Did you enjoy the national show

For the discussion of topics related to the conservation, cultivation, propagation and exhibition of cacti & other succulents.
Forum rules
For the discussion of topics related to the conservation, cultivation, propagation and exhibition of cacti & other succulents only.

Please respect all forum members opinions and if you can't make a civil reply, don't reply!
IanW
Registered Guest
Posts: 3805
Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Branch: LEEDS
Country: UK
Role within the BCSS: Member

Re: Did you enjoy the national show

Post by IanW » Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:08 am

Ian Thwaites wrote:I believe the better course of action is to support local branch and zone shows and use these as practice grounds for the National every 4 years. Branch shows to my mind should be the focal point of the branch calendar and can be such fun. If you don't already have a show why not think about starting one up?
I think the problem is one of the key attractions is sales benches and you're never going to get the plurality of sellers at a branch show that you have at the national.

There's obviously ELK, but many will find that way harder to attend than a show here in the UK, depending on how Brexit pans out it might not even be possible or may be cost prohibitive to bring stuff back from ELK going forward if permits are required, and so a more frequent even in the UK might be of increasing, rather than decreasing interest. Until it's all decided we wont know of course I guess.
User avatar
Ian Thwaites
Posts: 105
Joined: 30 Jul 2012
Branch: SPALDING
Country: UK
Role within the BCSS: Chairman

Re: Did you enjoy the national show

Post by Ian Thwaites » Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:37 pm

IanW wrote:
Ian Thwaites wrote:I believe the better course of action is to support local branch and zone shows and use these as practice grounds for the National every 4 years. Branch shows to my mind should be the focal point of the branch calendar and can be such fun. If you don't already have a show why not think about starting one up?
I think the problem is one of the key attractions is sales benches and you're never going to get the plurality of sellers at a branch show that you have at the national.

There's obviously ELK, but many will find that way harder to attend than a show here in the UK, depending on how Brexit pans out it might not even be possible or may be cost prohibitive to bring stuff back from ELK going forward if permits are required, and so a more frequent even in the UK might be of increasing, rather than decreasing interest. Until it's all decided we wont know of course I guess.

I think this is a very key point - its the sales that is the key element and not the show. If you want the society to organise plant sales etc etc then this needs to be raised at the AGM. My personal view is that a lot of the UK traders may be interested in an event but would we get many from the continent? ELK has been popular for many years now and would we get sufficient at a large venue to make it cost effective. Would you be prepared to help organise it?

I doubt that Brexit will affect anything but we will have to see.

I think that a good start would be branch shows with a visiting nursery and of course branch shows are our window to the world.
Ian Thwaites
FaeLLe
BCSS Member
Posts: 339
Joined: 24 Feb 2016
Branch: DARTFORD
Country: UK
Role within the BCSS: Member

Re: Did you enjoy the national show

Post by FaeLLe » Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:55 pm

Apicra wrote:There are always alternatives ... The BCSS could hand organising over to a professional event management company, probably at an even larger venue, but hopefully one more easily accessed via public transport. I have no doubt our show is a spectacle of national interest and would attract more visitors with wider publicity. It would mean paying more like £25, rather than £5, to enter though.

Best wishes,
DT
Public transport is overrated, also it would cause a drop in sales as customers would not want to carry many back home! It would ruin the incentives for people / sellers to attend.
fruit
BCSS Member
Posts: 224
Joined: 16 Aug 2015
Branch: None
Country: UK
Location: West Suffolk

Re: Did you enjoy the national show

Post by fruit » Sat Sep 10, 2016 7:03 am

FaeLLe wrote:Public transport is overrated, also it would cause a drop in sales as customers would not want to carry many back home! It would ruin the incentives for people / sellers to attend.
Never mind those who cannot or choose not to drive?
User avatar
Apicra
BCSS Member
Posts: 1263
Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Branch: HARROW
Country: UK
Role within the BCSS: Branch Chair
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Did you enjoy the national show

Post by Apicra » Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:18 am

FaeLLe wrote:
Public transport is overrated, also it would cause a drop in sales as customers would not want to carry many back home! It would ruin the incentives for people / sellers to attend.
Strange logic ... You seem to assume access only via public transport? Major exhibition sites have enough space for both, so that visitors via public transport will probably be additional to those already attending the animal rescue centre out in the Cambridgeshire countryside.

