The only traffic to Fieldays this year will be digital. No braving the cold early morning mist at Mystery Creek, instead visitors can attend from the comfort of their own homes, check out the specials from the cowshed, sign a Fieldays deal down the farm or listen to a Fieldays Future Focus Talk at any time. The Southern Hemisphere’s largest agricultural event will be online only this year.
“The New Zealand National Fieldays Society (NZNFS) has made the difficult decision to not host a physical event in 2020 – instead shifting our focus to the physical event in 2021 (16th – 19th June) and making our 2020 event, Fieldays Online, a huge success,” says NZNFS CEO Peter Nation.
“We understand for some exhibitors Fieldays Online won’t work, which is why we’re offering full account credits or alternate refund options for their site fees. So far, we have processed just under half of our existing exhibitors and 68 per cent of them have opted for the site credit or have signed up for Fieldays Online, while only 32 per cent have chosen a refund.”
It takes a year of planning and preparation for each Fieldays event. The physical site build starts two months beforehand and most days there are over 2000 contractors involved. The disruption to business due to COVID-19 has had far reaching impacts on the feasibility of holding the physical Fieldays, including holding a postponed event. It would be detrimental to the 2021 Fieldays to effectively host it twice in the same financial year.
“In this new format Fieldays will now be truly global, providing another level of connectivity beyond borders. We have been blown away by exhibitor responses, with inquiries coming in from across the globe including South Africa, Italy, Sweden, China and Ireland including some Kiwi favourites. Having a digital event opens the door to an international audience of customers, exhibitors, industry players, importers, and exporters.”
Online marketplace Trade Me has come on board to support the digital marketing and sales for Fieldays Online. Digital production company, Satellite, will be overseeing the functionality of the experience with each exhibitor given their own digital site producer to customise their offerings. Fieldays Innovation awards sponsors Amazon Web Services, Callaghan Innovation and James and Wells also continue to back the event.
“We recognise that some of the real-life aspects of the event are beyond a digital experience and we are constantly finding ways in which we can bring the most loved elements of the event online. We’ll be hosting Fieldays Kitchen Theatre demonstrations from well-known Kiwi Chefs and media personalities. We’ll be showcasing this years’ Fieldays Innovations finalists and catching up with past winners’ progress and chatting to the experts in key areas of farm tech and topical issues.”
Fieldays Online will be much more than clicking through webpages to source some mid-year deals or view some videos. A wide variety of exhibitors from dairy, machinery, motor vehicles and general ag and lifestyle have opted to promote their brand, product, and services on the platform. The technology will allow for an immersive journey for visitors and it will run for two weeks instead of the usual four days.