Countrymanfairs.co.uk Home Page
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Sometimes, size does matter

Countryman Fairs are an event management company that runs 5 of the most prestigious Game and Country Fairs in the UK. So when they asked us to rebuild their website, and that it should contain the information about all 5 fairs, together with background on their company, we knew this was going to be no small site.

Now in it's second version with us and with thoughts turning towards a new more mobile friendly version, our relationship with Countryman Fairs is well established and much valued.

Speaking to all your visitors with one voice

With over 1000 pages communicating with a range of interested groups, it was going to be a challenge to make everyone who came to countrymanfairs.co.uk feel included. The site attracts a wide variety of visitors, and needs to be able to help the casual family looking to plan a day out, while not leaving the passionate field sports enthusiast looking for competition results. We decided on Joomla! as the Content Management System as we knew it is used by many government and international organisations, and so could cope with the scale and scope of the website.

The Kelmarsh Game and Country Fair Home Page

After discussing the website architecture with Countryman Fairs, it was decided to create a number of subsites, one for each Game Fair, each with it's own homepage and with it's own look and feel. As the events are ranged throughout the year, we could allow each Game Fair to take centre stage during it's run up, then step aside once it is over. This required some custom Joomla development to allow all these features to work smoothly and without constant monitoring and intervention.

Our relationship with Countryman Fairs and their enthusiastic MD Jerome Roberts, meant we knew that there would be enough of the right kind of content, so our main focus was to make it easy for all their visitors to find relevant information. Along with the main sub-sites for each game fair, we also created content areas to introduce the more casual visitors to the topics on the site. As Web Designers based in Cumbria we understand that not all the activities at the fairs would be familiar to people not from a rural background, especially as many of the competitions run at each event are at a national level.

To help these more casual visitors get the most from their visit, we introduced the idea of the 'Discover' sections, with background articles on the activities at each event. Together with a section aimed at the family on a day out, and the Championship Events section for the more serious field sports enthusiasts, it was hoped that there would be something for everyone.

Functionality as well as form

The What's On page for Kelmarsh Game and Country Fair

As well as the revenues from ticket sales, one of the aspects of Countryman Fairs business is the renting of exhibition space to the many companies who sell goods and services of interest to the visitors of each event. These showcase events provide an ideal opportunity for these companies to promote their brand,  get their message across to potential customers and in some cases actively engage in selling their wares.

To assist in this, we created a system for Exhibitors to be able to book exhibition space on the website, and then once approved, to automatically be listed as an exhibitor at that event. We used a customised version of the Virtuemart e-commerce system which is available to run along side Joomla, creating bespoke product structures that allowed the pitches and additional facilities to be sold as products.

A sunny future for Countryman Fairs

Despite the appalling summer we have had in 2012, countrymanfairs.co.uk continued to be a popular and useful website to those who visited any of the 5 events. With plans to update and improve the website in the works, it is hoped that even more visitors will be able to use the site to both plan their visits, and possibly to help them get the most out of each event when they are there.

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