A NATIONAL celebration of the longest running community events in Australia is being held in Adelaide in August ahead of the Royal Adelaide Show, with up to 580 agricultural shows coming together to plan for the future.
Agricultural shows are held in most rural and regional towns in Australia and typically commenced not long after each town was gazetted, with some shows having celebrated anniversaries for 200 years.
The 2023 Agricultural Shows Australia conference will bring together the Australian and New Zealand shows movement under the theme “Showing into the Future.”
“With a focus on incorporating homegrown and national innovation, as well as international perspectives, the conference will provide a unique platform for knowledge exchange and networking opportunities,” explains executive officer of Agricultural Shows Australia, Katie Stanley.
“It might surprise you to know that shows are brimming with youthfulness and inventiveness despite their tradition and longevity; many young leaders are forging the future of ag shows.
“Shows comprise the strongest volunteer base in the country based on hours contributed and deliver a combined annual economic contribution totalling nearly $1billion. From the outback to major metropolitan centres, there’s an agricultural show for everyone.”
Ms Stanley said shows must continually evolve, whilst upholding their heritage, in an ever changing world to maintain relevance.
“With one in four Australians attending an agricultural show each year, shows are also a way to connect regions and cities and promote agriculture to a wider audience,” she said.
Showcasing advancements and embracing emerging trends, the conference will explore strategies to enhance the growth and sustainability of agricultural shows in the evolving landscape.
Drawcard speakers including futurist Paul Higgins, and international guests Marla Calico – CEO of the International Association of Fairs and Expos, and Jennifer Gieskie – President of the Washington Town and Country Fair in the United States.
Agricultural Shows of Australia and the South Australian Next Generation Group are hosting the conference which is supported by South Australia Country Shows and the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia (Royal Adelaide Show).
“This conference aims to help future-proof agricultural shows across Australia,” Amy Wright, conference committee member said.
“Following the resounding success of the first national conference in 2020, the conference is a pinnacle event for the agricultural shows community and connected industries.”
“After a two year hiatus due to COVID19, we are thrilled to help re-unite 200-300 delegates, consisting of show movement leaders from the Royal Shows, state-based societies and country shows from around Australia and New Zealand.”
“Adelaide is such a fitting location for this gathering, with a proud history of both agriculture and shows. The city is a hub for the state’s fantastic food, world-class wine and agricultural excellence, and the Royal Adelaide Show is the longest-running event on the South Australian calendar, dating back to 1839. It will start at the conclusion of our conference.”
- Registration for the Agricultural Shows of Australia Conference 2023 is still available via the ASA website. The conference is run from Wednesday 30 August 2023 through to Friday 1 September, with free entry to the Royal Adelaide Show on Saturday 2 September included in the ticket price.
Source: Agricultural Shows Australia