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2017 Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition

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Past Event – Tuesday 31st January – Thursday 2nd February 2017

The biggest event in the NFAN calendar headed to the South Coast and Brighton.

With exciting and motivational speakers, a visit to two great farm attractions, a large trade exhibition, annual awards dinner plus much more, the 2017 Conference and Trade Exhibition was the biggest yet. The Open day visits to Fishers Adventure Farm Park and Knockhatch Adventure Park were a sell out. The trade show was also a sell out with over 60 of the industry’s leading suppliers exhibiting.

The Programme

Tuesday 31st January

Afternoon Visit to Fisher’s Adventure Farm Park, RH14 0EG
1.30pm – 4.30pm The Rollings Family welcomed delegates for lunch and an open afternoon visit to the multi-award-winning Fisher’s Farm Park near Horsham 30 miles North of Brighton. Lunch was followed by a welcome presentation, a presentation on holiday cottage lets and a guided tour and Q&A.
Informal Evening Dinner – Alfresco Restaurant, Brighton
7:30pm Informal networking BBQ buffet dinner at Alfresco restaurant on the Brighton seafront, just across the road from the Hilton Metropole Hotel.

Wednesday 1st February

Knockhatch Cannon Saloon
Pre-Conference Open Day at Knockhatch Adventure Park, BN27 3LZ
10.00am- 3.00pm Knockhatch Adventure Park is one of the region’s most popular family attractions. Large indoor play centre (Froggies), several outdoor adventure playgrounds, with a wide range of indoor and outdoor attractions, including the Wave Rider slide, and new Cannon Saloon. The farm animals are joined by an owl sanctuary, meerkats, a Wallaby Walk through attraction and more.

The day included welcome refreshments from 9.30am, a talk from the owners, extensive tour including the Ski Slope, presentations, Q&A session and networking lunch.  Further presentations in the afternoon including using mystery shopper reports to improve customer service from Shopper Anonymous. Open Days are always popular and last year was a sell out. Book early to secure your place, choose this option when booking your delegate place.

The coach transfer left the Hilton Metropole Hotel Brighton at 8.30am, returning from Knockhatch at 3pm to arrive back at the Hotel for 4pm. Coach transfer is included in the delegate price but needs to be booked in advance.

Drinks Reception in the Trade Exhibition
6.00pm All conference delegates and exhibitors are invited to the Drinks Reception held in the Trade Exhibition on Wednesday evening prior to the Awards Dinner. This is an ideal opportunity to visit the trade stands and meet with exhibitors in a relaxed atmosphere.
Awards Dinner
8.00pm You don’t have to be involved in the awards to enjoy this sparkling social occasion. Each year the NFAN Awards Dinner has grown and this year promises to be a night to remember. The host for the evening was Brighton comedian Stephen Grant. There is no specific dress code but most would go for smart but not formal.

Thursday 2nd February

Main Conference & Trade Exhibition Day
8:30am Registration: Coffee/tea, pastries. A chance to visit the Trade Exhibition
9:30am Welcome and introduction – NFAN Chairman, Colin Evans
9:45am Customer Service Excellence – Mark Russell, The Art of Brilliance

Case Study presentations:

Rick Turner, The BIG Sheep

10.35am Q&A from morning session
10:45am Break: Coffee/tea and an opportunity to visit the Trade Exhibition
11:40am Consumer trends in catering – Chris Brown, Turpin Smale Catering Consultants

Catering results case study: Katie Milbourn, Walby Farm Park

The best people, serving the best food, having the most fun – Chris Mitchell, The Genuine Dining Co.

12.30pm Q&A from lunchtime session
12:40pm NFAN AGM
12:50pm Networking lunch and chance to visit the Trade Exhibition
2.50pm – Trade Exhibition closes
2:50pm Presentation from Farm Attraction of the Year Award Winners

Large Farm Attraction of the Year (Over 75k visitors) Odds Farm Park

Farm Attraction of the Year (under 75k visitors) Hall Hill Farm

3:10pm Marketing through Social media.

Anita Waddell, Agility Marketing

Case study presentations:

Odds Farm Park, winner of last year’s Best Digital Presence award.
Nicky Hyde – Cannon Hall Farm

3:40pm Q&A from afternoon session
3:50pm Closing remarks – NFAN Chairman, Colin Evans
4:00pm Close

Introducing our sponsors

For every event, NFAN are always extremely grateful to sponsors, who help keep delegate prices down.

Main Gold Conference Sponsors
S. Gregory DaviesLogo
Open Day Sponsors  RupertOliverLogo       marsh_logo  YFLogo
Informal Dinner Wine Sponsor  playscheme logo
Awards Dinner Main Sponsor  LappsetCreative_logo_horisontal_low
Awards Dinner Wine Sponsor   timberplaylimited_logo
Drinks Reception Sponsors  innovative Leisure Logo  DigiTickets logo
Awards Sponsors
booker-wholesale_logoregencypg_logo David Taylor Logo marsh_logo Colour Heroes stacked logothepartners_logo  playscheme logo

We are grateful to Funfear for providing all the Audio Visual equipment and services for the Conference, Awards Dinner and Trade Exhibition.

