The Bloem Show continues to benchmark itself against the economic climate of the Free State and South Africa. With plans afoot for the 2020 edition of the show, Elmarie Prinsloo, chief executive officer of Bloem Show, highlighted that the ever-rising fuel price remains the major aspect influencing decision-making for most exhibitors who want to participate.“The current economic status and the fuel increases are definitely influencing business in general. We experienced it the most with exhibitors this year. Businesses do not have money and are cutting down on marketing,” Prinsloo said.The fuel price increased twice in 2019, both ahead of the start of Bloem Show and during its course. Despite the challenge of a stagnant economy coupled with the ever-rising fuel price, Prinsloo said several businesses have indicated that they will reconsider participation in next year’s edition of Bloem Show. “Businesses are very sensitive towards price increases and costs. Although we predicted a sharp decrease in attendance in 2019, the average attendance per day increased by 5,7%. “For Bloem Show 2020, an unbelievable number of 11 national agricultural championships have already been confirmed. “With over 100 000 visitors, Bloem Show is one of the two largest shows in the country which still successfully combines commercial activities and agriculture.”According to Prinsloo, diversification of businesses allows Bloem Show to thrive under the hard-pressed economy. “This should be the case in any business. The diversity in entertainment, media focus, educational value and exhibitors all contribute to the sustainability of Bloem Show. “Because it is a tourist attraction for Mangaung and the Free State, the show boosts the economy of the region.”According to Prinsloo, consumers’ avidity to support the show was not dampened by the sharp increase in fuel this year. “In spite of the current economic climate, the attendance average for 2019 was the highest when compared to the past four years. Altogether 100 520 visitors attended the show, with a record number of people – 16 820 – who attended the show on its weekday half-price special.on 2 May, the half- price day, with unlimited fun fair special. “Following a very successful Bloem Show 2019, we are looking forward to once again entertaining visitors with a great variety of exhibitors, artists and agricultural activities,” said Prinsloo. The theme for next year’s Bloem Show is “Welcome to the Jungle”.It will take place in Bloemfontein from 24 April to 2 May.