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In response to the cancellation of a host of events during the summer of 2020, the purpose of this paper is to examine the rapid innovation that created an online County…
In response to the cancellation of a host of events during the summer of 2020, the purpose of this paper is to examine the rapid innovation that created an online County Show. County Shows are traditionally associated with agriculture and the wider rural economy of a region and provide a range of visitor experiences alongside business networking and trading opportunities. The case of the online Lincolnshire Show sought to replicate many aspects of a physical show, and this paper evaluates its effectiveness by applying a newly developed e-eventscape model.
A mixed-methods approach generated data from businesses, visitors and the show organiser. Surveys and social media feedback from attendees captured overall satisfaction levels and suggestions for improvements. Participation in the online Business Breakfast event along with an interview with the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Show provided deeper understanding of the innovation occurring.
The nature of innovation was strongly rooted in place, despite creating a virtual product. Local networks and supporters were critical to staging the online Show. The proposed e-eventscape model allowed an effective appraisal of the online Show, identifying many strengths in terms of the user interface and aesthetics as well as opportunities for improvement, especially linked to greater interactive engagement.
The impacts of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have accelerated digital innovation in a range of events and festivals. This provides an opportunity to examine the evolving role of Shows in the rural economy and the innovation processes that have emerged. As well as presenting original insights into rural innovation, the paper develops and tests a new e-eventscape model applicable to the growing field of online events and festivals. Findings indicate that there is considerable scope for organisers to embed online content into the future of many live Shows and festivals, far beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UK has seen rapid growth in the number of microbreweries but a concurrent decline in public house numbers raising concerns about the sustainability of this growth. The…
The UK has seen rapid growth in the number of microbreweries but a concurrent decline in public house numbers raising concerns about the sustainability of this growth. The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of funding upon competition in the sector and the entrepreneurial characteristics of microbrewers. With an emphasis on rural-based businesses, the local economic impacts are also examined.
The research is informed by analysis of trends in both the brewing and public house sectors in the UK. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with microbrewers, including five who had received funding to support their development. These were supplemented with three days of participant observation at collaborative brewing events with 26 microbrewery owners and three microbrewery managers.
The findings indicate that the value attached to microbreweries extends beyond their economic contribution with wider outcomes including training and job creation, the preservation of listed buildings and the enhancement of rural tourism. Funding stimulated entrepreneurial responses but support for these wider outcomes ran the risk of distorting competition.
As competition increases in the sector, microbrewery owners need to become more entrepreneurial to maintain their market position. Competition is heightened by a number of lifestyle enterprises that can survive with lower profit levels while routes to market are limited by a decline in the public house sector. In such a pressured market, there is a need for clearer assessments of the impacts on local economies and entrepreneurship when grant funding is provided.