In a reassuring sign that buyers will return to physical events if they feel secure, RX Global Japan welcomed nearly 26,000 in-person and online visitors to its recent hybrid agricultural and horticultural events.

Held concurrently from 14-16 October at the Makuhari Messe in Tokyo, Agri-Week, Gardex and Tool Japan are dedicated to agricultural materials and technologies, the gardening trade and hardware and tool industry respectively.  The three co-located physical events brought together 328 exhibitors and 23,175 visitors. An additional 2,597 unique visitors attended the virtual platform.

Extensive communication around visitor health and safety played a key role in encouraging visitors to attend. Once onsite they were reassured by the stringent security and hygiene procedures in place. For those attendees worried about using public transport, RX Japan also organised private buses to bring farmers to the event.

Buyers who were unable or unwilling to attend due to Covid could use the virtual platform to check out new products and services in online booths and consult with exhibitors via real-time video meetings and chats.

International exhibitors who were prevented from attending due to travel restrictions could also participate by taking advantage of RX Japan’s new remote exhibitor packages. Fifteen international suppliers took advantage of these packages which provided them with a physical stand onsite, and a trained interpreter who could engage attendees on their behalf and arrange remote online meetings with them from the booth.

Feedback from exhibitors was positive with many commenting that the numbers exceeded their expectations” says Hajime Suzuki, Chief Director, International Sales and Marketing. “They also told us that the buyers who came to their stands were more serious than in previous years, perhaps reflecting their determination to pursue business in the midst of Covid. Our visitors also told us they were heartened by the opportunity to meet their industry once again, and appreciated our efforts to bring everyone together.”