Best wishes,
DT
jerryb23
BCSS Member
Posts: 14
Joined: 12 Feb 2016
Branch: NORWICH
Country: England
Role within the BCSS: Member

Re: Did you enjoy the national show

Post by jerryb23 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:38 pm

It has been noted that:

" The convention is now every 4 years and two years apart from the National so we would not want to clash with that"

So why not make the convention every 3 years as well? - that way you could still retain a two year gap for the event that was the most difficult to organise (eg the national) and that would leave one year to plan for the other event.

It has also been suggested that:

" its the sales that is the key element and not the show"

I disagree - yes it is very nice to have so many nurseries together but for me the national is all about seeing the best plants in the country and seeing how my plants rate against them, and also being at an event where everyone has a common interest, meeting and talking to faces old and new - a branch show does not really do that.

I also have no doubt that our show is a spectacle of national interest and would attract more visitors (and most importantly potential new members) with wider publicity and greater frequency.
RogerF
BCSS Member
Posts: 66
Joined: 25 Apr 2011
Branch: EDENBRIDGE
Country: England
Role within the BCSS: Member

Re: Did you enjoy the national show

Post by RogerF » Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:44 am

Short answer :- yes. Long answer :- Would I drive 100 miles each way for a plant sale of this size? Definitely.
Would I drive 100 miles each way to see a plant show? Unlikely.
Yes, its fascinating and simultaneously inspiring and disheartening to see some of the finest examples of our favourite plants on display but I grow purely for my own pleasure and can't/ won't attempt to compete with the best on display. On the few occasions I have entered shows my plants have suffered in transit so kudos to those that do exhibit.
For me it is more important to source both new varieties and replacements for recent year's casualties than to come away feeling inferior as a grower after viewing the immaculate plants on display.....that Echeveria agavoides "Ebony" was simply superb!
The addition of European sellers is a very welcome addition (I have yet to venture to ELK) and gives "The National" an extra dimension and enhances its attraction.
It would be educational to learn how many attended primarily for the plant sales and those whose main interest was the show, what was it drove the income stream?
While we're on finance, please discount all thoughts of outsourcing the organisation of the show. When profit becomes the primary objective the soul of the hobby is lost.

I'm growing succulents that can't/won't cause actual bodily harm - nothing spiny.
jerryb23
BCSS Member
Posts: 14
Joined: 12 Feb 2016
Branch: NORWICH
Country: England
Role within the BCSS: Member

Re: Did you enjoy the national show

Post by jerryb23 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:18 am

It matters not whether people go primarily for the exhibits, the sales or for the whole event, the point is that the National show has something for everyone and as the premier event of our hobby it deserves to be held more often. However, I sense there is a mood to try and find reasons against rather than for holding the National more frequently.

I note on another post (National show pictures) that it was also decided not to produce a show DVD this time due to the effort involved for the perceived reward.

I wonder - was any attempt made to get TV or other media coverage of the National? given that we have two high profile media patrons.
User avatar
Jim_Mercer
BCSS Member
Posts: 1846
Joined: 24 Feb 2011
Branch: LIVERPOOL
Country: UK
Role within the BCSS: Member
Location: Liverpool
Contact:

Re: Did you enjoy the national show

Post by Jim_Mercer » Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:21 pm

jerryb23 wrote: I wonder - was any attempt made to get TV or other media coverage of the National? given that we have two high profile media patrons.
It did get some media coverage as one of our patrons (Anne Swithinbank) managed to get some material recorded at the show broadcast on Gardener's Question Time
User avatar
Ian Thwaites
Posts: 105
Joined: 30 Jul 2012
Branch: SPALDING
Country: UK
Role within the BCSS: Chairman

Re: Did you enjoy the national show

Post by Ian Thwaites » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:52 pm

Jim_Mercer wrote:
jerryb23 wrote: I wonder - was any attempt made to get TV or other media coverage of the National? given that we have two high profile media patrons.
It did get some media coverage as one of our patrons (Anne Swithinbank) managed to get some material recorded at the show broadcast on Gardener's Question Time
I spoke to the BBC Gardeners world team on several occasions and they were interested but in the end decided it didn't have enough general interest. One of the Gardeners world presenters (a friend) would have attended but was on holiday. All the National papers were contacted as well as a front page lead item on the Garden Media Guild (professional association) summer new letter where the editor even called it the Cactus Olympics to give it more news credibility. The basic facts are that Cacti and Succulents have a following of 4000 in the UK vs 20 million gardeners. Whilst I love this hobby it is difficult to sell to the mass market.

However, I have new plans for next time involving new contacts..........................
Ian Thwaites
Post Reply