Andy’s Blog – Reflections

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It’s now just over a week since my Marketing Cheshire colleague, Nick Brown, and I returned from the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin. My body is just about back on UK time and thoughts have now begun to turn to how we maximise the impact of the remainder of our GREAT UK Challenge Fund* programme which runs through to the end of March 2016.

The presence at Madison has already (hopefully) begun to bear fruit for one of the Cheshire-based companies which attended the show, and a questionnaire received in my in-box on Friday from the organisers of WDE has prompted some further reflections in terms of what went well and what might have gone better. One of the biggest lessons (perhaps unsurprisingly) has been the importance of having clear, concise messages that are easy for people to understand. You can’t tackle events such as these on the hoof (sorry), and quite quickly our initial broad messaging had been honed into quite a good ‘spiel’ about why we were at the show and what we hoped to achieve through it, reflecting the initial feedback and reaction we received.

Firstly we wanted people to have a greater awareness of where Cheshire and Warrington is (and not just some place 2 hours from London); there was then the message about Cheshire and Warrington as a centre of excellence for commercial and conservation breeding, genetics and Agri-Tech – for business and education – and as part of a broader Cheshire Science Corridor. Finally, we aimed to leave people wanting to know more about the potential opportunities to develop trans-Atlantic business and academic links with our sub-region.

And it seems that people are becoming more aware of what the LEP, Marketing Cheshire and our programme partners are doing, with a number of other Cheshire and Warrington-based breeders expressing an interest in getting involved.

Moo-ving forwards (sorry again) the main focus is planning for a major international conference on animal science and breeding which will take place in Chester from 8th – 10th March 2016. Details of the conference programme, study visits and how to book will be available on the Invest-In-Cheshire website (www.investincheshire.com) shortly. If you are part of the supply chain and interested in exploring opportunities to support the conference please contact Nick Brown, Head of Partnerships at Marketing Cheshire (n.brown@marketingcheshire.co.uk).

*The GREAT Britain campaign showcases the best of what the UK has to offer to inspire the world and encourage people to visit, do business, invest and study in the UK. It is the Government’s most ambitious international promotional campaign ever, uniting the efforts of the public and private sector to generate jobs and growth for Britain.

You can find out more about the campaign at www.greatbritaincampaign.com and follow our progress on Twitter through @invest_cheshire #CheshireAgriTech.