Fieldays has been named as a finalist for the 2021 NZ Events Association (NZEA) New Zealand Event Awards for its virtual event launched amid the uncertainty of the pandemic – Fieldays Online.
Fieldays Online is shortlisted in the Best Covid-19 Response for an Event 2021 category, among other top players in the New Zealand events industry. This award recognises an exceptional response to challenges posed by the pandemic.
There was a record number of entries this year, with the Best Covid-19 Response category being the most popular, gathering a quarter of the total 108 entries.
NZEA general manager Segolene de Fontenay says the awards showcase industry best practice, inspire and motivate others, and encourage continual development of the events industry.
"We do this by judging events on the 'how' as well as the 'what', and we love hearing the inspiring stories of resilience from our sector," Segolene explains.
Fieldays Online was created in 108 days when the physical 2020 event to be held at Mystery Creek couldn't go ahead due to Covid-19 restrictions.
It attracted 90,455 total digital visitors, with attendees from over 75 countries, while nearly 300 exhibitors hosted digital sites.
The virtual event was created in partnership with Satellite Media, a digital innovation agency based in Auckland.
Well-known Kiwi brand Trade Me also supported the event, connecting various Fieldays exhibitors with e-commerce capabilities.
Fieldays Online, now a virtual extension of the physical event, allows visitors to attend the event from the comfort of their homes.
Fieldays exhibitors are onboarded to an online platform, allowing then to promote their products and services, offer deals, and generate content.
Fieldays TV, now available on demand year round at fieldaysonline.co.nz, hosts a range of engaging and educational content from the primary sector.
Tune in to topical panel discussions, cooking demonstrations, guest speakers, and heart-warming stories from our rural communities.
New Zealand National Fieldays Society chief executive Peter Nation says he is delighted the team's hard work is being recognised at this level.
"Launching Fieldays Online was no small feat – the team created the platform out of necessity under trying circumstances, and it is now a vital component of our digital roadmap moving forward," he said.
"Fieldays Online was a world first for an agricultural event of its kind at the time.
"The 2020 event was an effective way for us to connect with the primary sector and our rural communities around the world, and keep our brand alive during the pandemic.
"We are very proud to be shortlisted among other heavy hitters in the industry, who can be proud of their resilience, innovation, and quick thinking that brought their events to fruition, and maintained the strength of the industry."
The news comes after the launch of the first Fieldays hybrid event in June.
Fieldays 2021 combined the best of the physical event, the second biggest in Fieldays history, and the virtual event placing New Zealand agriculture on the world stage.
This year's Fieldays Online event was successful in reaching rural communities across borders with high visitation from countries such as Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and South Korea.
Further metrics for this year's virtual event are still being analysed.