National Fieldays is the Southern Hemisphere’s largest agricultural showcase and an essential annual event for New Zealand farmers.
With 131,000 visitors descending on Mystery Creek it’s a golden opportunity for companies to present their products and services. More than 1000 businesses spend up to six weeks building their stands. In such a crowded space Ballance needed to be prominently positioned in a highly visible way. But it was never going to be about selling.
Ballance’s proposition is about adding value and working alongside farmers to improve sustainable productivity rather than shifting loads of product. Insights from previous years re-enforced the need to connect Ballance with their audience on an authentic level with informal face-to-face interactions.
We started the conversation before the event with personalised invites and digital promotion and continued throughout the event with Facebook Live. We also asked farmers what they liked most about living on a New Zealand farm, sharing the results for visitors to enjoy.
Hospitality was a key focus this year. We designed the site to be very open and accessible with a welcome and relaxed atmosphere without any pressure to purchase. The use of dark stained timber to added warmth and created a natural backdrop for the imagery, interactive displays and demonstrations. A generous mix of upholstered benches and tables and stools enabled plenty of casual chats between farmers and Ballance staff over their legendary pies and coffee. We used a stage to host expert presentations and some chilled out live music.
It was fantastic to be acknowledged with a site design award when Ballance won the Best Agribusiness Outdoor Site Award. Judges were impressed by the innovation, education, technology and sustainability. But, more importantly, farmers reported it was Ballance’s best year yet.