Thanks to Channel 7 who did a story on Celebrating AgShows 2024. You can view it here


1. Creating Member Value

2. Leveraging Agritourism to Grow your Show

3. Keeping Calm in a Crisis

4. Event Success

5. Enhancing Livestock Traceability in Agricultural Shows

6. 16 Ways to Market your Show for Free


1. Creating Member Value: AgShows NSW

Brooke Beales, CEO


Working in member-based industry bodies throughout my career has taught me one fundamental truth: for an organisation to thrive, it must be member-centric. This means that we must prioritise member engagement, ensure clear communication, and align our efforts with the needs and priorities of our members.

Think of your organisation as a tree, with its roots representing the extensive planning, preparation, and dedication required to support your activities. Over time, these roots become more complex, involving risk management, social compliance, sustainability efforts, security, and data systems. Managing these aspects requires significant effort, and as volunteers become harder to find and legacy knowledge retires, the role of an industry body becomes crucial in nurturing these roots to strengthen and grow the organisation.

Our goal is to leverage the collective knowledge within our industry to reduce duplication, create economies of scale, and free up valuable time for you to focus on what matters most – creating outstanding events for your communities.

How are we working to provide value to our members?

  1. Strategic planning: We are finalising a strategic plan that our Directors have been developing. This plan sets a clear roadmap to ensure its effective delivery, streamlining operations, creating efficiencies, and allowing our team to undertake more projects that deliver value to you.

  2. Enhanced member engagement: Improving member engagement and communication is a top priority. We aim to keep you informed, foster open dialogue, and ensure your voices are heard.

  3. Resource expansion: We are committed to expanding our library of expertise, providing you with the tools and resources needed to run successful events.

  4. Advocacy and partnerships: We will continue to advocate on your behalf and build strong relationships with partners to support your needs.

However, we cannot achieve this alone. The strength of AgShows NSW lies in our collaboration.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Reflect on current value: Take a moment to write down the top three things you currently value about AgShows NSW. Whether it's the helpful team, the newsletter, or the date book, your feedback is invaluable.

  • Identify future needs: Consider the top three benefits we could provide to add more value in the short term. Do you need specific resources or advocacy on particular issues?

At your next meeting consider creating a “showbag for success” where you can gather suggestions to give feedback to us so we can use them to guide our strategy, and ensure we deliver the value you seek.

A note on surveys:

When you see a survey from AgShows NSW, please take the time to respond and share it with your volunteers. Your input is essential for making our organisation more member-centric. And remember, we are always here to listen. Feel free to call or visit anytime – we are on a continuous listening tour to serve you better.

By working together and maintaining open communication, we can ensure that AgShows NSW remains a valuable, responsive, and supportive organisation for all its members.

2. Event Success: Harnessing Customer Insights and Benefits of Online Platforms
Panel incuding Terry Wilcher, 123Tix; Amy Piper, Showdayonline; Lee Michelle, Eventicity; Kent Palmer, Camden Show

Hosting a successful show isn't just about having the best livestock, produce, and entertainment - it's about understanding and connecting with your customers.

In today's modern world, harnessing customer insights has become a game-changer for re-designing ordinary events into unforgettable experiences. By tapping into the wealth of information available from your attendees, you can tailor your show to meet their needs, exceed their expectations, and keep them coming back year after year.

Collecting customer insights

One of the most effective ways to gather customer insights is through ticket sales data. Platforms like 123Tix provide valuable demographic information about your attendees. Analysing this data can help you understand who is attending your show, their age range, and other key demographic details. This information is crucial for tweaking your marketing strategies and show offerings to better suit your audience.

Another useful platform is Showday Online, which enables exhibitors to submit their entries online, reducing congestion on the showground in the days prior and offering you valuable information about who and what people are entering.

Exit surveys are another powerful tool for collecting customer feedback. When designing your survey, it’s important to remember to keep it concise, with a maximum of five questions to ensure you receive a high rate of response. Here are some examples of essential questions to include:

  • How did you hear about the show?

