Travelling fairground operators are trying to improve their image and shake off consumers’ perceptions that they are associated with “travellers” – a term often used pejoratively against itinerant communities.
The Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain (SGGB), the fairground operators’ trade body, wants to develop a national marketing structure and improve the image of fairgrounds in the face of competition from other attractions.
A former regional marketer for the UCI and Odeon cinema chains, Desmond Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald Marketing, has been appointed as a consultant to explore the feasibility of national advertising and the potential for generic activity.
Fitzgerald says: “There is a confused image as to who the travelling showmen are – they are a travelling community in their own right, but they are often confused with other types of travelling people.”
He adds that funfairs are facing increasing competition from other outdoor events and theme parks, and need to heighten their profile and change public perceptions.
Fitzgerald has already worked on the PR-led National Funfair Week, which runs next week.