Australian Grains Industry Conference converts to digital format

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The Australian Grains Industry Conference.
Camera IconThe Australian Grains Industry Conference. Credit: Adam Thomas

It has been no mean feat to transfer a 400-guest, two-day conference attracting grain aficionados from across the world to a digital format.

Australia’s grains industry has rallied together to ensure its biggest annual grains conference goes ahead, and this year’s event is fittingly themed resilience and reinvention.

The Australian Grains Industry Conference (AGIC) LIVE will start today with a lengthy line-up of national and international speakers.

The 2019 Australian Grains Industry Conference.
Camera IconThe 2019 Australian Grains Industry Conference. Credit: Adam Thomas

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Instead of being held at the Crown Promenade in Melbourne, like it has been for the most recent of the 20 events, the 21st forum will be held online.

The event is co-hosted by Grain Trade Australia, Pulse Australia and Australian Oilseeds Federation each year with the purpose of uniting and informing the industry.

Grain Trade Australia chief executive Pat O’Shannassy said various travel restrictions meant there was no way the event could go ahead in its usual format.

“Like others, we carefully considered whether we should be cancelling or postponing,” he said.

“We decided that the way AGIC brings together our industry and its people was just too important to miss right now.

“It will be a different experience, but we are genuinely excited that despite the challenges we can still bring our industry together.”

The Australian Grains Industry Confererence.
Camera IconThe Australian Grains Industry Confererence. Credit: Adam Thomas

Organisers selected a software platform to run the event, which Mr O’Shannassy said was easy to navigate.

In a boon for guests, they will be able to view the content for 30 days after the conference.

Mr O’Shannassy said the online delivery made the forum accessible for “multiple members of the same company”, rather than just a handful of delegates.

“Delegates can come and go as they please throughout the day,” he said. “Attending speaker sessions that interest them, dropping by the Exhibitor Hall to chat with reps in real-time, and striking up conversations in the network hub.

“They can weave it all around their work day as needed.”

Grain Trade Australia chief executive Pat O'Shannassy.
Camera IconGrain Trade Australia chief executive Pat O'Shannassy. Credit: Grain Trade Australia

The program includes keynote presentations, panel discussions and curated workshops from local and international experts.

A big focus of the event will be on what businesses around the world are doing in response to challenges caused by COVID-10, drought, and climate change.

There will also be a focus on new advances in technology, sustainability and trade relations.

“You will hear from global industry leaders who have risen to the challenge and reinvented the way they approach business and life,” Ms O’Shannassy said.

High profile speakers include Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, ANZ chief economist Richard Yetsenga, Grain Trade Australia chair Andrew Goyder, CBH marketing and trading general manager Jason Craig, Pulse Australia chief executive Nick Goddard, and Federal Agriculture shadow minister Joel Fitzgibbon, High Commissioner to India Barry O’Farrell AO.

The event will conclude with a sport-focused session, called Grains for Performance Gain, featuring Collingwood AFLW’s Sharni Layton and Hawthorn’s Ben McEvoy.

The pair will discuss the benefits of incorporating grains into an athletic diet in a session moderated by sports dietician Simone Austin.

The forum includes a welcome lobby, with a help desk, an auditorium with live and on-demand speaker presentations, an exhibitor hall, and a network hub.

The conference costs $345. Registrations will close about three days before the event.

The program is available online.

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