ASAO Conference

16 Nov 2014 By Charles Manners

Staying at Dalmahoy bought back many memories of when I was involved in designing the food and beverage outlets at the hotel, too many years ago! Interestingly the footprint has stayed the same, and the food was good. The orange juice at breakfast was not 100% fresh which is always a good sign of quality being sacrificed for margin. The staff were very good, but in 2014 to have slow and chargeable Internet at £15 a day is inexcusable in a four star hotel.

The conference was well attended, with delegates from large events including the Game Fair, Royal Highland Show and Burghley to one day shows such as the Rutland and North Somerset Show.

The issues they all face are similar, it is about creating a memorable visit, bringing the countryside to the mass population, a blend of education and enjoyment.

These range from e-ticketing, membership benefits,  sponsorship, managing bars, food allergens to digital marketing.

I was speaking on food trends and how these apply to outdoor events, and the need to create immersive environments that increase dwell time and improve the visitor experience.On the platform was Laura Stewart @SoilAssocLaura from the Soil Association speaking about the successful food charter she introduced this year for the Royal Highland Show, which sets out the shows objectives in terms of sustainable sourcing of all the food.

The presentation is attached and a number of the pictures were provided by Peppermint Bars & Events, and our own pictures.



Ian Doughty


Tracey Fairclough


Charles Manners


Chris Brown







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