Pictogrammen 3

3
Demo set-up

FARMDEMO Organisation team

ORGANISATION TEAM

volgende

“Which type of partners (such as farmers, farmers´ organisations, advisors, agro-businesses) will be involved in the demo organisation to make it successful in meeting the demo objective(s)?”

The collaboration between diverse actors can be challenging because of their different professional backgrounds, skills, knowledge bases, priorities, work routines, and motivations. To help this endeavour succeed, it is important to agree upon objectives, content and division of labour.

The regional AKIS (see the box) can define the context in which demo events are organised. A good collaboration and pre-existing networks of regional AKIS actors might make it easier to organise or to create a strategy for demos, adjust the topic to the specific region and benefit from the available social capital and networks to find the right profiles and competences to organise the demo. The success of a demo is often also related on how the organising team is perceived by the local community. Organising teams can therefore benefit from a collaboration with respected local organisations who have a lot of contact with farmers.

The regional Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS) comprises the whole agricultural knowledge exchange system within a region and is defined by the way that people and organisations such as advisory services, researchers, policy and farmer organisations interact and work together.

Collaboration with commercial partners can realise very effective demo events in terms of knowledge and information provision. However, sound agreements with commercial companies, prior to the demo event, are needed to avoid that farmers perceive the event as a sales pitch. This can be avoided by involving more than one commercial company present or invite ‘neutral’ parties like non-commercial advisory services or researchers alongside the commercial company.

FARMDEMO Icoon masker

Roles in the organisation team

A clear definition of roles and sufficient personnel (both in expertise and number) can support the preparation and structure of the demo event. Four important roles should be fulfilled during a demo event:

  • the host farmer
  • the demonstrator
  • the logistic manager/coordinator
  • the facilitator
FARMDEMO Icoon tip
  • Involve the host farmer family early on in the organisation of the demo.
  • Invite multiple organisations sharing your objective(s) to reach target group(s).
  • Involve regulative authorities sensibly: appropriate (e.g. information clarifaction/demonstration of compliance) can attract farmers, inappropriate will repel farmers.
  • A facilitator is helpful in many cases. The facilitator can handle a discussion and act as a neutral third party.

A BALANCED PROGRAM

The available time for the demo is determining the decisions on the demo content and the learning methods to be used. The available time could range from one hour to half a day, to a full day or even multiple days. Remember to provide enough time for discussion and Q&A, but also for networking and social interaction.

A good program of the demo event provides sufficient variation. It should at least entail:

  • A welcome/introduction, preferably together with the host farmer
  • Actual demonstration of the innovation (either or not in combination with a presentation)
  • A facilitated discussion or interactive Q&A
  • An evaluation of the demo by the participants
  • An official closing of the event with clear conclusions and take-home messages
  • Time for informal talks, discussions and networking (provide food and drinks! – see also learning and facilitation methods for demo events)
  • Feedback evaluation of the event
FARMDEMO Icoon tip
  • Involve the host farmer family early on in the organisation of the demo.
  • Invite multiple organisations sharing your objective(s) to reach target group(s).
  • Involve regulative authorities sensibly: appropriate (e.g. information clarifaction/demonstration of compliance) can attract farmers, inappropriate will repel farmers.
  • A facilitator is helpful in many cases. The facilitator can handle a discussion and act as a neutral third party.

CHOOSE A SUITABLE TIME

The timing of the demo is a key factor to ensure good attendance of the demo. Although you cannot always plan this precisely (e.g. when it accidently happens to be the first warm week of the season), you can make an estimation on the periods when farmers have less work on the farm. Take into account the timing during the day (e.g. milking hours) and/or the week (e.g. school days).

Often, choosing the right time will be a trade-off between multiple aspects. For example, a period when there is a lot to see on the field, is often also a period when there is a lot of work on the farm.

FARMDEMO Icoon tip
  • Choose a fixed date for recurrent demos (e.g. last weekend of September, every 6 months to show seasonal variation, …).
  • Take other events into account.

FACILITIES & EQUIPMENT

Feeling welcome and being well treated adds to the effectiveness of the demo. Make sure to have suitable facilities, good access, toilets, parking, a tidy well prepared environment etc.

FARMDEMO Icoon check

CHECKLIST

  • Clear audio and visual equipment
  • (Bio)security measures
  • Toilets
  • To increase accessibility, where possible provide wheelchair access
  • Provide road signs and banners, parking
  • Provide shaded areas or shelters, anticipating weather conditions
  • Include logos and banners of sponsors, if applicable
  • Think about food and drinks!

BUDGET

vraagtekenstap

“Who will finance the demo event?”

“Will participants have to pay an attendance fee?”

“Will the budget influence the set-up and the number of participants?”

The budget should cover all expenses like inputs, transportation costs, organisation expenses and publicity expenses. Also, make sure to compensate the farmer for any shortfall in yields as well as for dedicated time (including preparation time).

The available budget correlates to the funding partners in the organisation team and can have a big impact on the set-up and size of the demo and might define some decisions, e.g. regarding the target group size, whether participants have to pay an entrance fee, or the demonstrators that are invited. However, limited resources should not necessarily impact the effectiveness of the demo. Less expensive methods can be as effective as more expensive methods but might need a more considered approach during the planning phase of the demo.

For bigger events, additional help (e.g. in the form of human or material resources) can be covered by sponsoring, possibly by allied organisations.

Budget table: trainingkit.farmdemo.eu/budget-table

FARMDEMO Registration

REGISTRATION

This allows you to easily contact participants afterwards for a follow-up and evaluation, and enables a good organisation for the estimated number of participants. Registration for the demo event should be easy and fluid.

FARMDEMO Icoon tip
  • Register participants before the event: to know your audience and to send interesting material before the event.
  • Provide a participant contact list.