The National Fruit Show 2012 expands to match a growing sector

The organiser of the National Fruit Show, The Marden Fruit Show Society is delighted to announce that there will be a new layout for the 2012 Show. The restructuring of the Show space at the Kent Event Centre, Maidstone has come due to the increasing demand for stand space, a larger space for the new Conference area and a unique area for companies to market innovations and new product launches free of charge.

Sarah Calcutt, Chairman said: “We have made the decision to move the Trophy Stand, ‘tastiest’ competitions, apple juice display and soft fruit competition to the John Hendry Pavilion to allow more space for our trade stands. We anticipated an increase this year and if current take-up is an indication, we have made the leap to exhibit in both exhibition halls at the right time.”

The 1,750 square metre John Hendry will also house the new reception and entrance, allowing direct access to the show from the car park; the new reception area will allow visitors who pre-registered online at the National Fruit Show website, immediate access, reducing queues as their badges will be ready for collection. The large Conference area, sponsored by Solicitors Whitehead Monckton, will be running a full programme of speakers from across our industry providing information and inspiration. The conference can also be pre-booked online when registering.

Session one starts at 10.30am on the opening day Wednesday 17th October and will begin with Professor David Hughes, Emeritus Professor of Food Marketing at Imperial College London followed by Miranda Ballard from Muddy Boots. Andrew Gage and Peter Reeves will be looking at strategic planning and marketing.

Session two in the afternoon will be led by Nick Brandreth from Land Agents, Lambert and Foster followed by pension advice concerning the new auto-enrolment from Nigel Saunders, HSBC and Vicki Stoodeley, Whitehead Monckton.

Day two will welcome talks from Wayne and Jo Hodgson from Red Eagle Recruitment, Dr Theresa Huxley, Carole Ford, Sarah Calcutt and Henke from Verbeeks who will be demonstrating commercial grafting techniques. The conference area will also host early morning NroSO registered spray advisory seminars provided by the ADAS ‘Say no to drift’ team and also Alan Dunn of NP Seymour. Starting at 9.30 on Day One and 10.00 on Day Two, attendees will be provided with breakfast as they receive their essential updates on sprayer management, drift reduction and calibration. Bookings for these sessions need to be made via the online registration facility on the show’s website.

Sarah Calcutt said: “the new layout has allowed us to introduce a new larger area that can facilitate exceptional speakers without interruptions and noise from the main exhibition hall. Having the additional space has meant we can offer the industry access to a free of charge marketing area and for the first time in years, members of the Marden Fruit Show Society will have a small lounge area for their use, equipped with Wi-Fi and coffee.”

The Tastiest Apple and Tastiest Tomato competitions will move in to the Hendry Pavilion as will excess competition fruit that will not fit on the pre-set 30 metre display stand in the main Kent Pavilion.

The prize giving ceremony will be conducted in the John Hendry during the afternoon of the second show day, before the Show closes at 3.30pm.

The other exciting development for the 2012 Show is the installation of a wireless network infrastructure that is capable of casual browsing, email retrieval and low intensity web applications. Organisers have also appointed a new upgraded shell scheme provider for smaller exhibitors. The new system will give stands a more robust product which looks more professional.

Trade Stands will be automatically entered in to the Exhibitor Stand Competition. SE Farmer magazine is kindly sponsoring the Best Open Space Stand and the Best Machinery stand whilst the Fresh Produce Consortium is sponsoring the Best Shell Scheme stand.

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