I’ve always thought it slightly ironic that the Outdoor Show involves lots of outdoor professionals spending 3 full days cooped up in an exhibition hall in Birmingham, as detached from the outdoors as you can be. So, last Thursday I drove down to the NEC with Graham and we helped Jude from Northumberland Tourism to finish setting up the Outdoor Northumberland stand, prior to the arrival of all the other staff. Then we had 3 long, intense days of promoting Northumberland to all of the visitors who came along to our stand. Compared with 2009 the show itself wasn’t as impressive so it will be interesting to see if the change of venue for 2011 reinvigorates things. As far as the Outdoor Northumberland stand goes, I think we made some real improvements since last year and, hopefully, that will turn into more people choosing to visit our county. Having excellent locations for a range of activities that includes walking, cycling, MTB, watersports, rock climbing, equestrian, wildlife and birdwatching, Northumberland has so much to offer if what you want involves the great outdoors. (I just realised that the last sentence reads like an advert…). With our stand staff coming from several organisations and businesses the social side of the trip was good as well; I don’t think any of us were aware that Northumberland had produced so many accomplished belly dancers…
Finally, the three of us who had been first to the stand were the only ones remaining and we packed up and headed north, reaching our home county just shy of Monday morning. As I stepped out on to our drive, an Oystercatcher was calling loudly behind St Pauls’ Church. It felt good to be home.
After a few hours sleep I was up and about, catching up on some paperwork, before collecting one of the participants for a 3 day familiarisation trip that we’re guiding. I can’t help thinking that promoting the outdoors actually outdoors will be so much better than promoting the outdoors indoors