Is there a need for an information platform to collaborate Primary Sector Events? Rebecca Miller

Executive Summary

This report synthesises communication, connection and collaboration into one solution-based idea, an information platform for events. I needed to identify if there was a need for an information platform.  Looking at the user/farmer not being able to attend the events from the inadequate lead in time, to missing events. For industry, understanding what the main hurdles were from their perspective, and could these be resolved with having their events in one place.  This would take the form of a centralised information platform for events for all Primary Industry.

The information platform is a tool that can be used as a lever for communication, connection and collaboration. The platform can be used as a meeting place for both the user (farmer/grower) and industry or business.  Creating connection from all industry, it can be a place to initiate cross-sector collaboration.  For the farmer/grower it can be a place where they can filter events in every region, in every industry at a time that suits them.  Barriers to communication diminish as the benefits of using technology in business are realised.

In chapter 1 is a literature review which focuses on the importance of events and the new ways businesses disseminate information through events. I wanted to look at what new event types that Primary Industry could use. There is a look at technology for collaboration in the form of the information platform, the definition of a platform, platform types and benefits.  Key learnings from using an information platform are the benefits of convenience – having information in one place, transparency, and engagement.  How collective impact for collaboration could be used as a strategy for industry. This strategy would result in better use of limited resources from joining with others, unify with ease – saving time and money.

Chapter 2 reports on the survey to the user (farmer/grower). This was conducted to understand their needs associated with events. The questions were divided into four areas: value, industry, events and technology. Under these areas respondents were asked the value of events from their perspective, how they find information on events currently, if they have missed events and how this has affected them, their thoughts on technology and what they wanted to use in the future. It was found that 81% of respondents miss out on events due to not knowing they were on.  To qualify this response, they were asked “what are some ways we could help you to prevent missing an event?” The top four themes were: Centralised event calendar, increase reminders, increased advertising and lead in time.

Detail of the findings from the survey to industry participants are in Chapter 3. The main findings of the survey were the having a limited budget for funding the event, then having a low attendance and deciding on a location that would suit their target audience.  This is a direct correlation to the farmer missing events.  If there is a limited budget for the event, then how will it be promoted? – if it’s not promoted how will the farmer know it’s on? Then through low attendance, the value of the event is diminished.  The key objective was to discover what the industry does now and if there a need for an information platform with centralised information.  Questions were asked about how the industry participant values events, their biggest hurdle, how they assess customer needs, current and future uses of technology.

The main recommendation is to explore an information platform in greater depth with industry leaders.  The benefits of strategically collaborating on a greater scale is to utilise resources with efficiency. Having audience in one place where both the user and industry can meet and have a place to exchange would save time and money.

Is there a need for an information platform to collaborate Primary Sector Events? Rebecca Miller