A string of events this year will bring people into Haslemere – but are we, as a business community, doing enough to support these events or capitalise on the opportunities delivered by increased footfall?

My questions are not meant as a criticism of any particular sector of the local economy, but rather as a stimulus for discussion and action across all sectors.

The questions were triggered this week when I received notification that Stepping Stones is staging a Conan Doyle weekend at its Undershaw campus in May. Undershaw was for a while Conan Doyle’s home – and where he wrote The hound of the Baskervilles.

With support from the Sherlock Holmes Society, the event is attracting national and international interest and is expected to attract a significant influx of visitors.

My thoughts turned to other upcoming events in the town, such as:

  • Haslemere Festival
  • Haslemere Fringe
  • Haslemere Classic Car Show
  • Haslemere Easter Bunny promotion
  • Haslemere Hares
  • St George’s Day
  • Haslemere Charter Fair
  • Haslemere Beer Festival
  • Haslemere Great War Memorial Project

All of these, and any other events that I may have omitted, have potential to unite townspeople and bring visitors into the area. And visitors are potential customers.

It’s a simplistic economic argument, I know, but the more that’s spent in our shops, pubs and restaurants, the more that filters through to suppliers, staff and the next tier of business: the professions and business services. And a lot can rub off on the commercial sector that lacks High Street visibility.

If the town is perceived to be booming ­– or at very least successful – all businesses stand to benefit.

One way to fuel that perception is for businesses at all levels to rally behind event organisers. Some may appreciate financial support, others marketing support – perhaps themed window displays, mentions in newsletters and on websites or social media. Perhaps a hyperlink to an event (or the organisers) website. Even linked special offers, too. In short: anything that demonstrates excitement about what is happening locally.

I’m not a retailer, so I can’t decorate a shop window. But I do have a website where with a bit of creativity I’m sure I could give the town and its events a helping hand. It’s ‘elementary…’

What’s your view?

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.