The RPA shows and events team attended the recent Farming Business Innovation show at Birmingham NEC.
It was our 3rd year attending the show which has grown year on year. We were positioned on stand 598, right by the entrance/exit of the Arena.
Gill Lewis, Head of Customer Improvements and Events:
The ‘throughput’ of people was almost constant – there was so many people attending. We usually get a quiet period at some point during the day but that didn’t happen this year. Our busiest times were after Roger Allonby’s RDPE seminars with people coming over to the stand to find out more information about the grants available through the scheme.
Due to the recent Growth Programme and Countryside Productivity launches, coupled with Roger’s presentations, over 300 people visited our stand. We were also joined by colleagues from our Rural Development team, who were there to lend a hand.
Some of the topics discussed were:
BPS – What is happening with payments (outstanding/forthcoming)
BPS – How do I check my maps
BPS – Whats new on the system in 2018
RDPE Growth programme – what is available and how do I apply
RDPE Countryside Productivity – what is available and how do I apply
Countryside Stewardship – will this be on Rural Payments
EU Exit – what will happen / what does this mean for funding
Barry Mann, Shows and Events Manager:
As you would expect, we aren’t always able to answer specific, individual/business queries, but what we can do is give an update about where we are with these things. We can also sign-post people to the right guidance and help on GOV.UK or the system. We can also feedback some of the frustrations, and also some of the positive stories, as well.
Whilst we were at the show we trialled a new feedback survey to help us understand a little more about our audience, and what more we could do at future shows and events.
Matthew Martin, Customer Improvements and Events Manager:
The survey will be really helpful to us, it will help us get a flavour for the people we talk to, help us find out what other things people want to see at the stand, and also gives us an opportunity to find out about our customers' communication habits too. The hardest part for me was remembering to ask people to complete it.
Whilst a busy few days, one thing's for sure, it looks like we will be back next year.
Our next event will be LAMMA on 17th and 18th January. Why don't you come along and look out for us?