Did YOU know about the Big Curry in Camberley?

We’re not alone in posting a picture of yesterday’s Big Curry in Park Street.  But what interests us is whether most residents knew that the event was coming to Camberley.  We can’t recall seeing any significant advertisements, albeit that the information was available on the internet for those who looked.

It’s only a couple of weeks or so ago since the International Festival and Carnival.  Several people came up to us on the last day and asked us what was happening;  they’d not heard anything about the previous ten days of performances or the final parade and gathering in the London Road Recreation Ground.

Once upon a time, banners used to be strung across the High Street to tell everyone when a big event was coming up.  Presumably ‘health and safety’ has stopped the practice, but virtually nothing has taken its place.  Yes, there are posters on the stairs in the car park, but that’s hardly the place to stop and read details.  What’s needed is something far more eye-catching and physical, and not near-total reliance on the social media.

You know the illuminated advertisement board outside the theatre.  It’s a rather silly place for such a thing;  relatively few pedestrians walk by, and car drivers ought to be concentrating on the roundabout and junction ahead, not on advertisements. Why not install something similar in the town centre instead, and use it to advertise ALL events rather than just those in the theatre?  The council is proposing to revamp Princess Way;  an unmissable electronic advertising hoarding could be installed there.  It must be a good idea to tell the community what’s happening in the neighbourhood.


9 thoughts on “Did YOU know about the Big Curry in Camberley?

    • To be fair, if this IS the case, I think it’s understandable. Banners across the High Street would have to be attached to buildings that the borough council doesn’t own. But in this day and age, each attachment point would have to be tested. Who does the testing? Who’s liable if an attachment fails? It all gets a bit messy, so I can understand why it’s easier to walk away from the whole idea.

  1. As almost always, your photo and posting was the first I knew of the curry event. I don’t recall seeing anything in the local paper and even though I think I’m on every available mailing list, nothing! I only walk into town on an ‘as needed’ basis and never drive there, so social and online media are essential to tell me what’s going on. Most things still evidently pass me by!

    • I’ve written to the borough council. Thought the Big Curry isn’t a council event, the close link that SHBC has with ‘the military’ should have meant that the council advertised the occasion widely. (Which means more than putting it on the social media – though I don’t think the council did even that.)

  2. We read the local paper every week and follow some local social networking sites but your post is the first we heard of the Big Curry. This isn’t new and it is a travesty to host or organise events which are good for the town, and then not adequately publicise them.

    • The Big Curry is a charity, of course, rather than a council event. But as the council emphasises its closeness to ‘the military’, it’s not expecting too much for the council to have helped out by advertising the occasion. However, in my view the council doesn’t do a good job of advertising its own events. As I wrote on the blog, I’ve spoken to quite a few people who hadn’t heard about the International Festival and didn’t know that there was going to be a parade through the town. The borough council is totally to blame for that.

  3. Again, so many of these events only come to attention afterwards. I’d have loved to attend this, and the carnival and I heard nothing about ten days of anything! In a busy world I don’t have time to go researching for activities that might be going on! Surely when these things are planned someone must be responsible for communication and marketing? I work in Marlow and we have banners across the two main streets most of the year advertising town events – if Marlow (pop 14k) can do it why can’t Camberley which is three times bigger (pop 38k)!

    • As you say, banners across the street – you can still see the remains of the wire cables and fittings that used to support banners across Camberley’s High Street – or something similarly eye-catching, are needed.
      I did message the borough council, expressing my disappointment. I’ve received a sympathetic reply:
      “We advertise non-council events where possible, especially where it is run by a partner organisation. This is usually shared via social media channels but given enough notice we also provide space in rotundas or poster sites in town – but due to our financial constraints any printed materials would be at the event organiser’s expense. For example we are promoting upcoming events in rotundas on behalf of partners at the moment – including Big Day Out on 15 July and Late Night Shopping which starts this week.
      “We do provide a service for organisations/individuals to add details of events to the calendar on our website for free – these are then included in our e-newsletters and promoted via our website.
      “For Council-run events and CIF/Carnival, in particular, we used local press – it was promoted beforehand by Camberley News & Mail – social media, posters in car parks, our borough boards, the SHBC website, large banners in parks, Heathscene magazine, and SHBC staff email signatures. Our partners also included details in emails within their business and to their contacts. CIF programmes were also hand delivered to many residents in the borough via our staff, and were available throughout the town centre and borough as a whole in the weeks running up to the event.
      “However we appreciate there are always ways to improve, and it is a constant challenge for us to use our limited budgets to best effect. Thanks.”

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