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Annual Conference & Trade Show 2019

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PAST EVENT – Tuesday 29th January – Thursday 31st January 2019

The Corn Exchange, 10 New Market Rd, Edinburgh EH14 1RJ

The biggest event in the Farm Attractions calendar.

NFAN Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition

The 2019 Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition was the first time the event had been held in Scotland, and was a great success. Nearly 200 delegates and 60 exhibitors attended from around the UK, with a great turnout from members based in Scotland.

Venue – The Corn Exchange, Edinburgh The Corn Exchange has been voted Scotland’s best large venue 2 years in a row! The imaginatively converted former Corn Exchange features over 1300m2 of floor space for trade stands with room for the drinks reception, coffee breaks and lunch were held among the trade stands. The Baron room where the Awards Dinner and Conference was held was just across the concourse.

Hear what Delegates and Exhibitors have to say about previous Annual Conference and Trade Show – watch the video above.

Exhibitor Stand Bookings

Info for Exhibitors was here click here for details

The Programme

Tuesday 29th January

Optional Afternoon Visit
PMChance to visit Edinburgh Zoo which is conveniently located next door to the Holiday Inn conference hotel. Time to explore the zoo, tea & coffee at 3.30pm followed by a presentation from Edinburgh Zoo and Q&A
Informal Dinner & Ceilidh
7:30pmAn evening of great Scottish fayre, hospitality,and dancing. The Ghillie Dhu is one of Edinburgh most famous bars with a beautifully restored award winning Auditorium. Delegates enjoyed an informal buffet dinner followed by Ceilidh.

Wednesday 30th January

Pre-Conference Open Day at East Links Family Park

9.30amCoaches left the Holiday Inn at 8.30am for the 40min journey to East Links Family Park. Tea & Coffee on arrival, the first presentation from Grant & Cameron Bell on the history of East Links. Delegates then split into groups for an escorted tour of the farm park followed by lunch and further presentations. The coaches left at 3.30pm to be back at the Holiday Inn by 4.30pm. Time to get ready for the night to come.
Drinks Reception in the Corn Exchange Edinburgh
6.00pmAll conference delegates, annual dinner guests and exhibitors were invited to the Drinks Reception held in the Trade Exhibition on Wednesday evening prior to the Annual Dinner & Awards. This is an ideal opportunity to visit the trade stands and meet with exhibitors in a relaxed atmosphere. A free shuttle bus service ran regularly (roughly every 10 min) between the Holiday Inn and the Corn Exchange.
Annual Dinner & Awards
8.00pmHosted by TV and Radio presenter Arlene Stuart, there was a Scottish flavour to the night with bagpipes, Highland Dancers and Grant Bell gave a spirited address to the haggis. The winners of the annual awards were announced.

Thursday 31st January

8:30amRegistration: Coffee/tea, pastries. A chance to visit the Trade Exhibition
9:30amWelcome, NFAN review, Code of Practice & AAA update – NFAN Chairman – Richard Powell
9.40amSpeed Networking session, chaired by Doug Douglas, Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park
9.55amKeynote: If we’re selling ATTRACTIONS – how do we ATTRACT!? Nicky Pattinson
10:55amBreak: Coffee/tea and an opportunity to visit the Trade Exhibition
11:45amBringing learning to life, taking the classroom to the countryside – Kris Paterson, Royal Highland Educational Trust
12.05amFuture trends in visitor attractions, lessons from KidZania and others – Bala McAlinn  (Bala is standing in for Eddie Kemsley who was unfortunately unable to make it).
12:30pmNFAN AGM
12:40pmNetworking lunch and chance to visit the Trade Exhibition
2.30pm – Trade Exhibition closes
2:30pmFarm Park Operators, where we are going and where we have come from. Presentations from three NFAN members with different sized attractions:
Fishers Adventure Farm Park, Tim, Trina & Tom Rollings
Streamvale Farm, Chris Wilson
Conifox Adventure Park, James Gammell
3.25pmFuture Trends Panel Discussion. Panel discussion drawn from today’s presenters with interactive Q&A, hosted by Doug Douglas
3:50pmClosing remarks – NFAN Chairman, Richard Powell

Introducing our sponsors

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

Main Gold Conference Sponsors
S. GregoryDaviesLogo
Informal Dinner & Ceilidh Sponsor
Open Day Sponsors 
Awards Dinner Main Sponsor
Awards Dinner Wine Sponsortimberplaylimited_logo
Drinks Reception Sponsorsinnovative Leisure LogoDigiTickets logo
Awards Sponsors
booker-wholesale_logo David Taylor Logo marsh_logo playscheme logo  

To see photos from the conference day click here – Conference 2019 photos

To see photos from the Awards Dinner click here – Awards Photos 2019

Nicky Pattinson

Presentation Summary: If we’re selling ATTRACTIONS – how do we ATTRACT!?

Nicky Pattinson our keynote speaker this year knows a thing or two about what compels paying guests to your business …keeps them there, has them spend more and even has them returning.

This unusual – (but obvious!) information is based on fact…and what she learned from a market stall business selling cakes and biscuits …that she took from £1,000 a week to almost 2 million a year.

In recent years – she’s worked with some of the biggest business ‘experience names’ names out there such as TESCO , SELFRIDGES and HALFORDS – and spoken to thousands of people in retail, face to face marketing and small business owners alike…often tripling sales overnight.

”What i do is all about behaviours – thoughts and words…not marketing spend and social media….it cost’s nothing but actually ends up being EVERYTHING”

What people are actually driven to FEEL as they arrive at your place – meet your people…read your emails and generally immerse themselves in the world you have created is win or lose in these so called precarious times.