  • How would you rate your experience?

  • Are you looking forward to returning to the show?

  • Which attraction or activity did you enjoy the most?

  • Any suggestions for improvement?

These questions will provide you with direct feedback on your show’s performance and areas for improvement.

How to use those insights to grow your show

Once you’ve collected your customer insights data, an efficient way to process them is through AI programs like Claude 3. This AI program allows you to upload documents, such as spreadsheets, and analyse the data efficiently.

These insights will provide you with key pieces of feedback, identify your top customer demographic and how they interact online, and determine the best times to post and the most effective marketing strategies. Leveraging these insights into your marketing strategy becomes straightforward, as you can target advertising towards the specific audiences that the AI identifies.

For instance, with the use of platforms like Meta Business Suite, you can schedule posts at times when your audience is most active, ensuring maximum engagement. You can also tailor your content to specific age ranges or interests, making your marketing efforts more efficient and impactful.

Creating engaging content, such as a “60 Fun Things to See and Do” guide, based on your insights can further attract and inform potential attendees. This not only builds excitement but also ensures your promotional efforts resonate with your audience, ultimately leading to a more successful show.

By continuously analysing and applying customer insights, you can refine your marketing strategies, enhance attendee experiences, and grow your show year after year. 

3. Keeping Calm in a Crisis: Risk Management & Crisis Communication
Panel including Jeremy Mitchell, Director & Specialist Advisor Corporate Affairs and External Relations; Lynelle Smith CFE, Head of Entertainment RAS; Hugh Southwell, Past President Camden Show

Presentation by Hugh Southwell

Presentation by Lynelle Smith

Crisis Communications Strategy and Plan Template

Shows and events are bustling with activity, featuring crowds of people, animals, rides, machinery, and even fireworks. But with so many moving parts, there's always the potential for things to go wrong. From animal activists, to extreme weather events, rodeo accidents, health issues, lost children and assaults, show societies over the years have had to deal with many unexpected events and on the rare occasion even death. However, out of our 193 annual ag shows in NSW, including Sydney Royal, most run to plan without a major problem. So with careful planning and proactive measures, risks can be minimised, ensuring safe and successful events for everyone involved.

Step 1: create a contact list for emergencies

Having a well-organised contact list is crucial for managing emergencies effectively. Here’s how to set one up:

  • Gather key players: include local emergency services, veterinarians, media and essential event staff.
  • Collect contact info: note down phone numbers, email addresses, and any other contact details.
  • Organise by role: categorise contacts by their functions, such as medical contacts and equipment handlers.
  • Make it accessible: ensure everyone involved has access to this list, either printed or shared digitally.
  • Keep it updated: regularly check and update the contact details to ensure accuracy.

Step 2: Create a Whatsapp group for the event

Setting up a WhatsApp group for your event stakeholders can streamline communication during emergencies. Here's why it works well:

  1. Instant Connection: Quickly share information with all key players simultaneously.
  2. Familiar and Easy: Most people are already familiar with WhatsApp, minimising any learning curve.
  3. Keeps Everyone on the Same Page: Ensures that everyone gets the same information at the same time.
  4. Accessible Anywhere: As long as you have your phone and internet, you can communicate from anywhere.
  5. Private and Secure: Provides a secure platform for team discussions.

Step 3: Plan risk assessments

Risk management involves preparing for potential problems and planning to minimise their impact.  Identify and plan for potential future issues, like a storm that might come.

Step 4: Planning for a crisis – when things don’t go to plan

Crisis management is the framework that allows you to act swiftly in response to sudden, unexpected events, akin to dealing with a storm that hits without warning.

