The Manchester Pet Show
The Manchester Pet Show
The weekend of the 7th and 8th of September once again saw the promotions team on the road, this time for the inaugural Manchester Pet Show.
What a huge success this event was for the society for many different reasons. The show was extremely well organised and being in the shadow of the Trafford Centre at Event city, it was ideally placed to attract a large amount of people.
The show had a wide range of animals and pets in attendance that included a dog area provided by the Kennel Club, a wide variety of cats via the international Cat Society, Rabbits, rats, Horses, reptiles, bugs, spiders and even a racoon! In addition to the various animals on display the Discovery Channel used the event to launch their new autumn programming. There was also a large range of trade stands selling pet related products and even a funfair!
The BS stand was ideally placed for attracting a large amount of visitors with our neighbours for the weekend being the National Council for Aviculture, manned by the Liverpool and District Canary club. As you can imagine the inter fancy banter started first thing on the Saturday morning and continued for the rest of the weekend! The friendly banter led to some extremely good discussions about birds in general with the Yorkshire Canary fancier and regular contributor to Cage and Aviary Magazine, Brian Keenan and his colleagues. One good outcome was Brian advised that he will write an article for Cage and Aviary birds magazine that centres around the BS promotion events and the professional approach that the society is taking.
Former BS president Geoff Capes was also in attendance with us on the Saturday as an ambassador for the society and as expected this proved to be a very positive move. Geoff attracted a large amount of visitors who were keen to talk to the Icon of British sport. Geoff took complete advantage of the situation and used the opportunity to talk budgerigars with the people who came to see him. Prior to the event we had also arranged for Geoff to be interviewed in the dedicated lecture theatre organised by the discovery channel. Geoff’s interview was professionally filmed in front of a packed out crowd and we are pleased to say it went down really well. The footage will be used for future promotional work etc which in itself can only benefit the society.
Here is some footage I took of the recorded interview:
Speaking of the discovery channel we also had some discussion with the television company about the possibility of airing a documentary on their network that focussed upon the development of the budgerigar and of the budgerigar hobby including the exhibition side of the fancy. We have been given a route to take in order to put our ideas forward so again, more positive feedback and leads from the event.
As is the norm at these events we were kept extremely busy talking with people about budgies, offering advice and guidance on their husbandry and keeping. The trend once again was that many individuals previously had a pet budgerigar but slightly against the trend we spoke to a good number of people who currently breed budgerigars on a colony system within the garden. Many of these individuals spoke to us at length about the society and many went away with positive comments about possibly joining the society in the coming months.
The day went much in the same direction as Saturday in relation to speaking to individuals, giving out advice and making people aware of the fancy. Another really positive outcome on the day was speaking to the editor of a pet magazine who is sponsoring a similar event within the coming months. We agreed to send society literature as a filler for the goody bags that they will be handing out on the day of the event. The magazine is also more than happy for us to send them some material for publication which is also good news.
Overall we felt that the event was a huge success, the contacts made, the new society member gained and the merchandise sold all added up to an extremely busy but very productive weekend. We are already in discussion with the team about the 2014 event and early discussions indicate that they would like us to have a larger involvement that would allow us greater exposure for the society. At this early stage we are already looking at more budgerigar related talks and events over the weekend, a much larger display of birds and the real possibility of a large walk through aviary that would be supplied and erected by the organiser of the show.