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Opinion: the secret of the Royal Norfolk Show’s success

PUBLISHED: 09:41 20 May 2014 | UPDATED: 12:20 20 May 2014

A view of the 2011 Royal Norfolk Show. 
Picture: James Bass

A view of the 2011 Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

With little more than a month to go until the Royal Norfolk Show, we kick off a series of diary entries by key people at organisers, the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association. Here, Greg Smith, the chief executive, shares his thoughts ahead of this year’s event.

I’m often asked – what’s the secret of the Royal Norfolk Show’s success? And the answer is people. From those who organise and run the Show, the businesses that take part to the hundreds of exhibitors and competitors, and crucially, the tens of thousands of people who attend year-on-year. There would be no Royal Norfolk Show if it wasn’t for the people of Norfolk and nothing reflects their passion, pride and appreciation for our county better than this event.

The Royal Norfolk Show also relies on an army of volunteer stewards who give their time to ensure the two days run effortlessly. We have over 300 stewards who are on their feet non-stop for the duration of the Show. Under the supervision of our experienced team of Head Stewards, they are responsible for bringing the show to life. Guiding and helping not only our visitors but also exhibitors and competitors, livestock and trade stands. In fact, behind almost every aspect of the show from car parks to catering, displays and parades, hosting our guests and sponsors, there’s a team of stewards. Many have been involved at the Show for years - in their experienced hands we are guaranteed that things run smoothly from start to finish

The logistics of handling the literally thousands of livestock and horses that come to the Show can only be done by experts who understand the agricultural community by heart. It’s no mean feat organising, caring for and judging our many competitors. We’re well supported by some of the most expert judges from across the UK and further afield, too. And the welfare of all the animals at the show is overseen by our team of vets and their assistants.

Equally, without the support of local businesses we would not be able sustain such a large scale event. We have over 650 stands at the Show who collectively are a tribute to the diversity of the successful businesses we have in our region. Where better to see such a large display of corporate, consumer and key regional food and drink producers than at this year’s Show?

Last but by no means least I want to thank the visitors who come in their thousands each day to the Royal Norfolk Show. Our show is for, and by the people of Norfolk, so the support of families, friends, schools and businesses is invaluable. It is a heart of Norfolk life so I encourage everyone to come along and to make it their show.

So, thank you to everyone who helps to make the Royal Norfolk Show one of the best in the land. The Royal Norfolk Show takes place on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th June. Advance tickets can be bought from the Royal Norfolk Show website and also from a large network of retail outlets across Norfolk from mid-May.


  • Ah, here we go again... Another year, another show, and another load of squit from people saying it's too expensive andor on the wrong day... YAWN! It's like a broken record. Get over it and move on. It's no more expensive than any other "family day out". I'd hedge my bets that it's still a hell of a lot cheaper than a day to a theme park! Mind you, the people who complain about the RNS being too expensive are most likely the same people who would complain about a theme park being too expensive, too hot, and too many queues. Oh and I bet you're all still happy enough to spend £60odd going to the cinema for a couple of hours!

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    Ben Bullen

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • Strange kind of success. Lots of people choosing not to go because the price is excessive when over 90% of the show is trade stands. Still I suppose stopping people from wanting to go is in it's own way a perverse kind of success.

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    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • Who's said it was a success ? If they staged it during school hoilidays or fri,sat,sun, they would have more people, then that would be a success

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    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

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