Where do you START???

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


Nicky Pattinson is as they say ‘’an uncommon sales speaker’’.

With reflections on sales…life – and how we actually express who we are and what we do in a way that compels people towards us – this lady can’t be missed.

Her first job on leaving school was in a shoe shop where she sold more shoes in one day that most would sell in a whole week. Let her tell you that story, and the reasons why she became the best in the company at sales. It may shock you – but you will surely recognise a part of yourself in her words.

At 29 she met her ‘’soon to be ex-husband’’ – they bought a market stall selling cakes and biscuits. Together they took that business from 1k a week to 37k a week using Nicky’s natural and intuitive selling concepts and ability…within 2 years . A huge achievement , this was 20 years ago.

Tripling sales instantly isn’t unusual – and you won’t have seen this take on commerce before that’s for sure!

These days she takes what she learned on the market, modifies it and reapplies it to other situations – from big Supermarket chains to Legal Services…and of course. The individual business person.

Listen to her speak if you’re lucky enough to have the chance – all her words come from experience not a textbook.

Your world will be all the better for it….WHOEVER you are.

Kris Paterson – RHET

Presentation Summary: Bringing learning to life, taking the classroom to the countryside

Whether Life skills, Maths, Healthy Eating or History is the subject driving a teacher to request a farm visit, knowing how to bring learning to life has never been so exciting than using real life examples. RHET work across Scotland with a network of farmers and growers, all year round providing activities free of charge for 3 – 18year olds. Kris covered the who, what and how of RHET, looking at the next 20 years and how RHET bring the classroom to the countryside.

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


Kris Paterson – Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET). Kris joined RHET as a project coordinator in 2004, having left behind a career to return to her farming roots. She is responsible for linking schools in the most heavily populated areas of Lanarkshire and Glasgow to working farms, no mean feat when there are over 500 schools! With a team of volunteer farmers and lovers of all things countryside…..she manages volunteers to deliver the farm visits and classroom talks which schools request, thus by ‘taking the classroom to the countryside’ creating engagement opportunities for Scotland’s young people, aged 3-18. She has seen a year on year growth of demand for the services all managed by the strength of the local volunteer group. RHET nationally engages with over 70,000 young people annually, including the education programme run during the Royal Highland Show in June.
Having previously worked in various blue chip management positions throughout the UK from finance to TV, Kris likes the workload variety and challenges that RHET offers, with people interested in food and farming. Her spare time is taken up at secretary of her local agricultural show in East Kilbride. A bit of a busman’s holiday really…….

Bala McAlinn

Presentation Summary: Future trends in visitor attractions, lessons from KidZania and others

Unfortunately Eddie Kemsley who was due to speak was not able to make it. Bala McAlinn from Boo Productions ably stepped in covering much of Eddie’s presentation as well as drawing on his own considerable experience working with a range of visitor attractions.

Future Trends – Making Good Decisions Without a Crystal Ball  

Bala McAlinn presented an array of interesting examples of innovative products and experiences from the retail and visitor attraction industries.

Focusing on the ever-increasingly popular trends for storytelling and immersive experiences, whilst exploring the concepts ‘What’s Right for Your Brand’ and ‘Investment V ROI.’

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


Bala began working in the visitor attraction industry in 2007, writing and directing shows for London Zoo and the Science Museum. Since then he’s been involved in many projects including creating tours for the Olympic venues, recruiting and training the FOH teams for Dreamland and has also recently signed a permanent contract with the National Gallery to staff and manage their fundraising and membership sales teams. Bala says he is passionate about creating unique, engaging and exciting experiences that inspire and entertain a diverse range of audiences.
Bala is a Director at Boo Productions ( and a First Ruffian at Ruff Trade Training (

NFAN members

There were presentations from three NFAN members in the afternoon

Chairman and members’ presentations

NFAN Chairman Richard Powell presented a review of 2018 and plans for 2019. In the afternoon there were presentations from three NFAN members talking about where their business has come from and their plans for the future.

There were also presentations from:

NFAN Chairman Richard Powell

Tim, Tom & Trina Rollings – Fishers Adventure Farm Park

Chris Wilson – Streamvale Open Farm

James Gammell – Conifox Adventure Park

Powerpoint presentation pdfs for the above 4 presentations are available to NFAN members only. The links will appear below when you are logged in.

Trade Exhibition

NFAN Trade Exhibition

With over 50 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 is open on Wed 30th from 6pm – 8pm as part of the drinks reception for the annual dinner, and on Thurs 31st 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 and insurance professions.

Companies exhibiting at the Trade Exhibition included:

Aardman Animations
Agility Marketing
Air Bouncers
AP Leisure
Ark Toys
Colour Heroes
David Taylor Designs
Davies & Co
Deluxe Base
Gateway Ticketing
Greenspan Projects
Infinite Playgrounds
Innovative Leisure
Interfun Magazine
Jumping Pillows
Jupiter Play
KC Solutions
Kids Play Childcare
Lorica Insurance
Magenta Star
Marsh & Co.
Marshfield Farm Ice Cream
Nicco Parks & Resorts Ltd
Outdoor Play People
Pacific Computers
Play Area Hygiene Services
Play Inspection Company
Playdale Playgrounds
Preseli Gifts & Souvenirs
Proludic Ltd
Rainbow Productions
Robbie Toys
Rupert Oliver’s Ideas Factory
Russell Play
S. Gregory & Co
Teddy Mountain
Usborne Publishing
Vimto out of Home
Wicksteed Playgrouds
World of Rides

For the 2019 Trade Show Exhibitor booking information click here

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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