Field Day events for 2021 need more than a wing and a prayer

The Henty MFD caters for 3500 companies that exhibit across 1200 sites showcasing over $120 million worth of machinery and merchandise with the local community bringing $92 million into the region – their 2021 event will be held from 21 to 23 September

Field Day events all around the world are being cancelled for the early part of 2021.

In our local market the first two Field day events scheduled for 2021, the Sungold Field Days held in February each year and the Wimmera Machinery Field days (WFMD) event held in early March 2020 have both been cancelled.

The Wimmera Machinery Field days (WFMD) was the very last event on the Field days calendar to be held, when it opened for business on the 3 to 5 March 2020.

Since that time, until now, no other major Field day has been held anywhere across the country in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing border shutdowns.

This has been a devastating blow to the many local communities that rely on Field day events to bring extra income into their region.

The government announcement of the $39 million package called Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program has brought some relief to ailing Field days coffers, but as the program is shared with 580 country shows, the Field days cut is minimal.

In the very likely event that the COVID-19 pandemic will still be with us in some form this time next year, and the very unlikely event an effective vaccine will be available, it raises the realistic possibility of disruption stopping a normal return for 2021.

However, it is possible that many Field day events will go ahead, but committees need to act now to ensure their planned events are not subsequently axed.

If committees start planning now for COVID-19 active events where the number of visitors each day are monitored and organiser’s can demonstrate a safe distance between groups of patrons, the events could go ahead.

For instance, monitoring could be across a three hour crowd count, where the determined safe number could get around the exhibitions and events, then leave and make way for the next visitor batch to enter.

Tickets would be issued by the hour, not the day, but patrons would accept this situation as they could still take in the sights of their annual pilgrimage and in doing so support their local Field days.

Of course this will take some planning, something never done before, but that’s what this COVID-19 mess is all about – adapting to the circumstances of a pandemic.

Committee members are well versed with crowd control and are very capable of putting a safe plan in place.

At most events, lane ways are ample for social distancing and exhibitors are wide enough apart.

From now, until this time next year it will be more apparent than ever, that COVID-19 is something we need to get used to living with. Until its likely eradication by 2022.

In the meantime, no-one should be put at risk of catching the disease, and by the same token businesses will need to re-open with a clear intention of making sure their customers are safe.

Wearing masks, social distancing and deep cleaning, along with a wary eye to avoid touching anything or a surface that could harbor the disease are all ways to help avoid catching this insidious virus.

With a safe COVID-19 plan in place, there is no reason to stop the Field Day events for 2021 from going ahead. Even if the pandemic has flared up again in some parts.

Take for instance one of the biggest outdoor events in Australia.

The Henty MFD ran for 56 consecutive years with exhibitors across 1200 sites showcasing over $120 million worth of machinery and merchandise, until the 2020 event was cancelled.

The blow to local businesses and the community was an enormous economic loss of more than $92 million.

With a government approved safe COVID-19 safe plan in place, the Henty MFD committee will ensure a safe and healthy environment for their event to be held from 21 to 23 September 2021.

The Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days is WA’s largest agricultural expo with more than 25,000 visitors checking through the 770 exhibitors attending – their 2021 event will be held from 25 to 26 August

Contact event organisers on Tel: 02 6929 3305, or mobile: 0411 036 666. Email admin@hmfd.com.au or see the Website at: http://hmfd.com.au/

Likewise for the major Field day event in the west.

With a Field days COVID-19 safety plan in place it would ensure no disruption to this great event.

The Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days is WA’s largest agricultural expo. Visitor numbers have grown in excess of 25,000 with 770 exhibitors attending.

Following their cancellation in 2020, the Dowerin MFD committee are all systems go for 25 and 26 of August 2021, and look forward to hosting a safe and successful event.

Exhibitors that require a prospectus or any further information, do not hesitate to contact the Dowerin Events Management.

Call on tel: 08 9631 1021, fax: 08 9631 1115 or email: info@dowerinfielddays.com.au or see the website at: https://www.dowerinfielddays.com.au/dowerin-field-days/

For these great events and all other Field days rostered for 2021 to go ahead, a plan needs to be ratified now, with the government in each state.

It should not be left to chance that COVID-19 will no longer be active in 2021. As it will only take one person getting off a plane, or coming out of their cave to change everything back to lockdowns.

Our Field days and the spirit of the associated communities can be saved for 2021, with a COVID-19 safe plan.

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