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Expos and conferences have long been accepted as important and value-adding events in most industries, providing opportunities for networking, education, and business growth. As we approach NAMPO 2024, with its theme of “Embracing Connectivity for Sustainable Growth,” all agri stakeholders need to recognise the value that attending this event can add to their farming or business practice.

That’s according to Dawie Maree, Head of Information & Marketing at FNB Agriculture, who explains that agricultural trade shows, like NAMPO, provide an opportunity for experts, companies, and organisations within the agri sector to showcase products, services, and advancements in the industry. These events also provide a platform for exhibitors to connect with potential customers, generate leads, promote their offerings, and stay updated on market trends. For attendees, trade shows offer the opportunity to discover new products, gain industry knowledge, network with peers, and engage in knowledge-sharing activities.

“South African agriculture is blessed with many excellent agricultural shows, the most significant one of which is arguably NAMPO, which is the biggest agricultural show in the southern hemisphere,” Maree says, “and while it can be difficult for farmers and business owners to get away from their operations to attend these types of shows, missing them is essentially missing out on massive opportunities to grow your business, expand your network, or put your agricultural outputs on the map.”

Maree points to five main reasons why agri shows can be hugely beneficial for exhibitors and attendees alike:

  1. Networking and business opportunities – Shows like NAMPO provide a platform for farmers, agribusinesses, suppliers, manufacturers, and professionals to connect and explore potential business opportunities. In-person interactions, discussions, and relationship building at the event can lead to new sales leads, distribution channels, and industry connections.
  • Showcasing products and innovations – Exhibitors have the opportunity to introduce new products, machinery, innovations, and technologies to a targeted and highly engaged and invested audience. They can showcase their offerings, provide hands-on experiences, and highlight unique features and benefits in ways that are not possible via sales phone calls or emails.
  • Staying informed on market trends and insights – Attending shows and events like NAMPO allows participants to stay informed about the latest consumer trends, technological advancements, and industry developments. Farmers can learn about cutting-edge farming practices, equipment innovations, sustainability initiatives, and market demands, enabling them to adapt their strategies to meet evolving customer needs and market dynamics.
  • Education and knowledge exchange – Most agriculture shows feature educational sessions, seminars, workshops, and panel discussions led by industry experts, academics, and thought leaders. These presentations provide a platform for knowledge exchange, enabling attendees to learn about industry challenges, technological advancements, and best practices.
  • Collaboration and partnerships – Agri shows and events foster collaboration and partnerships among participants in the industry. Meeting potential partners, suppliers, distributors, and service providers during the event can lead to joint ventures, collaborative projects, and fruitful business partnerships, ultimately advancing the agricultural sector as a whole.
  • Connecting with your bank – Financial service providers play a crucial role in supporting the agriculture industry, and most of them have a strong presence at events like NAMPO. “FNB places a priority on good relationships with farmers, agribusinesses and all stakeholders in the sector,” Maree explains, “so we consider these shows to be an ideal opportunity for our relationship managers to make themselves available to attendees and exhibitors to build relationships, provide guidance and insights and better understand the changing needs of participants in the industry so that we can serve them better.”

Maree emphasises that agricultural shows like NAMPO are not exclusive to farmers and agribusinesses – the general public can also benefit greatly from attending these events. “The upcoming NAMPO show is an opportunity for members of the public to get a better idea of how the food they eat is produced, and the ways in which the agri sector is working to become more sustainable and address food insecurity concerns,” he says, “not to mention that there are often opportunities to connect with local farmers and even pick up a few great deals on produce and useful equipment.” 

For these and many other reasons, Maree says that attending, and participating in, agricultural trade shows is multifaceted and beneficial on various levels. “These shows are about market exposure, network expansion, customer engagement, market intelligence, and above all, being at the heart of a community that shares a desire to grow the agri sector,” he says, “they offer rich soil for sowing seeds of innovation and collaboration, and reaping a harvest of collective knowledge, progress, and ultimately, sustainable development in agriculture.”


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