But has it outgrown its roots?
Some get the attire correct and blend in, others stick out like a sore thumb.
I often wonder what impression emanates from the Ploughing of the farming community and agriculture in general? It is certainly a great platform to showcase our industry.
Exhibitors & volunteers
The forgotten attendees at the ploughing are the exhibitors and volunteers. Anybody who has manned a stand for a few days at the Ploughing knows it certainly is not fun, it is simply hard work. The logistics and cost of erecting a stand are not for the faint-hearted, especially those who are not selling.
The sheer volume of people at the event challenges the people skills of all on stands.
The army of NPA volunteers give generously of their time and are a vital cog to the running of the event.
Every event has a life-span and some would say the Ploughing has peaked in its present format.
The NPA quoted attendance numbers have dropped from 291,500 in 2017 to 240,700 this year, so perhaps this is correct.
The event is a great opportunity to showcase the best our industry has to offer but do we make the best use of this opportunity, and if not, what should we do?
An idea would be for the industry to come together to make a showcase of Irish agriculture and food the centre -piece exhibit of the Ploughing experience.
Look at the extravagant production shows before big sporting occasions. We see what a difference theatre groups can make to the entertainment value of the St Patrick’s parade or New Year’s Eve celebrations.
An annual themed message would provide a new focus and take the pressure off some of the weary exhibitors.
The stand and exhibits could be the entourage instead of being the centrepiece.
It could be a win, win solution for the NPA and the industry and could take this great event to an even higher level.
EVERY EVENT HAS ITS LIFE-SPAN AND SOME WOULD SAY THE PLOUGHING HAS PEAKED IN ITS PRESENT FORMAT
Mike Brady is managing director at Brady Group agricultural consultants & land agents, email: email@example.com.