Gardening and food show visitors fall by 14,000

Gardeners' World Live and Good Food Show Summer recorded a drop of 14,000 visitors, which organiser BBC Haymarket Exhibitions says it is happy with given the economic climate.

Last year's Good Food Show Summer
Last year's Good Food Show Summer

The combined gardening and food show ran from 13-17 June at the NEC in Birmingham. Its pre-audited visitor numbers were 95,000, down from 109,049 in the previous year.

Laura Biggs, managing director of BBC Haymarket Exhibitions, told Event paid ticket sales dropped in autumn last year.

"It was after August that we really felt the pinch," she said. "All of our autumn shows had a drop in gate sales. The economy isn't picking up as much as people thought it would. I'd be surprised if any consumer show of the scale and size we are isn't experiencing a drop in paid tickets."

She added that spring 2011 was a peak period for all of Haymarket's shows: "We were in a very different economic climate in spring 2011. Everyone was feeling good about the Royal wedding coming up which made everybody feel optimistic about the economy. The double dip recession wasn't happening then, and people felt like things were turning around. For Gardeners' World Live we also had good weather and the new Gardeners' World TV programme."

Biggs is happy with the visitor numbers for Gardeners’ World Live and Good Food Show Summer this year. "We were delighted with the gate that we got considering everything that is going on. Obviously we will be doing a lot of interrogation to see where the drop came from and if there are any trends.

"I would love numbers to go up next year and see no reason for them not to. The show was better editorially than it has been in the past – we made some significant improvements with additional investments into our gardens and we've got some developments coming next year."

Have you experienced this trend? Will sales pick up again? Comment below to let us know what you think.

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