Industry leaders help to transform Cereals 2018

The Cereals event is undergoing an industry-led transformation following the inaugural meeting of a new advisory board comprising 24 of the UK’s leading agricultural organisations.

In a bid to better serve farmers’ needs, the event has taken the brightest and best of ideas from exhibitors and industry representatives, and is putting them in place ready for Cereals 2018. “We are delighted with the input that the new advisory board has given so far – we had a really productive meeting, filled with constructive feedback and excellent ideas,” says event director Jon Day. “Cereals 2018 promises to be filled with more technical content, improved business opportunities and the very latest innovations.”

New features in 2018 will include Innovation Entrances, profiling the most cutting-edge content to farmers as they arrive. Replacing the Arable Conference will be two new open areas: Cereals Conversations, which will cover technical knowledge; and Cereals Controversial, where hot topics are sure to spark lively discussions and heated debates.

In addition, there will be professionally moderated guided tours around the latest products and solutions, culminating in networking sessions, while ‘Here to Help’ ambassadors will help visitors achieve their business goals by matching them with the right exhibitors.

Of course, there will also be the ever-popular Syngenta Sprays and Sprayers arena, the Drone Zone and Soil Pit, albeit in a new layout designed to make it easier for visitors to navigate their way around.

Mark Tucker, marketing and agronomy manager at Yara UK & Ireland, is sitting on the board, and was very pleased with how the first meeting went. “There was a lot of energy going into improving the event, with some good ideas coming from the new owners Comexposium. It was very much a two-way process – they were definitely in listening mode and really wanting exhibitors to help direct the event,” he explains.

“Comexposium has a wealth of global experience in running events, and the thing that exhibitors around the table really emphasised was to get the basics right, so it’s easy to park and get in – they really took that on board,” he adds.

Having the farmer focus group will also yield some good insight into what they want from the event, says Mr Tucker. “There’s so much change happening in the arable industry it’s vital that people come and get ideas, and explore what they need to do to adapt. Survival is about those who adapt, and Cereals 2018 is really trying to focus on new ideas and innovation to help farmers in the years ahead.”

The event team also discussed the communications plan with the board, exploring ways to engage with exhibitors and visitors so they can input their own ideas and suggestions. “We want Cereals to have a truly collaborative approach and to become a genuine industry partner,” says Mr Day. “By working together in this way we can ensure that Cereals remains the leading technical event for the British arable sector.”

The next Advisory board meeting will take place in the new year.