Newcastle Regional Show is ushering in a new era under its first female and youngest-ever president ahead of the three-day show this weekend.
Showgirl turned president, Lauren Haskins, is a leading a modernisation of the show in an effort to reignite its appeal to younger families.
Mrs Haskins became president in mid-2017 and has overseen the show’s plans to increase patronage and broaden appeal among the Hunter community.
“I’ve got a young family myself and I really wanted to bring back and highlight the relevance of the show to young families, and also to the general Newcastle community,” she said.
“Part of that is modernising our processes and thinking about how we can bring Newcastle show into the relevance of the local community a little bit more.”
Major developments behind the scenes have included changes to implement online ticketing for the first year ever, as well as updating technology systems. Up until now, competition schedules and various show procedures had been “either hand written or very basic computerised work,” said Mrs Haskins.
“We’re really wanting to make it easier for people to access the show, so that’s where the online ticketing has come in and we’re wanting to grow that aspect of the show in years to come.”
Online ticketing will allow for the show to garner better information regarding the demographic of attendees and therefore style and build the program to suit. It will also help avoid long ques and a log-jam of people trying to get in during peak periods.
Mrs Haskins has held various roles with the show, along with regional, state and national show involvements.
We are listening to what our consumers are saying and trying to adapt to the times.Show president Lauren Haskins
A Newcastle Showgirl winner in 2005, she stepped into the showgirl coordinator role shortly after and was vice-president for two years prior to being made president. Just last weekend she the announcer at the regional showgirl finals in Singleton.
A full-time speech pathologist, she says her roles have helped her development.
“I’ve got my own business that I started in 2016 and it’s nice to have that balance of different roles,” she said. “Certainly my experience on the board of the show has helped me career-wise to broaden those networks to get business support.”