Red meat sector people planning to attend New Zealand’s National Fieldays event this year will be pleased to hear there’s a new and improved app to help you get around the Mystery Creek showgrounds and find your way back to your car.
It’s six weeks to go to the event that opens on 13 June, the 50th time Fieldays will be staged. Last year, a record 133,588 people visited Fieldays, the highest visitor number yet.
The app will enable visitors to use GPS mapping technology to better navigate the 114-hectare site and to plan their day in advance.
“We are really excited about the technology, which means visitors will have a much better search and site experience,” says New Zealand National Fieldays Society marketing and communications manager Taryn Storey. “People can download the app for free now, and begin to plan their visit and where they might go before they arrive.”
The app has been developed by GPS-it, a precision land mapping company based in the Bay of Plenty and supported by Fieldays Principal Partner, Vodafone. GPS-it has digitally mapped the entire Mystery Creek site, capturing key features and GPS points.
“We made a digital GIS (geographic information system) plan of the Fieldays site using a combination of technologies,” says Paul Haakma, GIS software developer with GPS-it. “To do that we took multiple flights over the site with a plane to capture high resolution imagery and mapped GPS locations with survey grade equipment. Using this base data we were able to draw highly accurate site layout plans using world-leading GIS software.”
This means visitors can view a digital plan of the Fieldays site via the new app in the same way they might in Google Maps, with exhibitors, streets and key areas identified.
For the first time this year, visitors will be able to save shoe leather and use the app to find the best route to get from A to B, whether to meet a friend, find the nearest coffee cart or toilet or visit an exhibitor.
Previous versions of the App have been downloaded more than 30,000 times. “It was really well received and we are expecting an even bigger uptake this year,” says Storey. “Both urban and rural visitors are increasingly incorporating tech into their everyday lives, and we see the Fieldays app as an extension of the continued innovation in this area.”
The few glitches in the app have been ironed out in the new design, Storey says. The key word search function has been improved, visitors will be able to ‘favourite’ exhibitors or sites and use a timetable. The handy popular features like ‘pin my car’ will also be included, with the addition of being able to create a route for you to get back to your car.
The mapping by GPS-it has also helped streamline the process of site construction for the hundreds of exhibitors setting up at Fieldays this year.
“In the past, people weren’t able to dig a hole on their site without getting it signed off personally by our site manager, in case they hit a cable,” says Storey. “That’s quite time-consuming when you have 2,500 holes needing to be dug across the site. Now we have identified that through GPS, they can ring us up and we check on the map and can sign things off quickly over the phone.”
This year exhibitors have been able to purchase a weighted listing on the app, which means that their brand and site will appear first in a search for items in that category.
In the future, the New Zealand National Fieldays Society hopes the app will provide added value to exhibitors, with the opportunity to gather data about visitor behaviour in and around their sites.
You can download the app for free at the App Store or on Google Play.