When hell freezes over, as things stand at …

Comment posted A genius event to market Argyll and the Isles in the winter season by Robert Wakeham.

When hell freezes over, as things stand at the moment.

Recent comments by Robert Wakeham

  • McGrigor’s cross party debate on Argyll’s depopulation crisis
    And the track laying on the new Borders Railway is in the hands of a Dutch team, and the undersea broadband cable links laid up & down the West Coast last summer were in the hands of a French team, and the new submarine power cables from Hunterston to Kintyre are being laid by the Norwegian arm of a French multi-national.
  • Ungritted A83 sees multiple vehicle offs
    Maybe because, unlike in Alpine countries and Scandinavia, the snow here is usually localised and/or ‘here today & gone tomorrow’ – and people are surely wary of the hassle of having to repeatedly stop and put on / take off snow chains, or risk damage by driving with them on cleared roads.
  • Scotland owes its welter of new powers to the No Thanks pro-union vote
    The fact that ‘..nothing else was on the paper except YES’ was the real problem for me, as despite feeling very strongly that Scotland needs control of its own destiny there was no way that I’d be happy with total separation, and so for me the only reasonable solution would be a federal UK.
  • Ungritted A83 sees multiple vehicle offs
    Unwashed sand off a beach facing the open sea should be effective – but there’s quite a history on the West Coast of problems with beach sand being used, unwashed, in mortar and concrete to the later regret of the building owner.
  • Ungritted A83 sees multiple vehicle offs
    There’s a remarkable degree of ignorance in Argyll about the fact that the A82 / A83 / A85 are nothing to do with the council, they’re government roads.

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13 Responses to When hell freezes over, as things stand at …

  1. How ironic that this wonderful marketing initiative should be displayed next to the report indicating that the main artery from Glasgow and the west to Inveraray is once again closed. When is the Scottish Government/Transport Scotland going to take decisive action to provide a long term solution to this problem?

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  2. Is it not a bit pessimistic to describe mid September as “winter”?

    I smiled when I read that A&B was arguably the best place for families immediately followed by mention of a whisky event. I suppose it depends on how old your children are.

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    • There is to be Bungee Trampolines, Climbing Walls, Paintball Range, Pony Rides, Tea Cups, Bouncy Castle, Chainsaw Carving, Wild Birds, Face Painters, Sand Pits and a large Children Tent sponsored by Inveraray Jail and Argyll Adventure and much much more for children as well as the responsible drinking for adults. Last years event saw Music, Food, Drink and Activities all merge wonderfully, everyone including the children had a ball and this year promises even more. The weather last year was pretty good as I recall and the location is outstanding in front of the castle. Longer hours and the big name music acts add to what is already a well loved event in Argyll and one our visitors will be truly entertained at. It is a must for the diary and great event to highlight the start of the winter Visit Scotland marketing drive.

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  3. Very interesting & certainly well worth a look. I must put the date on the calendar. Er, what is the date? Mid-September – do we assume that it’s the 15th/16th?

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    • Keith – we weren’t given a date or a website – so assumed the date was not yet entirely final and that the website was not yet ready.
      Apologies.

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  4. Best wishes to the event .
    Regarding Food from Argyll , there appeared to be a complete absence of Argyll businesses at the Royal Highland Show food hall this week , in contrast to the excellent stalls and displays from other areas .

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  5. Food from Argyll is about feeding the masses at events, rather than marketing Argyll produce to the consumer. It must make a good living for the few involved, hard work tho it is, but that is not really changing the public perspective nor availability of what we produce in Argyll.
    What a shame some of our great companies were not able to be at the RHS.
    Maybe it is time to have a combined marketing initiative for more than the great burgers and sticky toffee puddings of FfA. That way the smaller companies can afford to go, and the public can learn more of the fabulous food of the county.

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    • They do get media coverage and word-of-mouth broadcasting for the food of the entire area in their visits to the music festivals.
      But you have a sound point in the imperative for collective action.
      Part of the problem is the usual parochial factionalism of separate groups refusing to merge and collaborate. Food From Argyll is a good brand, big enough territorially to make an impact to everyone’s benefit but not too big to start to get bland.
      The uber brand is Scotland Food and Drink – which pays gallingly little attention to Argyll. This is largely because there is not a single body speaking and acting for the food producers of the entire area.
      The growing success of Argyll and the Isles Tourism, as an umbrella marketing body with universal buy-in from the various local marketing groups, should have shown the way forward to our food producers.

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      • News room

        The food hall ths year was packed out, Most of what was on display was from private companies from Scotland, not all big companies but a good range from small to very big. To be honest what we had was a very Scottish food fair and a very good one at that. Im not sure if a Argyll food theme would work or not as a lot of what we have in Argyll is duplicated else where in Scotland? The food show was just that, a very good show of Scottish produce from mostly anywhere in Scotland and presented very very well.

        Maybe the same thing might just work very well in the Queens Hall during Cowal Games for Argyll and the Isles foodies?

        BTW thats five years in a row that we have bought the very best of Curry sauce from that very food show, and that just about answers the question in that I can get everything else that was on show on my door step because I live in Argyll. mmmmmm

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      • “gallingly little attention” isn’t exactly accurate newsroom and I’m confident that your opinion isn’t drawn from informed conversation with members of SFD from within Argyll. SFD had myself based in Oban and supporting many of the clients that you regularly feature in good news stories such as that of MacMillan Foods. Many have also been Excellence award winners and some gained extra supermarket listings via SFD activity. Over and above this, many Argyll companies will have contributed to F&D exports & growth stats during a deep recession which helped prop up Scottish economy. Finally, Our past chief exec also visited the first “Stronger Together” summit and sought further engagement with companies.
        Unfortunately, SFD priorities are with companies that can grow in UK and export markets, including the much maligned multiple retailers. When doing so, the “readiness” has to be established as there are factors to consider and lots of work for many of the primary producers and micro biz’s before they can benefit from SFD activity.
        SFD is be held up as an exemplar of how to cooperate as a sector. Just look at the recently launched Scottish Tourism Alliance strategy document and you’ll notice how they have used it as a model of best practice. In a similar comparison, your positive view of Argyll & Isles Tourism has also benefited from adopting such a model.
        With the exception of large international brands (salmon, whisky) Argyll doesn’t have a huge number of tier 2 businesses. We do have a series of very exciting businesses in the meat, bakery, beer and seafood categories but all will require time & support to achieve the growth and market penetration. All whilst, they still have to overcome major challenges that hinder their ability to remain competitive such as connectivity (transport, ferries charges), skills shortages and profitability so they can invest for the future.

        so…….SFD is only been in existence for 4-5 years, so give them a chance and get behind them and seek their involvement. Argyll & Isles Tourism and Food from Argyll aren’t the magic bullets in isolation but events such as this where all the positive businesses come together will certainly help the region get noticed. Working in partnership and aligning with strategic bodies will help accelerate growth aspirations if all “buy-in” with cash and energy and pull in the same direction

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