ONE of Australia’s most innovative primary industry field day events will overcome the coronavirus lockdown by bringing farmers and exhibitors together at a ‘virtual expo’, which is likely to result in a multi-million-dollar windfall for both sectors.

Norco Primex Field Days will move up to 400 exhibitors, hundreds more suppliers and their tons of machinery and product from an 18-hectare site at Casino in northern New South Wales to loungerooms, kitchen tables and offices across Australia.

“We have all had to modify and rethink how we go about business due to COVID-19,” said Primex owner, Bruce Wright.

“As a result the Primex Online Business Hub – a first for any field days event – will run through May and June and can be basically described as a ‘virtual expo’ that is designed to support all our stakeholders.”

Primex, which has been successfully held at Casino since 1985, was scheduled to be staged from May 21-23 this year. However, it had to be postponed until September 10-12 when the coronavirus struck.

Wright said the virtual expo, which will open on May 11, would allow farmers and other businesses to take advantage of the massive tax incentives offered before the end of this financial year.

“This is so much more than just an offer to shop online,” he said.

“For the past couple of years Primex has worked with one of the world’s leading CRM (Customer Relationship Management) developers, Map Your Show. Together we have developed an online portal that is perfect for expo exhibitors and visitors.

“The one site showcases all the exhibitors and what they have to offer and then allows ‘visitors’ to take a virtual tour of the expo and buy or make inquiries.
“It has proven extremely successful at the past two Primexes and so, in the wake of COVID-19, we have decided to enhance it and launch it as a stand-alone event for May and June.

“It comes at a time when all business needs a leg up and through an event that is a proven sales phenomenon. Primex generates more than $30million in sales every year.

“Farmers also need to buy now. They want to take advantage of the current federal government stimulus including the $150,000 package of 100% depreciation write-off before the EOFY.

“There are also travel restrictions and plenty of fear in the community. The Primex Online Business Hub will overcome both, offering a safe, targeted shopping environment.”

Wright said the virtual expo was open to all Primex exhibitors and suppliers and would have immediate access to a ‘massive network’.

“We now have an association with almost 40 industry and grower groups,” he said. “These comprise literally thousands of members and affiliates who make up a large chunk of our attendance at Primex each year.

“With exhibitors also notifying their databases of customers you immediately have a potential audience of tens of thousands.”

Wright said he expected the same bargains to be available online as on-site.

“Primex is referred to as the ‘Yellow Pages of the Paddock’,” he said. “It’s where the deals are done.

“I have no doubt the same bargaining will be happening at the Primex Online Business Hub.”

Long-term Primex sponsor, Richmond Valley Council, today announced they would be providing financial backing for the Primex Online Business Hub.
“Richmond Valley Council recognises the importance of Primex to not only Casino and the Richmond Valley, but also the Northern Rivers,” said the council’s General manager Vaughan Macdonald.

“We applaud their efforts to keep the field days ‘live’ during these challenging times – and beyond.”

Wright said the annual Primex expo at Casino was stilled planned to go ahead on September 10-12.

“Subject to the advice from government health authorities we are planning to be on the ground in September,” he said.