Extracted from the Farm Tender weekly Newsletter - Sign up and get the email every Wednesday morning before 6 am. www.farmtender.com.au
About 5 years ago, as a business (Farm Tender), we attended no less than 25 field day type events to promote ourselves. In 2019 I think we attended 1 event, that was a business decision we made internally.
It's now 2021, and those decisions have been made for us. Those events we are talking about have mostly been cancelled or postponed due to Covid. Some were dying anyway, but many were still going strong and provided so much for local communities.
Just last week, the Australian Wool and Sheep Show in Bendigo was cancelled on the eve of the event, Sheepvention has been cancelled, AgQuip has been postponed to November, the list goes on.
These events provided an information flow for Farmers and the service providers associated with Farming, but probably more importantly, they were also a social event where people caught up.
I spoke to one Sheep Stud Breeder who used to go to at least 10 events in 3 (Eastern) states who wonders where he found the time to go.
So how does he market his stud now? Due to his good management, he has developed quite a social media presence and uses that. But many of his contemporaries don't have the skills to promote their operations this way. They rely on the old way of displaying and talking to the customer or potential client.
As humans, we are great at adapting to situations. Covid will go down in history as the turning point for this and the pivoting of that. Everyone seems to find a way.
Gee, I remember so many times packing up the ute with the 3 x 3 branded tent, the whiteboard, the table, chairs, computer screen and darting around the countryside staying at pubs, motels, peoples houses, caravan parks in the swag. They were fun times, and those events served us very well from a growth and promotional aspect. Many of our 53,000 members came from these events, many of the relationships we have today were created or enhanced at events like Henty, Elmore, Dowerin, Broken Hill, Paskerville, etc.
How do we market now? Through Google, word of mouth, return customers, this newsletter, a little bit of social media and servicing our existing members via phone, email and SMS.
It's all very different though, nowhere near as personal as face to face. But as I said earlier, we have to adapt, and we were heading this way anyway.
Personally, I like to attend a range of industry conferences to try and keep up with things. Many of these events were Ag-specific, and many weren't. These events are also gone. Some will come back, but it will be much lighter. I have found new ways to gather information, podcasts, Ag has a bit presence now, social media obviously, webinars, talking on the phone and reading. All of these are done from my computer or phone at home.
I like it. I have greater use of my time and feel I can get a lot more done. But I admit I do miss the interactions with the people, the catching up with staff, the banter, and the beers at the Walbundrie Pub.
What can we expect next?