Personal touch is strong lure for South West show visitors

Putting names to faces a powerful incentive at show

Getting out and putting faces to names was a powerful incentive for many exhibitors to take part in the South West Regional Growers’ show, which took place on 1 October in Exeter, Devon. Many of them agreed with customer services adviser Mark Wood of Botany Bay Nurseries in Worcestershire, who said: “The personal touch is so important in our industry. To come here and meet customers — and those who might become customers — is vital. “We visit all our customers and get to know them and their needs.” One visitor valued making personal contacts enough to travel to the show from Peterborough in Cambridgeshire. Michael Verdegaal, partner at M & M Flower Bulbs, said: “It is good to get to shows like this. You can meet the trade and talk to them face to face.” It is also the sort of show where ideas can be picked up about up-and-coming trends. But though the meet-and-greet part of the show is an important attraction, plenty of business is done too. “It was a worthwhile trip,” Verdegaal added. The show was held in the cattle market at the Matford Centre in Marsh Barton, on the outskirts of Exeter, and was hosted by the National Farmers’ Union. NFU South West regional director Anthony Gibson said: “Horticulture in the South West remains a vibrant, dynamic and thoroughly market-focused industry. “The culture in horticulture is the culture of enterprise and success — and the South West Regional Growers’ Show has played an important part over the years.”

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