The most striking change is the new format for the Arena in the centre of the exhibition. For the first time in the history of the event, the ring will take on one theme that will appeal to a wide range of event organisers. In the past the Arena has hosted a range of entertainment aimed predominantly at the traditional show and gala market, but organiser Stephen Lance believes that even that marketplace, like the Showman’s Show, is evolving dramatically. "Country Shows have been widening the entertainment offered for some time, but this year’s foot and mouth crisis has focused organisers on being able to offer their visitors with a wider range of attractions," said Lance. "Similarly, other public, sporting and corporate events are including diverse forms of entertainment in their programmes.
"Members of the National Association of Re-Enactment Societies will be setting up camp in the ring and entertaining visitors throughout the exhibition with mock battles and displays of pageantry. Other changes include alterations to the layout of the exhibition on Newbury Showground. The Showman’s Show Dinner, a social highlight of the event, will be held in a marquee on the Showground on Wednesday 17 October.