The online version of Cereals LIVE, the digital exhibition held in lieu of the annual arable event, has been a resounding success, attracting over 10,000 visitors from all over the world.
Over the course of two days, 10,812 attendees from 78 countries participated in a the two day online event (10-11 June) which featured a comprehensive seminar programme packed with top speakers, video demonstrations of machinery and new kit, crop plot tours and interactive chat with exhibitors.
During the show, NFU president Minette Batters and Defra minister Victoria Prentis went head-to-head on the topic of food security and imports, with the NFU’s recent petition on maintaining high food standards having 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.”
Other seminar topics included adapting to and mitigating climate change, precision farming technology, routes into farming, and the arable market outlook. In total there were 18 live webinars which averaged an audience of 487 each, plus two webinars available on demand.
Closing the event on each day was a virtual beer tent, where visitors could relax with friends, request live music from the resident DJ and pledge money to the charity partner RABI.
Event director Alli McEntyre said the reaction to the event from the farming industry has been overwhelming: “Everyone has been really keen to get involved – and the response to the live webinars far exceeded our expectation. We had more than 9,000 live viewers, with the top session drawing over 800 attendees and every session producing some excellent questions from the audience.
“Nothing can quite replace seeing friends, machinery and crops in person, but going online has enabled us to deliver a wide range of content and to reach a totally new audience. I’d like to thank all of our exhibitors, sponsors, speakers and visitors for contributing to such a successful event, and look forward to meeting you face-to-face next year.”