The REAP conference has always been a great platform to profile and launch new technologies, products and services, and the exhibition area increased significantly last year, reflecting the increasing maturity of the solutions on offer.
This year REAP 2020 is a virtual conference and this has created the opportunity for Agri-TechE to pioneer the use of AI facilitated brokerage to ensure everyone benefits from the networking perspective, as Becky Dodds, Membership and Events Manager for Agri-TechE, explains.
“By bringing together farmers, technologists and researchers with funders and business support, Agri-TechE has supported the growth of a very active agri-tech innovation ecosystem. Increasingly we are seeing the collaborations between members and the wider community becoming commercial ventures and this is very exciting,” Becky says.
“Until now we have focused on facilitating these interactions in person, using our knowledge and contacts within the industry, but there is only so much a small team can achieve. For a while now we have been looking at different ways that technology can support this type of personalised brokerage to enable Agri-TechE to expand its scope and reach, particularly now that we have an increasingly national, and international, membership.
“The move to a virtual conference offers us the opportunity to fast-track the use of some of these technologies which have become more robust over the last few months. We want to create the REAP vibe online and I see the potential of using AI technologies to achieve this.”
Agri-TechE has experimented with different formats for its events. This has included webinars with discussions using voice, chat and Twitter and fully digital events, one of which was the Virtual Innovation Hub in partnership with the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.
Innovation Hub success
The Royal Norfolk Show has been running for over a hundred years and was only previously stopped by war. The Innovation Hub has been a high profile feature, so when the show was cancelled Agri-TechE decided to create a Virtual Innovation Hub. This was a very successful pilot and has provided learnings that are being incorporated into a Technology Hub at REAP 2020.
Becky continues: “Exhibitors at REAP 2020 will be part of a day of interactive content with a focus on replicating the networking experience digitally.
“There will be a central exhibition Hub open all day – and post-event – where attendees can seek out your business or discover the products and services you offer via the search and also within the platform’s AI powered networking capabilities which will actively find delegates that are most relevant to your offering.
“In addition to being able to display multimedia content on their stands, each exhibitor will be able to offer private live chats with visitors, too.
“Of course, our team will be behind the scenes as usual providing support as required and there will be a promotional campaign across the Agri-TechE website and social media channels for maximum impact.
“We are very excited about using the very latest technology to create an immersive environment for networking and business interactions.”
The deadline for registering for an online exhibition stand is 16th October 2020