Last summer, we saw a lot of farms start to sell entrance tickets online for the first time due to the pandemic. One of the most inspiring farms selling tickets with Ticket Tailor is Amelia Trust Farm, which is not only a beautiful countryside sanctuary but also a registered charity providing therapeutic support to disadvantaged and vulnerable people in a Care Farm setting.
We talked to Karen Turnbull about the challenges of running a successful farm and charity, and about how ticketing has made operations easier.
Can you let us know a little more about the types of farm tickets you sell?
We mainly sell advance daily visitor tickets. Before the pandemic, these were sold on the door, but by moving to advanced ticketing, we know how many visitors to expect on a day to day basis.
We also sell tickets for any special events we run at the Farm, like our Meet the Animals sessions.
This year, we hope to catch up on lost time during COVID and host a lot more special event days for our community.
The farm does inspirational charity work. Can you tell us what makes it so special?
Amelia Trust is a care farm and charity supporting a wide range of people through the GROW programme, our volunteers, and our animals.
The GROW programme is a unique learning experience for disadvantaged and vulnerable young people at a critical time in their lives. Our aim is to increase motivation and self-worth so that there is a greater willingness to re-engage with education and to get their lives back on the right path. We empower and motivate these hard-to-reach individuals to develop skills to help them succeed.
The Farm is also home to two other charities that support adults with learning difficulties, and veterans of the armed forces.
What can your visitors enjoy on the farm?
Our Farm is open to everyone, and we encourage all of our visitors to enjoy being in the countryside. Little ones love to see our animals and play in the park, and our woodland walks are ideal for families, friends, and couples to explore.
The best thing about visiting Amelia Trust Farm is being in the fresh air! There are so many benefits to spending time outdoors, and most of our visitors love the rural nature of our care Farm. Walking through the woodlands and meeting our animals can have a huge impact on improving your mental health. It's a great place to relax and switch off from the 9-5.
…And of course, meeting the animals is very popular!
Why did you decide to sell advanced online tickets for your farm?
Before the COVID pandemic, we weren't selling any tickets in advance, only at the gate. That meant we had no idea how many visitors to expect at any time.
When COVID hit, we needed to monitor the number of visitors to the farm and made the decision to use Ticket Tailor so that our visitors could pre-book tickets. Ticket Tailor enabled us to create entrance slots with a set number of tickets available so that we could open safely and monitor the number of people at the Farm at any time.
How has selling advanced tickets helped you with your day to day running of the farm?
Advanced ticketing has become an invaluable tool that enables us to plan ahead for big events, and know what to expect on a day to day basis.
The ability to send a customised confirmation email has meant we can send out our seasonal trail maps online, rather than relying on paper, and we can direct visitors to specific event landing pages for big events.
The support from Ticket Tailor has been excellent, and I can always rely on a quick response when I've got a query, or we need to try something new.
Do you have any advice you could share with other farm event organisers as they prepare for a busy summer season?
I would definitely suggest that you plan for all eventualities - that’s the fun of working with animals.
I also try to get everything organised in advance!
Thanks so much for sharing your great insight with us Karen! We hope you’ve inspired other event organisers with your story. If you’d like to see more of the farm, check out their website to book a visit: https://ameliatrust.org.uk/