In response to a query from HortiTrends about the perceived difficulties in finding sponsors for the larger gardens, Bloom Manager Gary Graham responds and also outlines some of the new initiatives that are being put in place for Bloom 2012.
Is the business of sourcing sponsors getting harder?
Yes it is a challenge to persuade sponsors to allocate large budgets for large gardens and features but Bloom is only 5 years old, a baby compared to the 100 year old Chelsea Flower Show, which is probably the only show in Europe that is well established enough to be immune to the global economic downturn.
The macroeconomic situation and reduction in marketing budgets across all sectors (not just horticulture) do not help but 1.9 million or 53% of the Irish adult population are now aware of Bloom and most companies are very well disposed towards it. Thus, Bloom 2012 will be as good as previous years with the same area of show gardens, circa 2,700 sq metres and the same number of large gardens designed by the country’s top designers. This is testament to Bloom’s importance to the sector, the ability of our designers, contractors, nurseries and product suppliers to combine resources and create fantastic gardens and features, even when large dollops of cash from outside the sector have been harder to come by since 2008!
I am happy to say that there are many new sponsors such as Bewleys, Robert Roberts, Rehab, Atlantis Seafood, Tipperary Water, Irish Greyhound Board, etc and many sponsors are returning e.g. Woodies, Bord na Mona, Viking, Lifefibre, Glenisk, Irish Times, Failte Ireland, Lyric, etc. Some like Woodies increased their investment last year and created 3 fantastic gardens along with supporting the Woodies Expert Stage and the GIY presence. This year Bord na Mona are increasing their investment and creating a new interactive feature which will add to the visitor experience. Companies interested in sponsorship packages should contact Garret Buckley at email@example.com.
Is there going to be a New Products Area?
I have asked the managers of the different areas and product categories at Bloom to look at this in consultation with their exhibitors – if there is sufficient interest they can create a special display area and/or introduce awards for innovation. We know that Bloom provides a great launching pad for new products, plants and services with 90,000 visitors looking for new ideas and the latest trends and fashions and that a high numbers of journalists attending are looking for stories! Exhibitors should contact John Hick at firstname.lastname@example.org
New Built Gardens section
With regard to gardening clubs – we want to provide passionate amateurs with an opportunity to use Bloom to show what they can do and to become role models for non-gardeners. This is the first year for this new category of ‘cameo gardens’ and if we can get a few built it will provide a platform for future years. This year is a pilot and if you have any garden club/society readers they should contact email@example.com for more info.