“We are continuing to press the reset button for change,” explains event director Jon Day. “We received some very good feedback from the farmers’ perspective on changes that we can make to the 2018 event and continue to develop in the future.”
Lincolnshire farmer Andrew Ward reckons the new collaborative approach is a really positive move. “The event is for the benefit of the industry, and as farmers are such a huge part of that, it is only right that they have a say in its direction and content.”
The initial meeting highlighted some particular focus areas such as increasing the innovation and technical side of the event, as well as simplifying the registration process, and improving the on-site navigation and connectivity. “It is really positive to see the new Comexposium team fully behind the changes we want to see,” explains Cambridgeshire farmer, David Knott. “There are plenty of good ideas and it will all bring change for the better – I really felt like we were being listened to more than ever before.”
While some of the farmer feedback was similar to the Exhibitor Advisory Board’s input, there were some interesting additional themes, says Mr Day. “It’s clear from the Board feedback that we are in the midst of a technological revolution in agriculture, and visitors really want to see the latest cutting-edge technology from a mixture of established businesses and start-ups,” he explains.
“Automation and robotic technology is likely to play an important role in the future, so we’re delighted that Cereals 2018 will feature the only live demonstration of Harper Adams’ Hands Free Hectare equipment in the country. The Board were genuinely excited by and interested in that.”
Students represent the future of the industry, and the team will be working closely with agricultural colleges and young farmers clubs to encourage more of the next generation to visit.
With 2018 marking a turning point for the Cereals event, the changes the Comexposium team are making will play a crucial role in keeping it as the top arable event, adds Mr Ward. “There’s no doubt that it can be a great event.”
The new and updated Cereals will return to Duxford, Cambridgeshire, on 13-14 June 2018. “We are very excited about this new phase for the event,” explains Mr Day. “Innovation, insight and information will be the three pillars on which the new and improved Cereals Event will be built, and we are confident that, working together with the industry, it will really deliver for exhibitors and visitors alike.”
Both Advisory Boards will meet again in February 2018.