Oliver Swinburne helps bring Northumberland County Show bang up to date

New media graduate Oliver Swinburne from Shotley Bridge has helped bring Northumberland County Show communications into the 21st Century

Oliver Swinburne
Oliver Swinburne

The County Show has relaunched its website and promotional literature with a new look and modern technology that brings the traditional rural operation into the 21st Century.

Behind these developments is new media graduate Oliver Swinburne, from Shotley Bridge, on secondment at the show and helping with digital and printed marketing materials.

He said: “It’s a tough time for young people to find jobs, especially in the creative industries, so I was delighted to be given the opportunity to work on such an exciting project.

“The show is hugely popular, with a long farming heritage, so I had the challenge of combining all the historical elements that have made it as great as it is, with a fresh look.”

Tynedale Agricultural Society, the organisation behind the County Show, won funding from the Rural Development Programme for England, for the new website at www.northcountyshow.co.uk

One of the new attributes is a facility for competitors to apply and pay online. The function goes live on Saturday and is available until May 1when entries close.

Show secretary, Gaynor Scandle said: “We wanted to make the process as easy as possible.

“So if you want to compete in any of our classes, for example, in the Equine Section, you simply go to the website page for Exhibitors, click on Horses, and go to the online entry option.

“Just complete the form, and make your payment via the secure portal, Paypal. It’s the first time we’ve done this, so we hope it’s easy and efficient for users.”

Also on the way is a new leaflet to promote the show which is about to go to print and features a large graphic map, visitor information and a preview of what’s on.

Built into the design is a QR code linking to the show’s own website, plus a special feature using the app, Layar.

Oliver explained; “This is a great piece of technology that literally brings the page to life.

“When users scan the printed content marked by the Layar logo, their tablet or smart phone will automatically reveal additional media such as photographs, videos or pathways to other websites while their device hovers over the page.

“This technology allows for a more interactive and engaging experience for both the show and its audience. It’s fantastic that the County Show is prepared to push the boundaries and embrace modern communications.”

More than 50,000 promotional leaflets will be printed in the next month. Half are for pre-show distribution and the remainder allocated for the 26,000 visitors who come through the gates on show day.

Gaynor said: “Last year the show moved to its new location in Bywell and we received feedback that people found it hard to find their way round.

“We have made more changes to the layout this year so we are giving everyone a map to help them get the best from their day.”

The County Show takes place on Bank Holiday Monday, May 26. Schedules are available from Saturdday or go to the swebsite for details.

Oliver concluded: “I was a volunteer steward at last year’s show, and have always been involved in rural affairs, so this insight into the world of agricultural events helped me understand their needs.

“However, I’ve also had two great internships. I’d love to work in acreative company, but I’m also enjoying freelance work and developing my portfolio.”

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