Having a solid crisis plan lets you deploy the right people and procedures to respond to unexpected disruptions:

  • Have a team ready: ensure each team member knows their specific role during a crisis.
  • Know the risks: understand potential issues, such as bad weather or medical emergencies.
  • Make a plan: create detailed “what if” scenarios, covering all possible bases.
  • Communicate: ensure everyone knows the crisis plan and who to contact in emergencies.
  • Stay calm and lead: maintain a calm demeanour to lead effectively and provide clear directions.
  • Managing the media: in any crisis, the media will want to be involved and the first contact with the media sets the tone. Helping them do their job will help your and your event in the long run. Don’t have a plan? You can download one here.
    • If committee members are approached by the media, direct them to the appropriate point of contact.
    • If you don’t have a spokesperson, consider issuing a statement on facebook or website. Prepare a list of facts you wish to share. Do not be forced to share information you don’t need to. However, the media is your link to the community as well so must be considered in your plans.
    • Do not leave the media alone with witnesses and have someone stay with the media until they leave the grounds.
  • After the event: document everything. Organise a meeting with the committee after the event and discuss what could have worked better and how things could be different next time.

(can we link to Jeremy Mitchell’s two page form he referenced?).

4. Leveraging Agritourism to Grow Your Show
Presented by Kate Shilling - Managing Director - Straight Forward Tourism & Agritourism Project Manager, Tourism Australia

Agriculture and tourism are two of Australia’s largest industries. Agritourism brings both these sectors together to create connections between agricultural businesses and a broad number of consumers.

Agritourism has evolved significantly as city dwellers' appetite for knowledge and experiences about the origins of their food and fiber has grown. The sector holds huge market potential; in 2022-23, agritourism was valued at $175 billion. It is a major industry, employing 626,400 people and supporting nearly 6,300 operators across the country.

As an event specialising in connecting farmers and their produce with tourists, agricultural shows are already well-positioned to leverage this industry potential. For visitors travelling long distances, for example from Sydney or Brisbane, it's important that show committees collaborate with their local community to develop a unique experience for those tourists to attract them to the show.

Here’s some practical examples of how you can leverage the opportunities presented by Agritoursim to grow your show:

  1. Host cooking masterclasses and workshops

When planning their travels, many tourists prioritise food and beverage experiences. Offering cooking master classes and workshops, such as the one offered by Maggie Beer at The Farm Eatery, can be an excellent way to connect visitors with the region's agricultural produce and provide them with unforgettable experiences. Hosting these events at your show or around the same time can generate excitement and engagement, drawing more attendees and creating lasting memories.

  1. Experience the seasons

By organising events that highlight the seasonal changes in agriculture, such as harvest celebrations, seasonal fruit picking or food and wine events, tourists can gain a deeper understanding of the agricultural calendar and the hard work that goes into producing their food. Seasonal events like Orange F.O.O.D Week can attract visitors throughout the year, not just during the main show, helping to sustain interest and engagement.

  1. Go direct to the source

Farm tours and direct interactions with farmers and their operations can offer visitors a personal touch and a behind-the-scenes look at agriculture. ‘Pick your own fruit,’ like what’s offered at Bidgee Strawberries and Cream, and farmstays, such as the one offered at Outback Almonds have become valuable attractions in many country towns, drawing visitors from near far, all throughout the year. This kind of transparency can support a stronger connection between consumers and producers, enhancing the overall appeal of your show.

  1. Paddock to Plate

A ‘paddock to plate’ experience, such as the Maugers Paddock to Plate Tour that guides visitors through the journey of food from the farm to their table can include live demonstrations, tastings, and interactive exhibits either at your show, or around show time. By showing the complete food production process, you educate visitors and promote your local produce, reinforcing the importance of sustainable and locally sourced food.

  1. Connect and collaborate with producers

Collaborating with local producers to create unique show experiences could include co-hosting events, offering local tours, or setting up interactive stalls where visitors can engage directly with farmers. Strong partnerships with producers not only enrich your show but also build a network of support within the agricultural community. For example, tasting trails like Grazing Down the Lachlan or Cradle to Coast offer visitors the opportunity to taste local produce while connecting face-to-face with local producers.

