Cereals event looking to revitalise

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The Cereals Event team is calling on the arable industry to help shape next year’s event.

Having worked to forge stronger links with farmers, agronomists and exhibitors in recent years, the newly expanded team invited exhibitors and board members to a hog roast in Hertfordshire last week, where they welcomed feedback and fresh ideas.

“In 20 years of managing events, Cereals has been the most challenging but most rewarding event I have ever been involved with,” said event director Alli McEntyre.

Feedback from this year’s event was extremely positive – despite the appalling weather – with visitors awarding the overall event a score of 87% and 60% of exhibitors having already booked their stands for next year, said Mrs McEntyre.

The new features in the pipeline are a young farmers’ programme with a focus on sustainable farming, more space, and a dedicated feature area for robotics and new technologies. There will also be a Grain Exchange for updates from grain marketing companies, an improved event layout and more crop plots featuring leading and award-winning varieties.

“But we want to put all of our heads together to evolve the show and make it the best it can be,” she added.

As a start, Comexposium, which now owns the event with Prysm and runs the SIMA event in Paris, has increased the dedicated Cereals team to 10 staff members.

“At the 2019 event we increased the content available via programming and demonstrations by over 70%, more than doubled our advertising and grew exhibitor numbers,” said Mrs McEntyre.

“But we want to do more, so we’re asking visitors what they want to see at Cereals and are working with a wide range of industry partners to deliver the technical content required. We are planning a series of meetings with farmers and exhibitors, and will be surveying the industry on different topics to make sure our strategy matches visitors’ needs.”

Next year’s event will return to Chrishall Grange, Duxford, Cambridgeshire, making it farmer Robert Law’s fifth time of hosting. “I went to my first Cereals in 1982 and it’s changed considerably over the years,” he said. “Although visitor numbers have reduced – in line with overall farmer numbers and industry mergers – exhibitors say that it’s the decision-makers who attend now, who are there to do business.

 

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