Secretary,Mary Ann Perry, Vice-President,Elaine Leader and I attended the inaugural ASC conference representing the Bellinger River Agricultural Show Society. This was an excellent conference, well organised by the Qld Next Gen for the ASA (Australian Show Association). This ASA has only been operating for 3 years and is our overarching body covering all States and Territories.
One of their first achievements was lobbying and gaining grant funds under the Regional Australian Show Development Scheme. (This is the grant we have applied for with Dorrigo for stands. Although the scheme has some serious hurdles such as lack of time to apply, complicated grant applications, we were able to air these concerns with Dr Rob Wilson who is the Chairman of the ASA.
He was very aware of the shortfalls and listened and assured us they were issues they were lobbying Government about. Was good to talk directly to those concerned and feel like you had been listened too.
We were most impressed with the organisation of the conference and hats off to the ASA to ask Qld Next Gen to take on this role. These young people were outstanding in the way they conducted themselves and the professional organisation of the event.
The keynote speaker was Marla Calico President and CEO of IAFE (International Assoc. of Fairs and Expositions) based in USA.They have 900 members and represent 1,100 fairs around the world. Her enthusiasm was amazing and showed the advantage of having an overarching body which we now have. One of their main issues now is animal activists and hope we do not go down that path.
New Zealand was also well represented and especially the Next Gen movement are organising exchange events between NZ and Aust.
There were so many good sessions on topics such as Changing Conversations and Strategic Decision Making, Risk Management, Managing Leadership Transitions, Sponsorship, Understanding your role in Biosecurity, Ticketing,
And more. The two days were compared by Lyndsey Douglas, the best presenter I have ever seen. You actually looked forward to her coming back on stage to present the next speaker.
I particularly enjoyed Julia Telford's session on Thinking about YOUR why.
Something we could incorporate into our next Planning Meeting.
Lastly but not least it was a wonderful opportunity to network with other shows, listen to how they do things and share some of our strategies.
I personally came away feeling energised, and proud of the way we run our show. It was concerning to hear many shows are in conflict as they make the transitions to new ideas and new generations. We are very blessed to have such a wonderful committee that works together to put on the best possible Bellingen Show every year. We would like to thank the Committee for supporting us in attending the conference; they are a wonderful resource for Show Societies and would recommend that whenever possible we send committee people to both state and national gatherings.
Mary Ann Perry