The Glamping Show is where it all began for Meadow Field Luxury Glamping back in 2017. What was a sparkle of an idea became a serious consideration after attending this event and speaking to many companies and organisations immersed in the glamping industry. Who would have thought five years (and one global pandemic) later I would be invited by Sarah Riley of Inspired Courses to share my glamping experiences in front of an attentive audience, rather than listening and learning from others!
What is the Glamping Show?
The Glamping Show is the UK’s only luxury camping show. It is a free, three day, annual event, located at The NAEC Stoneleigh since its inception in 2015, and an absolute must for anyone thinking of creating a unique hospitality offering.
What The Glamping Show team say:
“Find everyone you need to connect with in one place: established glamping hosts, new starters, those planning to diversify, glamping suppliers and high profile glamping advocates all flock to the show.”
The Glamping Show is a one stop shop. An opportunity to explore the different types of accommodation to choose from, talk to marketing experts, fundamentals like utilities, booking platform operatives, and to consider different ways of enhancing your offering. The seminars taking place, however, are the most informative aspect of it all. Listening to industry experts and established site owners sharing their experience is invaluable. An invitation from Sarah Riley to be involved in one of these seminars was not only a surprise, but also an honour.
Who is Sarah Riley?
If you are already in the glamping industry or thinking about joining this amazing community, then I highly recommend you take a look at Sarah Riley’s Inspired Courses website which says:
“It’s terrifying to start something new, and difficult to know who to trust to give you the right help, advice and tools for your journey. But now more than ever you have everything you need within easy reach. You simply need to know where to look… and that’s where Sarah can help.”
Sarah Riley’s Facebook Group
I joined Sarah Riley’s Facebook group, (The Glamping Business Group and Unique Holiday Rentals) in the summer of 2019, a group that is about “building genuine connections and sharing knowledge in a supportive, positive and uplifting way.” This was a great resource for someone like myself, a complete novice to the world of hospitality, often supplemented by Sarah with useful bits of industry knowledge.
Marketing Master Class
By the end of 2019 I had signed up to Sarah’s Marketing Master Class, a fantastically informative eight week course which gave me a great foundation from which to launch our new glamping business. The Master Class was held via Zoom. Little did we know that this way of meeting was soon to become a big part of all our lives! Starting a new business under normal circumstances is quite an emotional roller coaster, but throwing a global pandemic into the mix made that journey even harder. Sarah recognised this and came up with the idea of her “Start up and Grow Club”.
Interested in joining “The Inner Circle”?
Sarah’s “Start Up and Grow Club” is a private community away from social media that has been my sanctuary. The weekly, one hour, Q & A’s, hosted by Sarah, have provided me with a safe space to retreat to with like minded people.
“…a QUALITY COMMUNITY away from social media where people can get IN-DEPTH answers to their burning questions as soon as they come up.”
These sessions are a great opportunity to network and share ideas with other start up businesses and those already established, like ourselves, from all over the world. But not only that. Sarah provides, “Unshared-anywhere-else-training and knowledge”, and “Time with special guests and experts from every corner of the globe”.
I became a founding member two years ago, and in this time I have formed some great contacts and learned so much from Sarah and the speakers she has brought to the group. So when Sarah invited me to join her and three other glamping business owners to participate in a seminar at The Glamping Show, how could I refuse.
“Top ways to attract more guests and keep them coming back for more”
This was to be the title of the seminar. Surely, I hadn’t been in the industry long enough to impart sound advice on this? But Sarah reassured me she felt I had. Once I had wrapped my head around that, I then needed to get over the fact that I would be speaking to a crowd of 100 plus people all keenly listening to us and taking notes!
It was amazing to finally meet Sarah and the other “Start Up and Grow Club” panellists in the flesh – and what a fantastic panel we made. There was overwhelming interest from an amazing “standing room only” audience and the seminar whizzed by in a flash. So much useful information shared and great questions asked about a key concern for all site owners – amounting to the ultimate mutual goal – Direct Bookings! Don’t lose your hard earned cash to OTA’s and their commission fees!
Sarah treated us all to a delicious afternoon tea at the NAEC’s onsite café Farmers Fayre, where we were all finally able to relax and chew the fat (or should that be very tasty sandwiches!) over our day’s experience.
Very special guest
For me, however, the highlight was hosting Sarah Riley and her family at Meadow Field. As we are only 25 minutes down the road from the Glamping Show venue we were perfectly located for Sarah to use us as a base whilst attending the show. We loved giving her a tour of the farm, sharing its history and introducing her to the gang at Rugby Distillery – our on site gin distillery. Sarah also invited me to participate in a podcast – part of her new complementary sub-series, ‘A day in the life of a glamping business owner’.
So many amazing opportunities in just a few short days. Wow.
Whether you are just starting out, or an established site needing some fresh ideas, then I highly recommend you visit The Glamping Show – your one stop shop for all things glamping.
I also suggest you check out Sarah Riley’s Facebook group The Glamping Business Group and Unique Holiday Rentals. Or if you prefer something a little more private and away from social media then, without hesitation, I recommend investing in Sarah’s “Start Up and Grow Club”. Such a fantastic resource with amazing nuggets of invaluable knowledge shared by Sarah and others in the business of glamping and hospitality. Maybe see you there!
What Sarah had to say about her stay at Meadow Field:
“Such a wonderful time. The tent is full of such thoughtful touches.
From the cosy throws to the fluffy hot water bottles. It is really so much better than a 5 star hotel.
The kids loved the open fire, cabin bed and the iPlayer in the shower.
The swing ball got a good battering too! Thank you Jules and David. See you soon!”
Here is a list of amazing websites, freebies and incredibly useful links for you to check out
I’ve done the hard work for you! 😉
My fellow panellists:
Jane Corner – Campden Yurts
Theresa Hector – Devonia Escapes
Sarah Hayworth – Graig Wen – Wild Snowdonia Escapes
Links for Sarah Riley: