Scion and Zespri were among the winners as Fieldays exhibitors were recognised for their effort and ingenuity in the Fieldays 2019 Exhibitor Site Awards.

The first round of judging took place on Wednesday last week, with 16 volunteer judges.

Judges assessed their assigned sector based on the overall attractiveness of the site, experience-enhancing interactive elements, recognisable branding and signage, and a clear focus on customer service.

At the end of the round, they designated several finalists for each precinct.

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Best Rural Area was won by NZ Tiny Homes. Photo / Stephen Barker
Best Rural Area was won by NZ Tiny Homes. Photo / Stephen Barker

Two senior managers from principal partner, Xero then had the daunting task of judging the finalists on Thursday.

As well as sponsoring the awards, the Xero judges were required to assess the sites' use of innovation, education, technology, sustainability and, of course, the Fieldays theme.

Supreme site and Best Agribusiness Indoor Site - Crown Research Institutes. Photo / Stephen Barker
Supreme site and Best Agribusiness Indoor Site - Crown Research Institutes. Photo / Stephen Barker

The Fieldays 2019 Supreme Site award, and Best Agribusiness Indoor Site award, were won by four different organisations operating under Crown Research Institutes.

A unique winner for this year's category, the impressive site was shared by the AgResearch team, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, Scion, and ESR.

David Natzke, Key Accounts and Sales Manager and coordinator of the Site Awards stated that, "Where this site really excelled was the way in which they perfectly integrated with this year's overarching theme of Cultivating Value."

The judges were able to see a direct connection to the theme with the site's clean, bright, and interactive design which attracted visitors of all ages to learn a little more about the research the institutes conduct.

This year, the Agribusiness Outdoor Site Award was separated into three categories based on the size of the exhibitor sites.

Lely Dairy New Zealand Ltd were the recipients of the Best Agribusiness Outdoor Site award (small). The on-brand, bright red site design secured them the win.

The Best Agribusiness Outdoor Site Award (medium) was awarded to Waikato Milking Systems, recognised for its tidy site.

Meanwhile, the Best Agribusiness Outdoor Site Award (large) was won by Ballance Agri-Nutrients, whose site felt more like a playground for farmers.

Motor Vehicle Precinct award winners, Volkswagen New Zealand. Photo / Stephen Barker
Motor Vehicle Precinct award winners, Volkswagen New Zealand. Photo / Stephen Barker

Gough CAT and John Deere Ltd were awarded the Best Heavy Equipment Precinct Site award and Best Tractor and Machinery Site award, respectively.

While over in the Motor Vehicle Precinct, the judges undoubtedly struggled to select the winning site, with the likes of Hyundai, Isuzu Utes New Zealand and Toyota all vying for the coveted award.

However, it was fan-favourite Volkswagen New Zealand that stole the show with its twinkling lights, vintage Beetle display, and stunning architectural design.

The deserving winner of the Best Rural Area Site award was NZ Tiny Homes, with their site drawing visitors in to drool over their tiny-yet-innovative designs.

Finally, the cheers of The Local team were heard site-wide when they discovered they were the recipient of the Best Food Vendor Site for the second year running.

The Contribution to Sustainability award was presented to Zespri International Ltd. Photo / Stephen Barker
The Contribution to Sustainability award was presented to Zespri International Ltd. Photo / Stephen Barker

The newest category introduced this year was the Contribution to Sustainability award.

Instep representatives covertly judged which site made the greatest effort to not only practice sustainability in the creation of their site, but to also involve visitors in their vision.

The Contribution to Sustainability award was presented to Zespri International Ltd, whose site featured the popular 'blender bikes' which involved visitors in creating their own smoothie masterpieces through the power of simple pedalling.

The Zespri International Ltd team were "absolutely stoked to be the inaugural winners" of the new award and hope to see other exhibitors jumping on board in the coming years.