HORSHAM Show organisers will use feedback from this year’s event to inform planning for the milestone 140th event in 2018.
Horsham Agricultural Society secretary Andrea Cross said there was a mixed reaction to this year’s new five-day format.
“It was about testing the water and seeing what was going to work, and what wasn’t,” she said.
“We used this format as a pilot project for next year and how to best run that.
“We were very mindful of the motocross championships on this week, with lots of extra people in town, and we wanted to get a feel for visitors to the region.
“This show has touched so many people in different ways, and really gives us momentum to get ready for our 140th.”
Mrs Cross said the traditional show day on Sunday was well supported.
“The fireworks that night always draw a crowd,” she said. “It was heartwarming to see the amount of families coming in on Monday for our Big Family Fun Day.
“There were lots of grandparents looking after grandchildren, and it was a nice environment for them to spend some time together, particularly in the cubby house village.
“I had one grandma say to me she planned to stay for two and a half hours, and ended up staying for five because her grandchildren just loved going from the cubby village to the animal nursery and back.”
Mrs Cross said entries for the Horsham Agricultural Horse Show on Tuesday and Wednesday were down because of changes to the Royal Melbourne Show program, which ran until Monday.
However she said the society received positive feedback from competitors and judges.
Society president Dalton Cross said the show went well overall, and the society had learned a lot from testing a new format.
“We were lucky enough with the weather that it wasn’t raining,” he said.
“I thought the crowd was possibly down on the Sunday and not as busy as other years, but some people said the opposite,” he said.
“We have tried to listen to public's wants and needs, and look at our own needs and capabilities with our committee.
“We are working as best we can to make it an event people want to come to.
“Input from the community is valuable, and if people are passionate about things and are willing to give some time to help make them happen, that would be great.”
Mrs Cross said it was pleasing to have two businesses express interest in joining the show’s sponsorship team after the event.
She said the show would not have been possible without a dedicated crew of volunteers.
“Rosemary Materne offered her services to decorate The Cattle Shed, and she spent hours of her own time decorating it in a wedding theme so people could see what it would look like,” she said.
“Emily Friedrichsen spent a week here before the show getting the toddler play area ready.
“Our society members were great, and some went above and beyond. Zack Currie was one. He is normally a competitor, but he chose to forego that because he could see the need for help around the grounds to keep the show running.
“There’s an enormous amount of work required in the office.
“Julie McDonald and Michael Benbow particularly did a fantastic job.”