Across the world the event sphere has had to move quickly to adjust its sails in the wake of COVID-19. With festivals and large-scale gatherings put on hold or cancelled entirely, event companies have had to seek out new opportunities for their stakeholders. Fieldays, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest agricultural event, is no different and was one of the first large-scale events to go completely online; a historic first for the globally and nationally recognised event, which is in its 52nd year.
Across the Tasman, Norco PRIMEX, one of Australia’s leading Primary Industry events, also made the jump to digital with their first ever virtual field days expo, which launched on May 11th. Their Online Business Hub allows visitors access to an array of product and service providers with a click of button. The platform offers instant connectivity between exhibitors and visitors despite the present restrictions due to Covid-19. Bruce Wright, Managing Director of PRIMEX knew that they had to find alternative opportunities in light of the current conditions, while also increasing their customer base beyond the confinements of a physical event.
CEO of the New Zealand National Fieldays Society, Peter Nation, recognises the trans-Tasman connection with Norco PRIMEX.
“We’re effectively in the same boat as our Australian counterparts. To see them moving in the same direction in order to pivot their resources and maximise their offerings affirms our decision to take Fieldays online. We know it is incomparable to the real-life event, but our ability to harness technology and respond in an innovative way despite the uncertainty has opened up a world of opportunity for all our stakeholders.”
Fieldays is attended by approximately 130,000 people every year and generates approximately $180M for the local economy, while on a national level it provides over $500M.
“We understand the economic ramifications would be extensive if Fieldays was cancelled entirely. The crisis has shown that the rural sector remains the backbone of the national economy, we want to continue to be a platform for that while supporting all our stakeholders. We’ll still be delivering a world class event on the world stage – albeit a digital version.”