Agfest hopefuls line up
As the days count down to Agfest, exhibitors are joining a waiting list to take part in Tasmania’s biggest rural event.
IT may only be two weeks away but Agfest has a waiting list of exhibitors hoping to secure a spot at Tasmania’s biggest rural event.
More than 50 would-be exhibitors are on the list just in case a last-minute place in this year’s event opens up.
Managing the list and looking after the other 754 businesses that will be part of this year’s Agfest is exhibitor manager Ethan Williams.
At 23 Mr Williams is not only the youngest exhibitor manager the event has had, he is also the only bloke who has taken on the role so far.
“We get phone calls and emails every day from people wanting to get in and saying they can get here at the last minute,” he said.
“There is a proper approvals process that has to be followed though. We are a rural event so that means not all the business are going to meet the standards we need to include them. We would like to be able to include everyone, and it’s great they want to support us, but we also want to keep the agricultural focus.”
Although working full time as a butcher as well as taking care of his Agfest responsibilities has been a challenge, Mr Williams said he was enjoying the job so far.
“It has been really busy and juggling the two has been a bit difficult at times, but I do like it,” he said.
Dealing with hundreds of exhibitors and their inquiries is one part of Mr William’s role. The other part is making sure things out on site are ready to go when exhibitors start rolling in, which means ensuring markings for sites remain clear despite rain and wind.
Marquees are already springing up as preparations for this year’s Agfest, which kicks off on May 4, continue.
Being a member of the Agfest committee means giving up free time and Mr Williams has been on site every weekend for the past 10 weeks.
Taking on the new role has also allowed him to develop some new skills.
“It think people management has probably been the biggest thing,” he said. “I’m used to dealing with people at the butcher shop, but being able to reply to emails properly and get information back to people in a hurry has been something I’ve had to learn.”
Mr Williams said he anticipated things would get more hectic over the next two weeks.
The weather conditions will also play a big part in how smoothly preparations go. “The last two years we’ve had issues with wind and the marquees, so hopefully that won’t happen again this time,” he said.
“We’d like some weather just like today — fine and about 20 degrees. Some of our biggest crowds have been in fine weather years, it seems to bring people out of the woodwork.”
I think people management has probably been the biggest thing
EXHIBITION MANAGER ETHAN WILLIAMS