for what can best be described as the industry’s annual ‘meeting of minds’.

Delegates attending the 61st Association of Shows and Agricultural Organisation’s national Conference at The Principal in York, can look forward to a thought-provoking programme of expert presentations and group panel sessions, with ample opportunity to forge valuable business connections and partnerships too.

The 2017 Conference, hosted by the Driffield Agricultural Society, is designed to highlight the very latest developments in the Shows industry, and encourage an ongoing exchange of ideas and information between practitioners working on everything from one-day, to multi-day farming and countryside events throughout Britain.

Of course, Day 3 coincides with Bonfire Night, so the Driffield team has been pulling out all the stops to make sure the weekend’s proceedings go off with a bang!

This year’s programme includes no less than 8 papers covering topics such as keeping agricultural societies relevant, ideas for innovation in agriculture, dealing with something big (health and safety), sponsorship, charitable trusts and funding, the value of research and the survival of agricultural shows in the current climate.

There’s even an international flavour for 2017, courtesy of speakers, Jerry Hammer, General Manager of the Minnesota State Fair, and Joke and Mariel Ruesink, organisers of the Farm and Country Fair in The Netherlands.

Jerry will be talking about Education at the State Fair, and Joke and Mariel will be sharing their tips for organising an event and running a busy dairy farm at the same time.

Joining Jerry, Joke and Mariel is ACT National leader, Phil Atkinson, a health and safety professional for more than 20 years and a risk consultant with one of the world’s largest insurance brokers. He’ll be taking delegates through a variety of possible health and safety scenarios.

Said David Tite, Chief Executive Officer for the Driffield Agricultural Society: “Agricultural shows provide platforms for promoting our industry so we must ensure they remain current and vibrant to ensure their survival.

The ASAO Conference brings its members together each year to share their ideas for content and marketing, showcase industry suppliers and services, learn about the latest policies, trends and developments and thrash out shared issues. It is vital to the continued evolution and improvement of our farming and countryside events.”

ASAO Chairman, Christine Knipe, who is also Chief Executive of the Westmorland Agricultural Society in Cumbria, said she couldn’t agree more.

She said: “Six million people visit agricultural and country shows in the UK each year; that’s about 10% of the population! We have a duty to make each and every one of our shows a real learning experience, a place to trade, a source of public entertainment and a forum for industry dialogue.

Feedback from the annual Conference is always very positive, and we all take home valuable information, recommendations and bright spark ideas which help shape our own efforts for the coming show season.

This has been enhanced for 2017 with Driffield’s Great Ideas Forum, which invited organisers to share their money-saving tips and time-saving ideas ahead of this weekend. I look forward to revealing them at the Association Dinner on Saturday night.”

Show business aside, Conference attendees will have a chance to sample the delights of beautiful York and its surrounds, including a visit to the Great Yorkshire Showground, and a Ghost Walk through the City!

Accompanying partners have their own itinerary which takes in York Minster, Yorkshire Heart Vineyard and Brewery, the world-famous Betty’s Tea Rooms and the newly re-opened Jorvik Viking Centre.

For more information and/or interview/photographic opportunities, please contact:
Sharon Gilbert

Telephone: 01684 311463
Mobile: 07563 663543
E-mail: sharon@glasshousecommunications.co.uk

Editor’s Notes:
The ASAO works hard to encourage and share best practice between agricultural societies and related organisations.

It is consulted and included in regular discussions with a number of consultative bodies including breed societies, charity commissioners, DEFRA, Health and Safety Executive and Police and Trading Standards. www.asao.co.uk