Taken out of my comfort zone and facing a new challenge.

That’s exactly how it felt when the team at Bolesworth asked me to step out of the media centre at this year’s event and challenged me to set up the new Equine Zone.

Although faced with a difficult task – sometimes it does you good to be thrown in at the deep end and allow yourself a reality check. It’s a case of taking a couple of steps back and assessing;

  • how you are going to deal with the new challenge?
  • how are you going to plan it?
  • how are you going to encourage people to get contribute?
  • how are you going to promote it?
  • how are you going get people to attend?

Once I  planned out how I would approach the sessions everything started to fall into place. I planned out the overall content and then set out my timetable and schedule.

The next stage was to decide who to invite as contributors to each session.

The importance of being flexible was crucial to the set up – taking on and evolving ideas proved interesting. As did the enthusiasm of guests speakers who chose to participate and contribute their boundless knowledge of their individual specialities.

Promoting the new Equine Zone was crucial – its all very well introducing an interesting, varied and topical schedule – but not so good if you don’t create an awareness among the public and Bolesworth’s main audience.

Planning a media schedule to promote and build awareness is imperative and has included press releases and most importantly social media. Scheduling in daily Twitter feeds on the run up and during the event to promote, build an awareness and regularly reminding the audience of the session subjects.

Creating a #equinezone encouraging the audience to ‘get involved’.

As well as that regular reminder of the Learning Zone – running in parallel with the Learning Zone Twitter feeds will be the #fanzone feeds – possibly of more importance. These will have to be constant for the duration of the event as competitors are scheduled to appear on daily and possibly hourly basis, highlighting the importance of keeping the audience in the moment.

To back it all up on event – Instagram – a great visual aid and what better opportunity than to encourage #fanzone images – meet the stars of showjumping and dressage. Who do you want you photo taken with? My personal choice…..it has to be the star of London 2012 – BIG STAR!