Hats off to Hatfield after strong Game Fair debut
members of the Shooting Gazette team were amongst over 116,000 people who attended the 59th Game
Fair at Hatfield House in late July.
the three-day event was opened with a spectacular – and rather loud – 59-gun salute on Gunmakers’ row, and visitors wasted no time in spreading themselves across the 396-acre site to browse 800 exhibitor stalls, various arenas and other attractions.
the 585-metre long clay shooting line, sponsored by Subaru, proved particularly popular, while Gregg Wallace’s Shot to pot restaurant catered for over 3,000 guests for breakfast and lunch. Amongst the many competitions that took place were best Dressed Keeper, best Dressed Lady and Game Fair High Gun.
It was the first time the Game Fair had been held at Hatfield House, and the close proximity to London, not to mention the fact Hatfield railway station is virtually on the Hertfordshire estate’s doorstep, helped to increase visitor numbers by eight per cent compared to last year’s fair, which was held at ragley Hall in Warwickshire.
the increase in footfall certainly seems to have had a positive impact on retail sales.
mark Osborne of William powell said: “We have been coming to the Game Fair for more than 25 years and we sold more guns at Hatfield House than any game fair ever before.”
David robinson, CEO from Le Chameau, said: “the opportunity the Game Fair gave us to engage with our core audience was unsurpassed. the traffic on our stand throughout the weekend was incredible and we were perhaps one of the only exhibitors happy that it rained!”
Clare brownlow from pheasant Feather Art said: “this has been my best ever Game Fair. my stand took no time to break down as I had sold almost all of my paintings.”
Organiser James Gower also announced the launch of Game Fair Christmas 2018, an initiative that will see numerous retailers head to London on November 22-24 next year.
the Game Fair will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2018 when it heads to ragley Hall on July 27-29. tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit thegamefair.org.
Visitor numbers were up eight per cent on last year.