RNAA | www.rnaa.org.uk
Mark Nicholas is back at The Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, which runs the Royal Norfolk Show
Welcome back, Mark – what made you return to the RNAA?
I hugely enjoyed my previous stint as Show Director and the opportunity to come back and play a greater role in leading the RNAA was not to be missed. The RNAA is a key part of the fabric of Norfolk.
What can you tell us about your role?
I take the helm of the RNAA and oversee its day to day running, as well as develop plans for the future. On the back of the pandemic I am very keen that we engage new audiences, further our membership proposition and look at how we can increase the utility of Norfolk Showground as the ‘go to’ venue.
How does it differ from your previous role within the charity?
More responsibility and a greater focus on the future and vision of the Association. I thrive on responsibility.
What can we expect from the RNS this year?
The first thing you can expect is a new membership proposition which will provide compelling reasons to join the Association. We need an army of supporters and no one else is better placed to promote food, farming and countryside in Norfolk. As restrictions ease, expect to see new RNAA events taking place at Norfolk Showground, which will be of great interest to foodies.
Any event you are particularly looking forward to – real or virtual?!
What I look forward to is engaging widely with all manner of people. We have a great story to tell, a unique place in the county and I relish any opportunity to talk about What can we do? How can we help? Can we work together?
How has the pandemic affected what you and the organisation do – apart from the obvious!
The pandemic has caused a cessation of all event activity and of course the cancellation of the Royal Norfolk Show. Like most organisations we have had to adapt to the circumstances. The development of virtual and online activity has been particularly welcome this year and will endure. The pause in activity is also giving us a great opportunity to think about how we evolve.
Are you already thinking about the ‘real’ RNS 2022?
Certainly, planning is underway and we have time to evaluate the Show and work out what the future Show should look like. It may be a little different in 2022 although I expect that support will be very strong for Norfolk’s flagship event.
Does the RNAA still have the same aims – to promote a better understanding of food, farming and the countryside?
Never has there been a more relevant time to turn up the volume to promote a better understanding of food, farming and countryside.
How do you like to relax away from work – we hear you are a bit of a foodie?
Anything outdoors, reading, my family, and dog Wellington. We love Wiveton Hall Café, it’s delightfully rustic in a stunning location.