Mark Russell- The Art of Brilliance

Presentation Summary: Leading your team to brilliance
Mark Russell

Mark Russell

The key to a brighter future is brilliant people. It’s as simple as that! Businesses have no divine right to succeed. As competitive pressures and customer expectations continue to rise, it’s your people that will ultimately make the difference. This uplifting and thought provoking presentation will give you an insight into how your team can perform brilliantly, how to nurture the 2%ers attitude and control the mood hoovers!


Mark played professional rugby union for London Harlequins and Blackheath in the 1990s. He’s passionate about inspiring people to tap into their unique talents and strengths – to be the best they can be – to fulfil the potential they always knew they had. Mark has worked as a coach and trainer in companies big and small. He also delivers ‘Art of Brilliance’ messages in schools and to sports people and coaches.
Email: Tel: 07980 564402

Download powerpoint presentation pdf – available to NFAN members only. The link will appear below when you are logged in.

Rick Turner- The BIG Sheep

Rick Turner

Rick Turner

Presentation Summary: Delivering Brilliance at a farm attraction

Rick Turner has been using the principles of The Art of Being Brilliant to recruit, train, motivate and manage a world beating team. Delivering exceptional performance to maximise customer satisfaction, drive repeat visits and maximise profits in a farm based attraction.


Rick is the Director of the Flock at The BIG Sheep in Devon – a multi award winning attraction – regionally and nationally. Rick is a director of Visit Devon, a director of North Devon Marketing, the current Chair of Marketing for Devon’s Top Attractions and a director of Purple Cloud Consultancy a SW training company which specializes in Customer Service Excellence training but also trains other soft skills from sales to conflict and performance management. He is a business coach and has worked with Andy Cope and Andy Whittaker the creators of The Art of Being Brilliant and his training company runs a SW Art of Being Brilliant conference annually.
Email: Tel: 01237 472366

Download powerpoint presentation pdf – available to NFAN members only. The link will appear below when you are logged in.

Chris Brown – Turpin Smale Catering Consultants

Presentation Summary: Trends in Catering – what’s bubbling
Chris Brown photo

Chris Brown

Food and design trends are constantly evolving and your customer’s expectations are heavily influenced by their experiences on the high street, in shopping centres and restaurants. Drawing on Turpin Smale’s consumer insights research Chris will talk about current trends in customer service, design and food styles, and lift the lid on what’s bubbling away, and how to spot a trend from a fad.


Turpin Smale Catering Consultants are actively involved at the leading edge of the café and restaurant markets in venues, visitor attractions, commercial operations and on the “High Street”. A catering consultant since 2001 with a specialist knowledge of cafe operations, Chris is experienced in managing bar and restaurant operations, new openings, quality performance measurement and improving profit, in both small and large companies. He has advised a number of Farm Attractions and has led NFAN’s sell-out catering booster workshops. Author of award-winning Great Cafes Blog

Email: Tel:07876 233405

Download powerpoint presentation pdf – available to NFAN members only. The link will appear below when you are logged in.

Katie Milbourn – Walby Farm Park

Presentation Summary: Food for thought

Having won a number of awards Walby Farm Park’s search for continuous improvement led them to invite Turpin Smale into their business in spring 2016 which improved profitability whilst maintaining their other objectives of – Quality & Service, Choice and Value for Money.


Neil & Katie Milbourn opened Walby Farm Park in 2008 as a farm diversification, Katie was a practising Chartered Surveyor and Neil a dairy, beef, sheep and arable farmer – they didn’t know much about catering, other than enjoying food and drink – some might argue nothing has changed!
However, almost 9 years on they have won Farm Attraction of the Year twice – 2015 and 2010 and been runner-up in 2014. 2014 also saw Walby Farm Park become a Bronze Winner in the Visit England Awards for Excellence – Large Visitor Attraction category. In 2015, ‘Team Walby’ won both the NFAN ‘Best Food & Beverage’ award and the ‘Customer Service Excellence’ award.
Email: Tel:01228 573056

Download powerpoint presentation pdf – available to NFAN members only. The link will appear below when you are logged in.

Chris Mitchell – The Genuine Dining Co.

Presentation Summary: The best people, serving the best food, having the most fun

Chris Mitchell

Chris shares his insights and expereinces in food operations.


Chris has worked in the catering industry for close to 20 years. His passion for food started when he was at college studying film. The fast-paced environment hooked him in and Chris quickly realised that foodservice was the career for him. He put his studies on hold and embarked on working his way up through the likes of Compass & Elior as well as setting up several of his own businesses. The Genuine Dining Co. was formed in 2010 through a partnership with entrepreneur Luke Johnson. Chris is passionate about employing the best people, serving the best food and having the most fun!
Email: Tel:08448 805360

Download powerpoint presentation pdf – available to NFAN members only. The link will appear below when you are logged in.

Anita Waddell – Agility Marketing

Presentation Summary: Social media marketing with case study from Odds Farm Park

Anita Waddell

Agility manage the marketing for Odds Farm Park, last year’s winner of the NFAN Best Digital Presence Award.


