In a shock announcement John Deere has advised it will not attend any international agricultural and turf trade shows in Europe and the CIS during the company’s 2021 fiscal year that runs from 1 November 2020 to 31 October 2021.
In an official press release the company said the decision is based on ensuring the safety of customers and employees during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
A Deere company spokeperson said, “Attending shows in Europe and the CIS would require extensive international travel, they will instead, “use a new marketing mix of traditional and digital tools to deliver information to customers.”
This ruling was for what Deere refers to as marketing Region 2 – with the decision to attend trade shows in other regions still to determined, including in their home-based US market.
Denny Docherty, John Deere vice president sales and marketing, Region 2, said, “The pandemic has changed the world and our industry is undergoing a period of great change too. This also applies to our marketing activities.”
The company says the need for a new approach to communications with customers has prompted them to reduce its participation in trade fairs for the time being.
They say their key focus in 2021 will be the change in its operating model, to become a “smart industrial company“.
This approach is part of the biggest organisational restructure in the company’s 183-year history, it requires a change of marketing approach and an extended focus on Precision Ag technologies.
“We are also expecting a major change in the exhibition landscape, driven by Covid-19 and digitalisation,” said Andreas Jess, John Deere director marketing, Region 2.
“In the medium term, our company would welcome a new timetable to be implemented by the international trade fair organisations, to free up the show cycle across Europe.
It is expected that subsequent announcements from other John Deere regions will follow.