Preview: The Farm Business Innovation Show

The leading diversification event for farmers, landowners, estate owners, and rural businesses.

The Farm Business Innovation Show is Europe’s leading landowner diversification trade show. The free-to-attend event returns to the NEC in Birmingham on 8-9 November and brings together 200 seminars, 500 hand-picked exhibitors, industry-leading experts and unrivalled networking to create unlimited business opportunities for farmers, estate owners and rural businesses.

Diversification in the agricultural, farming and land management communities allows for building on traditional farming practices and delving into new and innovative endeavours by adding additional revenue streams such as rural tourism and events. However, the venture into diversification requires so much more than just a good idea, and to thrive you need to have clear plans, goals, and confidence in your choices. The Farm Business Innovation Show provides the perfect opportunity not only to find the information but the tools and services to help.

The seminar schedule for 2017 has a keynote line up including industry giants. Michael Eavis of Worthy Farm and Glastonbury Festival will share his expertise on how festival and farm can work together. Geoff Sansome, head of agriculture for Natural England, will be discussing managing environmental assets in farm business, and Doug Gurr, the UK head of Amazon, will be delivering a seminar on how to unlock the potential and power of rural UK.

Along with seminars and exhibitors, you’ll also find interactive workshops from Amazon’s Digital Rural Academy, live expert debates, panel sessions and a live demo area. Better still, tickets are free!


The Farm Business Innovation Industry Awards are back following a successful launch last year. Focusing on key areas in rural businesses these awards will highlight and celebrate successes across the country.

The Farm Business Innovation Industry Awards are back following a successful launch last year. Focusing on key areas in rural businesses these awards will highlight and celebrate successes across the country.

In the Business Services category, check out rural consultancy Laurence Gold Partnership, Native Architects and Farmers and Mercantile Insurance Brokers.

Finally, the Environment Award has attracted nominations from waterless toilet specialists Ecotoliets and the team at Tiny Eco Homes UK.

A delve into the 300+ exhibitors!

Hilltop Tents – Stand 952
Looking for an impactful event structure? Colourful big top tent hire, manufacture, and event consultancy services. Suppliers to Glastonbury, Shambala, Reading and Secret Garden Party, plus weddings, corporate events and film sets.
01654 767842 /

Tree Tents – Stand 683
Everyone here at Open Air Business fancy a night in a Tree Tent, and I’m sure we’re not alone! If you are considering a unique glamping structure, check out the full range from the Tree Tent team, which includes the Fuselage, Tree Wing and the Firma Shell – all combine precision engineering, traditional craftsmanship and sustainable materials. 01273 973937 /

Skylight Cinema – Stand 162
Skylight Cinema provides a turnkey solution for anyone that wants to put on an outdoor screening. This includes a massive inflatable 8x4m screen suitable for an audience of up to 500, PA system, projector (and back up), event support equipment, and lots of advice! 0775 368 8043 /

Smallwood Treehouses – Stand 599
Allow visitors to revisit their childhoods with these stunning creations from Smallwood Treehouses. Perfect for high end glamping or general accommodation, these handcrafted treehouses are utterly bespoke. Smallwood offers a complimentary at-home survey, design and estimate, and provides a full aftercare package. 0800 044 3869 /

Bidwells – Stand 270
Got a diversification project in mind? The Bidwells Rural Development and Diversification (RDD) team includes consultants, architects, planners and building surveyors who have worked together in this specialist field for many years and on hundreds of successful projects. According to Bidwells, most rural buildings present a clear opportunity with a broad range of options. 01223 559509 /

Star Events – Stand 1132
Supplying affordable temporary stages and grandstands to rural venues for over 40 years, if you are planning on diversifying into events, Star Events offers a solution for all venues/sites. Suppliers to county shows, stately homes, farms and estates including Jimmy’s Farm, Tulley’s Farm, Blickling Estate, Bowood House, Edenbridge and Oxted Agricultural Show and Hertfordshire County Show. 01234 772233 /

A sneak peek at the speakers

SPEAKER: Michael Eavis, Worthy Farm / Glastonbury Festival
TITLE: The farm and the festival – how they work together
TOPIC: Worthy Farm in Pilton Somerset is a fully working dairy farm, it’s also host to the world famous Glastonbury Festival, the mega event held in June.

SPEAKER: Roger Allonby, Rural Payments Agency
TITLE: Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) grant funding
TOPIC: An overview of Growth Programme, Countryside Productivity and LEADER funding available for rural enterprise and how to apply.

SPEAKER: Kelly Chandler, Kelly Chandler Consulting
TITLE: Adding an income-stream from hosting weddings
TOPIC: A walk-through making a profit from the wedding industry, with insights into the different business models land and property owners can adopt.

SPEAKER: Andrew Shirley, CLA
TITLE: Diversification – how to navigate the planning system
TOPIC: Tips for achieving planning permission when diversifying with the Country Land & Business Association’s chief surveyor.

SPEAKER: Kate Morel, Kate Morel Consultancy
TITLE: Is glamping really profitable? ROI case study
TOPIC: It’s becoming all the rage, but is glamping really as profitable as some of the hype purports? Using a real-time project, this seminar will explore the reality.

SPEAKER: Iain Beaumont, Powderham castle
TITLE: Running festivals and live music events on your land
TOPIC: How to go about generating an additional income from your land by diversifying into the world of live music festivals.

The Farm Business Innovation Show
8-9 November 2017
NEC Birmingham

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