On the evening of Monday 6th July, venues across the country stood together in solidarity for the events industry by turning their buildings red. 667 venues registered for the #LightItInRed campaign including the National Theatre, the Eden Project and the Brighton Dome.

Their website states: “Since early March, the events industry has been mostly without work. All kinds of major events are currently prohibited due to the COVID-19 crisis. Corporate events, conferences, concerts, festivals, weddings, trade shows and theatrical performances are no longer able to go ahead. This is leaving an entire industry dormant, with over twenty-five thousand businesses and over half a million workers throughout the UK directly suffering the ill effects.”

The Kent Event Centre and Kent County Agricultural Society are no different. As a major event venue in Kent, we usually welcome over 250,000 people to the Showground each year for training courses, weddings, conferences, concerts and major outdoor events.  Whilst we are pleased that other businesses are beginning to reopen, events venues still have no advice on when they may be able to open their doors.

As a charity this is particularly hard. It is important to us to be able to continue our educational programme, however without the financial support from the Kent Event Centre, this may need to be reduced in the future.

#LightItInRed is just the start of the journey for the UK events industry and the companies it helps to support. A report published by Eventbrite in 2018 stated that the events industry was worth £42.3 billion to the UK economy. Whilst we play a small part of this, the economic value of events such as the Kent County Show to hotels, camp sites, restaurants and shops is a key factor each year. It also provides a shop window for 400+ retail and information stands who are also suffering during this period.

We have added a list of all trade stands who exhibited with us in 2019 and those who had applied in 2020 to our website. Please consider shopping with them online this year.

Please also support us by visiting our events in the future. Details of all public events can be found here.

Our thanks to Mark Pantony from Invicta Audio Visual with making this a reality.

The Society will be 100 years old in 2023. It’s crucial we reach this milestone and continue to support the farming community in Kent.