Farming Insight: Suffolk Agricultural Association on seeking sponsors for 2013 Show

2013 MARKS Show Director David Nunn’s third and final year in the honorary role. But he’s not waiting for the turn of the year to start his preparations...it’s already happening.

With a budget of �115,000 to achieve in sponsorship there are businesses to see and negotiations under way with potential sponsors. No other two day event in the county reaches nearly 90,000 people from within a 60 minute drive time of Ipswich, or some of the major livestock and equestrian exhibitors from across the country. The Show offers enormous potential to reach the target audiences of most businesses in the area.

For the past 10 days David has visited marketing directors, managers and owners reminding them the Show is the biggest two day event in the county. “In the past week I’ve been in someone’s office everyday,” said David. “But I need to be seeing many more businesses. My most pressing need is the personal contacts of individuals that I should be talking to about the many areas available for sponsorship. In tough times like these, we know companies need high impact programmes and seek major returns from their investment. Every sponsorship opportunity is unique and can be tailored to ensure it achieves maximum brand exposure to the relevant target audiences.

“Last year we reached the �125,000 target and served 280 lunches in the Sponsors’ enclosure, more than we have ever served on the first day of a Show. In fact, day one was so good for Suffolk New College that they are upgrading their sponsorship this year and also increasing their exhibition space. “

Other long term sponsors, realising this year’s weather was a blip in our 181 year show history, have also confirmed their presence for 2013, contributing to the first quarter of target. These include Adnams, Ipswich Building Society, Orwell Trucks, stockbrokers Charles Stanley, Anglia Farmers, Crown Milling and Ames Nissan.

Show 2013 snippets...

The Association’s team of staff and volunteers is well into drawing up plans for the 2013 Show. As new displays, classes and features are confirmed, we’ll bring you a monthly update on what’s new and what you can look forward to on May 29 & 30, 2013 at Trinity Park.

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New for 2013 is our deputy show director, Bill Baker. The Drinkstone arable farmer’s involvement goes back about 25 years when he returned from a year travelling following graduation from Writtle College and became a steward on Gate 11. He has held numerous roles since then and we’ll be hearing more about his involvement in farming and the Association as the year goes on.

Suffolk Show 2013 e-tickets are now on sale making the perfect Christmas present for family and friends. Prices remain at 2011 levels, with a family ticket at �40, and reduced rate tickets can be bought in advance at www.suffolkshow.co.uk/buytickets.

Happy anniversary...

Celebrating 30 years with the SAA this year is estates manager Robert Gray. At this time of year his team is carrying out essential maintenance, repainting signs and posts, repairing and restoring picnic seating and will shortly be dismantling the President’s box by the grand ring, to allow for expansion of the ringside club hospitality areas.

The team, despite the weather, is still cutting the grass and planning work on the rings to ensure they withstand the hoofprints of more than 3000 equine and livestock entries at next year’s Show.

Behind the Scenes at the Show:

You may not know, but the entire Show Committee only meets four times each year. Outside of these many smaller meetings are held.

Much of the work is done outside of the office by the volunteer senior stewards – who also have day jobs - identifying new exhibitors and features for their individual areas and confirming attendance of previous exhibitors that have products or services to offer to visitors.

The volunteers are supported by a small Show office team who also run other activities and programmes for the SAA all the year round.

Here’s a guide to who does what:

Sue Bennitt is executive assistant to Christopher Bushby the executive director. As well as dealing with the general administration in running the charitable association, handling corporate matters, HR responsibilities, organising the Farm Business Competition and BALE awards, she is involved with Show sponsorship, marketing support, volunteers and stewards and supporting the Show Director and his deputy.

Paula Slater is the Tradestand Officer and, outside of the Show, works alongside the business development committee to organise the International Polo in June and the new Golf event in March. She plans the layout for the Show, recommending new branded and themed areas, identifies potential tradestands and locates all 700 of them on site, dealing with the administration and ensuring they have the utilities they require and their details are recorded in the Show guide.

Hannah Woods, the Education Officer, runs the Schools Farm and Country Fair that attracts more than 4000 pupils aged 7-9 and 60 exhibitors, the Schools Farm Student Day, farm visits, the Spring Farming Conference, the autumn horticultural conference, and handles the Show President’s schedule including hospitality, the Art Show, the Long Service Awards presentations – and anything else that involves a seating plan and numerous name places.

Elizabeth Payne the livestock and equine officer organises the prize schedule for more than 700 competitive livestock and equine classes, devises the plans for their accommodation taking into account DEFRA requirements and secures over 70 judges.

Vicky Wilson runs reception and handles all general inquiries and is also the financial assistant to Ian Liddell, the Finance Officer. Vicky supports the TPEL team with mailing menus and invoicing for the successful Christmas Parties that annually attract more than 2500 people, and handles all membership inquiries and mailings, as well as has responsibility for ticket sales via telephone, post or online for the Show, and finances.

Ian Liddell not only manages the finances for the Show but for the entire portfolio of activities across the Association.

Christine Bond, the commercial manager of Trinity Park Events Ltd (TPEL), and her team help provide catering and hospitality for the competitors and exhibitors as well as the Director’s marquee.

For more information about the Association’s calendar of work and the latest on next year’s Show visit www.suffolkshow.co.uk

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