HAMILTON’S popular Sheepvention expo will be replaced with a smaller single event over two days in August, organisers said today.
The Hamilton Pastoral and Agricultural Society today said it had regrouped following the easing of COVID-19 regulations in Victoria and would offer only one agricultural event this year, rather than the two separate events initially proposed.
The event will be called Sheep Connect and would be held on 2 and 3 August at the Hamilton Showgrounds with trade sites, a conference and Australia’s biggest Merino ram sale.
Sheepvention president, Kathryn Robertson, said the committee is still steadfast that a Sheepvention format isn’t possible this year.
“But easing of restrictions has made the committee re-think their original ideas for this year.
“At this stage we will run one event on the usual Sheepvention dates,” she said.
“This isn’t Sheepvention though.
“There won’t be any large trade marquees this year, but exhibitors can take up their own marquee package or opt to exhibit in the pavilion,” Ms Robertson said.
“We are anticipating that we will attract 5000 people per day.”
Sheepvention’s regular events such as the fashion parade, yard dog competition, sheep show and the inventions competition will not be held this year.
“Rest assured though, these incredibly important features will be back in 2022,”Ms Robertson said.
“As soon as we are able to run Sheepvention again, we will.
“This means we will be bringing in all the traditional events and competitions we have held for the last 40-odd years.”
”Much of the Sheepvention Community is disappointed that we are not conducting our usual events.
“There is a lot of sentiment around the Sheep Show as it has been happening for over 160 years,” she said.
“We appreciate the sheep show, along with the inventions were the founding elements of Sheepvention.
“We haven’t forgotten their importance.”
Ms Robertson said it is a shame that COVID-19 has managed to disrupt two years of Sheepvention.
“We can only look forward to 2022 and amazing event we will have.
“In the meantime, I encourage as many trade exhibitors, including sheep studs and as many Merino stud breeders to support this ram sale and trade show.”
The committee said those wishing to participate in the Sheep Connect event are eligible for a 50 percent subsidy via the Federal Government’s Business Events Grant scheme. There are range of site packages, marketing options, sponsorships and hospitality packages available to businesses wishing to participate. The prospectus and details will all be made available next week at www.hamiltonshowgrounds.com.au
Exhibitors who attended Sheepvention in 2019 will receive details emailed to them early next week.