Great Yorkshire Show 2017- Home Grown users’ report.

Home Grown wins a gold medal with Yorkshire NFU!

This year the Great Yorkshire Show had a little mixed weather which did not dampen the enthusiasm of the 130,949 visitors (3% less than last year) who enjoyed the event, many of them taking the time to visit the Garden Show marquee and see the NFU/Home Grown Gold Medal winning display.
The display was presented as planned and won a gold medal. It was well attended by the public and the event was reported on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and via the website.)
http://www.homegrownplants.org.uk/home/home-grown-yorkshire-show-11th-13th-july-2017/
http://www.homegrownplants.org.uk/competition/
https://www.facebook.com/pg/HomeGrownFlowersandPlants/posts/?ref=page_internal#

https://www.facebook.com/homegrowngrowers/
https://twitter.com/@HomeGrownPlants
Following the decision at the management committee & HUG to support this event, there was a meeting held in Harrogate in May at which Simon Davenport agreed to work with the organising committee to arrange the supply of some ornamental materials and some cut flower (via Lyndon Mason) also to offer some labour to build and attend the stand.

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‘Added value’

As a result of a request from the HUG it was agreed to set up a reception for Garden Centre visitors and a survey of visitors re Home Grown. These initiatives met with varying degrees of success but the objective of engaging with the Home Grown buying public was furthered and valuable lessons learned for the future. The main benefit of these experiences was the opportunity to engage with the public.
Many thanks to Andy Abbey & Lyndon Mason for sparing the time from their work schedules and to the expert team from the Yorkshire NFU Growers group who controlled the display planning and build-up.Comments

Andy Abbey (ManCom and HUG member) attended build up and Thursday:
Firstly I feel it is good for the BPOA / Home Grown to be visibly associated with the NFU at the GYS, it helps to span the divide that is between producers and the end consumer, and shows that we are trying to promote the industry from start to finish. I feel that the producers in the industry should be pleased in what we are trying to achieve and that attending the GYS in this way is a visible way to doing this”
Should we do this again? – difficult to quantify the success, it is a visual way in showing what we are about, and promoting Home Grown product.

Conclusions

There were a number of benefits accruing from producing the display:

  1. We have been able to display Home Grown material, labelled as such and reported via several media outlets.
  2. We have gained some more experience in social media advertising and promotion combined with a physical event. Large numbers can be contacted outside the show (but in the same connection) to spread the message.
  3. We have been able to discuss Home Grown with the public and draw it to the attention of the gardening world and NFU.
  4. Distribution of ‘Why buy Home Grown’ leaflets was useful to engage with the public.
  5. We will be able to speak to existing Home Grown users and prospective users to confirm that we are making an effort to promote their produce.
  6. We have been able to make a contribution to a prize winning stand that has caught the public imagination and initiated conversations with the general gardening public.

We have encountered some difficulties:

  1. Focus needs to be discussed and agreed at an early stage; therefore earlier decision required than this year.
  2. Volumes of plant and flowers used are relatively small; therefore a detailed plan should be determined.
  3. Neither of the ‘Added value’ initiatives produced a strong response; new approaches to the audience are required.
  4. Interaction with the volumes of people needs to be organised around banners to give the correct messages. The time taken for visitors to assess and engage with the material presented is quite short and specific promotional material needs to be designed to deal with that factor.

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