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Friday, May 2, 2014

Fair Days in a Modern Age

May 1st is a big day in our world. It is truly the beginning of fair season. 4-H animal exhibitors have forms to turn in, the Superintendents disclose assigned Judges, camping registration begins for fair week, and entry forms are available. On the public side of things,  applications are accepted for fair week employment, and advanced sale ride vouchers are available online. We are on the underside of 90 days before the start of the 128th Fowlerville Family Fair.

With the change of times come the expansion of technology. Advancement in the fair world technologies has increase tremendously in the last few years. It is now common for county and state fairs alike to operate through the web. Websites are a norm, social media is the number one advertising tool, and blogging keeps you well informed. Many of us accept credit cards as payment, and using online sales for several items.

Fair office

 New to Fowlerville Family Fair in 2014 is the availability to enter both Open Class and 4-H through an online system. This system will allow the exhibitor to type in the exact class they wish to enter. On the fair side the entries automatically merge into our system and allows the fair to save money and time by not having to type every entry individually. With this gives the opportunity for an office employee to be redirected and assist in other important aspects of the preparations before fair.

Open Class Entries

Being on a smaller scale with limited budgets, the Fowlerville Family Fair moves slower than most when it comes to technological advances because of the costs in keeping up with the times. It is the hopes of the Board of Directors to add electronic payment systems to the gates within the next few years. We also are working toward an electronic judging system and digital entry books in the near future. This will allow for employees not be bogged down with tedious and designated work loads. We feel the future of the fair can then expand and truly become a competitive venue for a family destination.

For now please bear with us as we attempt to move into a new age of the fair world. Some of us have been around long enough to have had a pencil and paper to keep tract of accounting and record keeping with handwritten checks. This is all new to us, and learning as we ago along.

Max Bessert approx. 1990