1st May 2024 | Category: Events, Insights

The new Nantwich Show: How Iventis transformed the planning of a 125-year event

The Nantwich Show logo

The Nantwich Show has long been a staple of the UK’s agricultural show scene, spanning a history of more than 125 years and remaining one of the North West’s premier one-day agricultural events. The event attracts around 10,000 visitors and is home to hundreds of trade stands as well as livestock shows, vintage cars and even a parade, plus public catering, licensed bars and children’s entertainment. 

The show was forced to close for a few years during the COVID-19 pandemic, reopening after a three-year hiatus in 2022. At this time, the location of the show changed from Dorfold Park, where it had been for 70 years, to the new Nantwich Showground behind Reaseheath College. This meant that the organisers, Nantwich Agricultural Society, had to deliver the highly-anticipated show at a completely new site. 

Following the return of the Nantwich Show in 2022, organisers recognised that they needed a tool to streamline their planning processes and create a blueprint for future shows at the new Nantwich Showground. Liz Parkin, Show Manager of the Nantwich Show, approached Iventis in search of an intuitive, flexible and powerful solution for the 2023 event. 

Accessibility at every stage

Although the Nantwich Show has been a regular event in the Cheshire calendar for over a century, the Nantwich Agricultural Society is largely made up of volunteers and part-time employees. Many of these individuals have other jobs or responsibilities alongside delivering such a large event, leaving them with little time left to navigate a complex, difficult platform. 

“My background is in events, but I’m by no means a CAD expert – I didn’t have time to learn the ins and outs of CAD software”, said Liz. “I needed a solution that could help me visualise the new site and our event’s layout, providing accuracy and an easy-to-use system.” 

Iventis was developed to make complex geospatial tools more accessible and intuitive for event professionals, which matched perfectly with Liz’s requirements. Using Iventis, she was able to plan a variety of the event’s aspects, including: 

  • Layout of the grounds 
  • Over 250 trade stands of varying sizes 
  • Routes throughout the grounds for both traders and visitors 

A new level of spatial planning

Outdoor shows require an additional level of detail when compared with indoor venues. The terrain isn’t always uniform and uneven patches can cause significant problems when erecting tents and stands, or even pose a safety hazard. What’s more, it can be difficult to see the terrain levels on maps, and small undulations in the ground can easily be missed, throwing off the whole layout of the event. 

As the previous showground had been used for more than 70 years, the organisers were incredibly familiar with the land and knew where difficulties lay. But with Reaseheath as the new location, being used for the first time only a year prior, the land was much more unfamiliar and could cause issues during the planning. 

Aside from terrain levels, a new site also brings the issue of spatial capacity and optimisation.  

“We needed to know how to make the most of the land”, Liz explained. “It makes it so much easier to plan the site and test new layouts on Iventis, where you can move trade stands around to find the best fit.” 

Understanding the space at Reaseheath meant finding a scaled solution that was easy to understand. Liz and her team were familiar with Google Maps as a tool, so they found it particularly helpful to be able to use Google as a base map when designing the layout. This meant they could easily visualise the space in a format that was comfortable for them, eliminating any concerns around how the map might translate to reality. 

Aerial view of the Nantwich Show

Support as standard

One of the key factors that Liz was looking for in a software partner was accessible support. She knew what she needed, but lacked the time and capacity to navigate complex customer support when she needed help.  

Because of this, Liz appreciated the UK-based team that was available to help her when she needed it, especially as she was the only user within the Nantwich Agricultural Society. Having direct contact with Iventis and the ability to ask questions was really helpful. 

Connecting with shared plans

Although Liz was planning in the Iventis Planner, she had to share her work among the wider organisers and committees. To accomplish this, it was crucial that the Iventis Planner provided quick and easy ways to showcase the plans to those who preferred offline communication.  

“A lot of our team have worked with large, paper maps in the past”, Liz explained. “They wanted to see the plans in the same format, so being able to print exactly what I needed to show them was really helpful.” 

What’s more, the integration of What3words with Iventis enabled Liz to explain exactly where a vendor or supplier needed to be, easily translating the map-based information to real life. This was especially helpful when the showground was still relatively unknown, and it was easy to miscommunicate exact areas of the large space. 

The new Nantwich Show 

Following the three-year break, the Nantwich Show is back and raring to go. With help from Iventis, show organisers were able to deliver a successful show in 2023. We are excited to see how Iventis can further support the show in 2024 and beyond. 

Want to find out how the Iventis Planner can help streamline the planning process for your show? Book a demo to find out more.

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