Anyone who visited the Olympics will remember the Games Makers and at Airbourne this year, for the first time, Eastbourne’s equivalent will greet the thousands of show goers.
Especially selected for their outgoing personalities and friendly nature, each is on hand to make sure visitors feel welcome and relaxed.
“For this weekend our greeters will embody the character and friendliness of our town,’ said Adam McNaught-Davis of the Eastbourne Town Team.
“We are a tourist destination, a special place to visit and a town with so much warmth and spirit. People might not get that just by looking around, but our greeters will help to create a lasting first impression.”
But the 20 or so brightly-dressed local students and actors have an even more important role to play as well: to point visitors around parts of town they won’t have seen before.
“The Town Team, the Chamber of Commerce and Eastbourne Can got together and said, ‘how do we make more out of Airbourne for our community and our High Street?’,” said Will Callaghan of Eastbourne Can.
“Firstly we need to make sure people know we really appreciate them taking the time to visit our town. Then we absolutely need to make sure they see a bit more of it, if possible. Not just Terminus Road and the seafront.”
The aim is to introduce the hoards to shops and services on roads off the main drag.
“To keep people on track we’re putting down pavement signage too,” said Will.
Arrows will guide people through Little Chelsea and up to Memorial Roundabout before heading to the seafront.
Another route will follow the main drag, past the Street Market, which will operate on Friday and Saturday of the event.
“Either on the way to the seafront or on the way back we are determined to persuade some people to take a different route,” said Will.
“It will be less busy and so probably quicker.”
Greeters will also hand out a new free guide and map to independent Eastbourne produced by the Town Team.
“If we can’t make people stay, look around and spend money in our shops on this visit, we will give them every reason to come back,” said Adam.
Christina Ewbank, CEO of Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce, said, “I’m absolutely delighted we’ve managed to extend our popular Wednesday market to this Friday and Saturday as well.
“It means that the many thousands of Airbourne visitors have another new attraction this year enabling them to spend their money in our town.”
MP Stephen Lloyd said, “This coordinated, multi faceted effort by so many local business people to ensure traders really benefit from this year’s Airbourne is absolutely stupendous.”