  1. Farm Gate

By promoting farm gate sales where visitors can purchase fresh produce directly from the source not only supports local farmers but also gives tourists the satisfaction of buying high-quality, fresh products. Farm gate sales can be a highlight of your show, encouraging repeat visits and building a loyal customer base for local producers. 

5. Enhancing Livestock Traceability in Agricultural Shows: A Collaborative Approach for gathering information and improving traceability
Presented by NSW Department of Primary Industries and Evidn


Biosecurity is important as it protects our economy, environment and community from pests, diseases, weeds and contaminants, which is why biosecurity is a shared responsibility, and everybody has a role to play in protecting NSW from these risks.

Good biosecurity practices not only reduce the risk of spread of pests, diseases and weeds but also provide opportunities to maximise animal health production and market access.

The top five emergency animal diseases, including foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease, are in closer proximity to Australia than ever before, present in the Asia-Pacific region.

If there is an outbreak of an emergency animal disease in Australia, such as foot & mouth disease, there would be an instant closure of international markets to Australian meat exports.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences has estimated that the impact of Foot & Mouth Disease would be $80 billion over 10 years. A significant portion of this cost impact is from lost market access.

So what is traceability?

Identification and traceability of livestock is key to achieving good biosecurity, particularly for NSW as the largest livestock production state in Australia. The NSW Biosecurity Act legislates that producers, stock and station agents, abattoirs, goat depots, export facilities and livestock event operators hold a property identification code and, document livestock movement, via

the National Livestock Identification System. And, if there is notification of an emergency animal disease, our legislation requires at a minimum, that livestock are traced within 24 hours.

Strong traceability allows us to accurately and quickly identify, and trace animals affected by disease or residues.

Considering that most of our agricultural sectors are reliant on international market access, rapid traceability is essential for NSW to provide safe and clean food, and to maintain our premium quality reputation. That is why, NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) current focus is on making livestock traceability requirements as easy to follow as possible. Their approach involves understanding the producer’s perspective and identifying touchpoints at shows that can be improved for better communication and standardisation of traceability procedures.

To make changes or add to queries this document please use the suggesting function in the top right dropdown. NSW DPI is working with the Agricultural Societies Council of NSW, and has observed that shows are a powerful platform for positive change, offering community engagement and a sense of pride. They want to create a consistent and simple livestock traceability process, addressing confusion and ensuring everyone sending livestock to shows, understands their traceability obligations. By leveraging agricultural shows, the NSW DPI in conjunction with Evidn aims to create behavioral change and move towards improving livestock traceability, highlighting its importance in protecting our agricultural integrity. The NSW DPI has been observing shows across the state to look at what works, what doesn’t and how the

industry can make livestock traceability something to be proud of.

16 Ways to Market your Show for Free
Presented by Jenn Donovan, Director Social Media & Marketing, Author and leader of Facebook Group "Buy from a Bush Business".

Ah, the age old truth: marketing is everything and everything is marketing. But, for those of us already trying to squeeze water from a stone, finding enough room in our show budget for a flash marketing campaign is simply out of the question. 

Not to fear! In 2024, there are so many ways that country shows can market their events for free. Here’s 16 hassle-free examples from social media and marketing expert, Jenn Donovan, you can start using today:

  1. Your Facebook page:

Think of Facebook as your new yellow pages listing. People are now using Facebook to access your contact information, to see what’s new, what’s been going on and what’s coming up. PRO TIP: Not all content has to be yours! Consistently share content from sponsors and partners to keep your followers engaged.

  1. Local Facebook groups:

Local facebook groups are GOLD! Join these groups and share nostalgia posts, promote your partners and sponsors, ask for new sponsors, recap your event, and tell stories. PRO TIP: Schedule posts in these groups throughout the year - but be mindful not to overuse. 

