Being one of Europe’s leading arable events, Cereals normally provides a unique platform to gather industry leaders, opinion formers, politicians, high-profile researchers and international visitors in one outdoor location. However, the challenges around this year’s COVID-19 pandemic, meant that event organisers had to either cancel entirely, or get creative.
Thankfully, the organisers took the creative route and quickly turned around the events first ‘virtual’ exhibition – Cereals LIVE 2020.
The two-day extravaganza provided a platform that allowed over 360 leading suppliers to exhibit their very latest products, advice and information. Attracting over 10,000 visitors from all over the world, Cereals LIVE 2020 featured a comprehensive seminar programme packed with top speakers, video demonstrations of machinery and new kit, crop plot tours as well as interactive chats with exhibitors. More than 9,000 live viewers signed up to view demonstrations and webinars, with the top session drawing over 800 attendees.
One of the most viewed live sessions from the event saw NFU president Minette Batters and Defra minister Victoria Prentis go head-to-head on the topic of food security and imports, after the NFU’s recent petition on maintaining high food standards received nearly 900,000 signatories in just two weeks. Ms Batters said, “We’ve seen 72,000 emails going from members of the public to MPs – it just shows how strongly people feel; we’ve got to get this right.”
During the discussion Mrs Prentis insisted that the Government was committed to high standards in agriculture and food safety. She said, “In all of our trade negotiations we will not compromise on high environmental protection, animal welfare protection or food standards.”
In addition to exclusive webinars and on-demand content, the event offered a valuable opportunity for visitors to collect BASIS and NRoSO points, as well as a plethora of technical advice from exhibitors and through the NIAB virtual event hub.
Closing the event on each day was a virtual beer tent, where visitors could catch up with friends, request live music from the resident DJ and pledge money to charity.
Although nothing can quite replace an event out in the open, seeing friends, experiencing live demos of machinery and sharing the latest technology on offer, hosting a virtual event enabled the agricultural industry to gather in one place from the comfort and safety of their own home, while still enjoying a wide range of content.
Did you manage to visit our virtual stand during the event to catch up with our Gatekeeper experts?
If not, here is another chance to watch Farmplan’s Ben Hatton and Adam Joslin share an update on recent Gatekeeper developments, including the new RPA digital boundary integration, and how to achieve better nutrient management through smart data usage. Click below to view.