10 Jan Businesswoman steps up to lead Lincolnshire Agricultural Society
Links to some online coverage: Midlands Business News
Promoting Lincolnshire and building further profitability are the top priorities for the new director in charge of Lincolnshire Agricultural Society, home of the annual County Show.
Jayne Southall moves into the lead role after five years of heading finance and general management for the Society and its associated commercial operating arm, Lincolnshire Events Centre.
She has been part of the team that has overseen the shift of the annual County Show into a substantial profit centre, announcing that the 2011 Show made a big shift into the black, thanks to a £200,000 increase in income over the previous year.
The new director has also confirmed that the Show will stay in its mid-week slot, saying this is the strongest way to ensure it retains its agricultural heart.
There have been discussions over recent years around the value of moving the Show to include at least one weekend day, but the idea has been put aside based on the improved financial performance and amidst concerns at losing support from the agricultural community.
Jayne Southall explained: “We are set on innovation and continuing to broaden our appeal, but the Show must support our core charitable aims – which are to promote understanding, and awareness of the role played in the county by agriculture and food production – and we must have the agricultural community fully on board.
“It’s still the county’s best kept secret. We’ve pushed up to more than 60,000 visitors but there is still huge potential and we’re set on increasing numbers of both visitors and exhibitors in 2012.”
Instead, she will be focussing efforts on increasing involvement in the Society by young people, links with education and building the nationally renowned Lincolnshire Events Centre conferencing business.
“Our other biggest challenge is retaining and building a substantial share of the local and national conferencing market,” added Jayne. “We have a unique capability in delivering events for bigger numbers, indoors and outside, such as the antiques fairs and recently the very successful Christmas Food and Gift fair, but we are also competing for the smaller end of the seminar and conference market with our purpose designed EPIC venue.
“Everyone in the tourism and conferencing sector needs to keep talking up Lincolnshire outside the county. People still don’t realise how well served the county is with hotels and other business and tourist support.”
Jayne has lived in the county since 2001, and lives in Welton with her two grown up children. She keeps in touch with the Society’s heart outside work as well, as a keen walker who looks to get out into the country as often as possible.
Karen Malpass at Lincolnshire Events Centre in Lincolnshire Agricultural Society
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Maggie Taylor at Prima PR
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Lincolnshire Events Centre is a major national conferencing venue, home of the Lincolnshire Show and the groundbreaking EPIC project. Just outside the historic city of Lincoln, the Centre hosts events for 10 to 10,000 visitors on its 200 acre showground site and 3000 square metres of indoor exhibition and venue space.
Outdoor events include the flagship Lincolnshire Show, antiques fairs and horse trials, attracting over 200,000 visitors each year. Under cover, there are exhibition halls and conferencing facilities, including the recently completed EPIC centre, the second largest purpose-designed showcase for environmental technologies in the UK, it enables event organisers to reduce, monitor and offset their carbon footprint.