Anita Waddell is Founder and MD of Agility Marketing, an agency specialising in farm park and visitor attraction marketing. Classically Chartered Institute of Marketing trained, she has over 25 years experience in this sector with her first ever marketing role being at London Zoo. Today, her and her team help over 20 attractions annually, including Odds Farm Park, Mead Open Farm, Rand and Adventure Valley.
One of Anita’s passions is online and social marketing, loving to test whatever she can. She also attends an annual digital and social marketing conference in San Diego every year, bringing back the latest online techniques for her team to implement.

Email: Tel:01442 890088

Download powerpoint presentation pdf – available to NFAN members only. The link will appear below when you are logged in.

Nicky Hyde – Cannon Hall Farm

Presentation Summary: 10 Wins In 10 Months – top tips for changing habits and audience building

Nicky Hyde

Nicky shares her top tips she has been able to implement at Cannon Hall Farm since she joined as marketing manager 10 months ago.


With 18 years experience in the media industry, Nicky Hyde is now the marketing manager for Cannon Hall Farm. The new role was one she stepped into in March. Nicky has 12 years’ experience as an award winning print journalist, and spent three years as news editor on magazines in areas as varied as fashion and hospitality. Six years ago she built an online news organisation with a difference – We Are Barnsley, one of the biggest news brands in the area, which has now launched as a print newspaper. Nicky specialises in digital media marketing with an expertise in audience building and – previous to life on the farm – spent several years as a consultant, advising companies on how to overhaul their social media practices to get the best results.

Email: Tel:01226 790427

Download powerpoint presentation pdf – available to NFAN members only. The link will appear below when you are logged in.

Farm Attraction of the Year Award Winners’ presentations

Presentations from

Odds Farm Park, Farm Attraction of the Year 2017 (over 75k visitors)

Hall Hill Farm, Farm Attraction of the Year 2017 (under 75k visitors)

Download powerpoint presentation pdf – available to NFAN members only. The link will appear below when you are logged in.

Trade Exhibition

NFAN Trade ExhibitionWith over 60 exhibitors the Trade Exhibition is very much part of the Conference. It is only accessible to delegates who have paid the appropriate conference fee. The trade exhibition was open on Wed from 6pm – 8pm as part of the drinks reception, and on Thurs from 08.30am – 2.50pm.

You can see the latest products from play and entertainment providers, find out about the latest online ticketing and web innovations, as well as have an opportunity to discuss your requirements with specialist industry experts from the marketing, planning, insurance and accountancy professions.

We are pleased to welcome first time exhibitors: Alpha Toys, Ark Toys, Art of Brilliance, Brosch Direct, Dofygate, FACE, Farm Business Innovation Show, Farm Stay, Fenland Leisure Products, Interfun Magazine, Jupiter Play, KCPOS, Nicco Park, Outdoor Play People, Simworx, Stephen Candy Photography, Vimto, VPM Design/Brighton Skycam and Yarde Farm Ice Cream.

You can see a floorplan of the Brighton Trade Show by clicking the thumbnail floorplan.

Last year NFAN members invested £20m in new attractions, facilities and services. Visit England identified Farm Attractions as the fastest growing visitor attraction sector in the UK, with new farm parks opening and established attractions continuing to develop. The NFAN Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition is the opportunity in the year for suppliers showcase their products and services to this growing sector.

The Brighton trade show was a sell-out with 60 exhibitors and over 200 owners and senior managers from UK farm attractions attending.

To register an interest in exhibiting in 2018 and NFAN membership please contact the NFAN office.

Companies exhibiting at the 2017 Trade Exhibition included:

Activity World
Agility Marketing
Alpha Toys
Amazing Interactives
Ark Toys
Art of Brilliance
Auto Culture
Brosch Direct
Booker Wholesale
Colour Heroes
David Taylor Design
Davies & Co
Farm Business Innovation Show
Farm Stay
Fenland Leisure Products
Flamingo Marketing
Fun Fear
Greenspan Projects
Innovative Leisure
Interfun Magazine
Jupiter Play
Kids Days Out
Kids Play Childcare
Lappset Creative
Marsh & Co
Marshfields Farm Ice Cream
NGF Play
Nicco Park
Outdoor Play People
Partners Leisure
Preseli Gifts & Souvenirs
Rainbow Productions
Robbie Toys
Rupert Oliver’s Ideas Factory
Russell Play
S Gregory & Co
Shopper Anonymous
Soft Brick Company
South West Play
Stephen Candy Photography
Synergie AVS
Teddy Tastic
The Play Inspection Company
Tornado International
Tractor Ted
TYG Tickets
VPM Design/Brighton Skycam
World of Rides
Yarde Farm Ice Cream

Welcome to NFAN

With over 200 farm members, The National Farm Attractions Network (NFAN) unites the farm and rural attraction industry.

Encouraging best practice and knowledge sharing, we proactively update members on the latest HSE advice, represent the farm attraction industry at government meetings, run events and provide ongoing support and guidance.

Find out more about the role of NFAN.


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