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Growers invited to take virtual reality tour at Syngenta booth


If you are heading to Farm Progress or Husker Harvest Days this fall, you better make a point to stop at Syngenta’s evolving trade-show experience. From live displays of root systems to virtual reality field tours, growers at the Syngenta booth can now see, touch, and feel the products from seed to harvest.

Many of the new features came from Syngenta listening to attendees’ needs. For example, after fielding questions about the role soil type has on hybrid selection at a previous show, Doug Kirkbride, a corn product selection lead, wondered if better visuals could help provide the answers. Out of his workshop in Pana, Illinois, Kirkbride produced a 6-foot-tall panel with nine sets of corn roots. The goal was to show how different corn hybrids thrive in different soil types. The display panel has exceeded Kirkbride’s expectations.

“It really piques people’s interest as they travel through our trade-show experience,” Kirkbride said. “It’s a visual that helps start the conversation with the grower.”

Those conversations are at the heart of the new trade-show model for Syngenta and a key to its success.

“We want to tell our story in a relatable way,” said Melissa Lord, Syngenta trade show and customer event lead. “And growers want to visualize, touch, and feel, and connect the dots.”

That story is now told through a journey that awaits growers at the big-four circuit of trade shows: National Farm Machinery Show, Commodity Classic, Farm Progress Show, and Husker Harvest Days. When visitors pass through the entryway, they begin a multistep journey that follows the natural progression of the growing season, from planting through harvest. Syngenta experts along the route provide insights, advice and answers to questions.

At one stop, growers can estimate their return-on-investment potential when using the Enogen Growth Advantage program and planting Enogen corn enzyme technology, a unique in-seed innovation that enhances ethanol production. At another, the benefits of Trivapro fungicide—a disease-control breakthrough in corn, soybeans and wheat—are brought to life through an interactive digital kiosk and state-of-the-art virtual reality googles.

Visitors are encouraged to stop at each activity on the journey through an incentivized map. At every station they visit, they receive a token. If they collect enough tokens at the end of the journey, they can exchange them for a small gift.

The fluidity of the setup means Syngenta can continue to alter the journey as new products are introduced. Visitors can expect the trade-show experience to continue to evolve with the industry.

“It’s always nice to see the newest stuff,” said Brad Schmidt, who farms about 1,400 acres of corn and soybeans in Kamar, Iowa. “You get a taste of what’s to come.”

Schmidt has been planting Syngenta seed for the last several years and pays close attention to the products offered by each of the major seed players.

“It’s good to know that Syngenta is investing in R&D,” he said. “The trade-show experience can help growers like me see that we’re getting what we pay for when we purchase a Syngenta product. The company isn’t just pocketing the money; it’s putting it back onto the farm.”

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