  1. Instagram posts, stories and reels:

It’s important to invest in good visuals on instagram, but reels, stories and live recordings are the most effective way to consistently use instagram. PRO TIP: If you don’t like managing an instagram account, simply use your grid profile as a mini ‘website’ and only post stories and reels.

  1. Email Marketing:

To grow your email list, constantly promote it. Many organisations regret not starting sooner and encouraging people to sign up, so the biggest trick is to talk about it all the time. PRO TIP: Create separate lists for different audiences, for example, a supplier list, a sponsor list and a customer list.

  1. Get some free PR:

Sending press releases and notices to local media outlets such as newspapers, radio stations and television channels is an excellent way to promote your event for free. PRO TIP: Use ChatGPT or another AI application to write the press releases for you.

  1. Business Profile Manager:

Using a business profile manager like Google Business Manager is so important for driving visitors to your website through google. PRO TIP: Use your google profile like any other social media platform - make sure it's kept up to date.

  1. Micro Influencers:

No, we’re not talking about celebrities! Micro influencers are the members of your community, your staff or other partners who have a strong social media presence and can help you promote your show. PRO TIP: Tag friends and family and start sharing other people’s content.

  1. Reach out:

We all have a social media presence, right? But in 2024, you have to actually be ‘social’ on social media. It’s important to comment and interact on other people’s posts; effectively ‘sprinkling your brand around’. PRO TIP: Simply spend 5mins every day reaching out.

  1. Storyselling:

Become a really good storyteller, telling your story, your history, stories about your people, your community, your committee, it all helps to build your profile to become unforgettable. In your marketing USE MORTE STORIES. Stories are another product.

  1. Enter awards:

Awards are a great free promotion tool, because even if you don’t win you still have ample marketing opportunities to shout it out everywhere. PRO TIP: Don’t be afraid to pay to enter the awards competition because you are guaranteed publicity no matter what. 

  1. Collaborations and partnerships:

You may have sponsors and partners supporting your show during the event, and hopefully, you have a solid plan to promote them throughout the day. But what about the rest of the year? Collaborate with them year-round. PRO TIP: Be strategic and reach out—ask them what they’d like from you beyond the obvious.

  1. UGC Content:

Think about ways that you can encourage your audience to tag you in their social media posts so you don’t have to create all the content yourself PRO TIP: Save these photos so you can reuse them for the next show season.

  1. Make yourself easy to buy from:

A confused buyer doesn’t buy! Think about how easy your tickets are to buy and ways that you can make it easier on your customers. PRO TIP: Don’t wait to sell tickets on the day - get commitment to come.

  1. Word of Mouth:

Word of mouth is still the most powerful tool for getting people through the gate. The way that you can encourage word of mouth recommendations is simply to be exceptional; give every customer a great experience on show day. PRO TIP: Word of mouth generates 2x more sales than paid ads, so don’t underestimate its power!

  1. Optimise your website:

Optimise your website for mobile devices to ensure an easy user experience. You can use AI programs to make your offers compelling and easy to find and understand. PRO TIP: Use high-quality imagery to keep the user experience seamless.

  1. Tap into Agritourism:

If someone is visiting your area for the weekend on the week of your show, how do they know it's on? PRO TIP: Place flyers at key tourism places, and on community billboards.

2023 Presentations

Volunteers: The Backbone all Agricultural Shows – (tips and tricks to attract, retain and reward)

Panel Discussion led by The Centre for Volunteering and select Show Societies

Download Presentation

Harvesting Harmony: Good Governance and smooth-running committees

Panel Discussion led by Mr John Peacock AM (Associations Forum)

Download Presentation

Meeting of the Minds: Effective Ways to keep Meetings on Track

Panel Discussion led by Mr John Bennett OAM (RAS and RASC)

Download Presentation

Ensuring your Contractual Agreements are Watertight: What to look out for in agreements AND Cyber Security: Lost in Space

led by Mr Phil Lemieux (PSC Insurance)

Download Presentation

Thanks to Channel 7 who did a story on the Celebrating AgShows event. You can view it here

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