Stephen Lance: Don’t suffer the consequences

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Can industry do more to stem the flow of event cancellations as a result of wet weather? Stephen Lance, director, Lance Show and Publications, and NOEA member, asks


There cannot be a more disheartening experience for an event organiser to endure than be forced to cancel an event at the last minute for the only reason that it is impossible to park vehicles. Disheartening not just for the organiser but also for the many people who have spent much time and energy to ensure that the event is as polished as expected and the livelihoods of the owners of shops and exhibits do not suffer.

So what more can event organisers, their committees and their associations do? Insurance is costly and not necessarily straightforward. A group type cover might be an answer but perhaps this has been researched and negated. There is one thing that would help and that is the provision of far more tracking in every vehicle park at least in the access lanes. Straw and chippings are very temporary and chippings kill the grass so they have to be raked up.

Ground protection is becoming more and more sophisticated and suppliers of this service may welcome discussion to see if there are better and less expensive ways.

Car drivers are used to park and ride and if a way can be found to off load livestock and horses on hard standing or tracking and walk them to their stalls or stables and park the lorries off site that would be an achievement. Yes, it will cost money and time but that is preferable to cancelling or facing an insurance investigation. It might be worth researching whether an insurance company would prefer to help finance these provisions rather than pay out.

The Association of Show and Agricultural Organisations regularly sends out notices, keeping its members up to date with news of cancellations but also the events going ahead as planned. To those who aggressively challenge organisers of cancelled events, please imagine yourselves in the position of the people or person who has to make that decision to cancel and thereby suffer the consequences.