Changing direction a key
The team behind Wimmera Machinery Field Days will continue to pursue ways of making the annual event different each year in an effort to maintain its longevity.
Field days manager Murray Wilson said the challenge for the three-day attraction was making sure there was always something new and engaging for both exhibitors and patrons.
“We had a few different things this year and that wasn’t by accident – it is something we always consider,” he said.
“The great danger is doing the same thing year in year out because you might have had some success. But that doesn’t equate to putting up the best event possible.
“We must always put into effect new attractions or features to make something like this work for the region.”
Mr Wilson made the comments while reflecting on a successful field days that attracted and involved between 15,000 and 18,000 people.
“It was a really good three days and numbers, as expected, were up on last year,” he said.
“It was a massive event and was even bigger at the last minute when we had to create sites for late exhibitors.
“The truth is we’ve been able to maintain similar numbers for the past six to eight years, much of what is dependent on weather and the agricultural season.
“There was a lot of optimism from agricultural businesses and people in general.
“Site bookings and exhibitors were very strong and exhibitors are saying it is something they need to attend.”
Mr Wilson said the field days featured almost 600 exhibitors across about 1000 sites, and with the mild weather people spread out across the 16-hectare Wimmera Events Centre site.
“It is such a solid event and often it is hard to gauge the business success for at least six months. Much of it is about follow-up inquiries,” he said.
The field days committee will meet this week for a debriefing session and make notes of ways to improve the attraction.
“We’ll get it all down while it’s still fresh and in the next couple of months start sending out invitations for site bookings for 2019. Then the rollercoaster starts again,” Mr Wilson said.
WINNERS: Jade Hawker and Craig Hopkins with their product award at the Claas stand.