Innovation in agricultural and county shows: conceptualising the e-eventscape

Bosworth, Gary, Ardley, Barry and Gerlach, Sabine (2021) Innovation in agricultural and county shows: conceptualising the e-eventscape. International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 12 (4). pp. 437-453. ISSN 1758-2954

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEFM-02-2021-0017

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Innovation in agricultural and county shows: conceptualising the e-eventscape
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Abstract

Abstract
Purpose – In response to the cancellation of a host of events during the summer of 2020, the purpose of this
paper is to examine the rapid innovation that created an online County Show. County Shows are traditionally
associated with agriculture and the wider rural economy of a region and provide a range of visitor experiences
alongside business networking and trading opportunities. The case of the online Lincolnshire Show sought to
replicate many aspects of a physical show, and this paper evaluates its effectiveness by applying a newly
developed e-eventscape model.
Design/methodology/approach –A mixed-methods approach generated data from businesses, visitors and
the show organiser. Surveys and social media feedback from attendees captured overall satisfaction levels and
suggestions for improvements. Participation in the online Business Breakfast event along with an interview
with the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Show provided deeper understanding of the innovation occurring.
Findings – The nature of innovation was strongly rooted in place, despite creating a virtual product. Local
networks and supporters were critical to staging the online Show. The proposed e-eventscape model allowed an
effective appraisal of the online Show, identifying many strengths in terms of the user interface and aesthetics
as well as opportunities for improvement, especially linked to greater interactive engagement.
Originality/value – The impacts of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have accelerated digital innovation
in a range of events and festivals. This provides an opportunity to examine the evolving role of Shows in the
rural economy and the innovation processes that have emerged. As well as presenting original insights into
rural innovation, the paper develops and tests a new e-eventscape model applicable to the growing field of
online events and festivals. Findings indicate that there is considerable scope for organisers to embed online
content into the future of many live Shows and festivals, far beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords:rural economy, agricultural shows, e-eventscape, Digital innovation, COVID-19
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N211 Strategic Management
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:46968
Deposited On:08 Nov 2021 11:34

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