Major European agricultural show Sommet de l'Élevage (Livestock Summit) is hoping to hit 100,000 visitors as it becomes a four-day event for its 30th anniversary.

"We have a few surprises for this year," directors told at a digital press preview event.

Among the surprises are a second new 10,000m² permanent exhibition hall, a new digital element to the show, and an extra fourth day at the showgrounds in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

The new hall will include two conference rooms with a programme of speakers. Each livestock category will also have a bigger pavilion, allowing more space for attendees.

The 2021 show is currently scheduled for October 5-8 when it's hoped many of Europe's vaccination programmes will be nearing completion.

However, directors assured that should the show have to be cancelled once again because of Covid, all trade exhibitors will be fully reimbursed.

Fabrice Berthon, director-general of Sommet, said: "We have grown every year in terms of the number of exhibitors and visitors. 1992 was the first year the show was run at Cournon where we had 200 exhibitors and 11,000 visitors.

"In 2004, Sommet was run from the Grande Halle d'Auvergne show site, and there we had 893 exhibitors and almost 64,000 visitors.

From 2004, we have continually grown both our visitor numbers and exhibitor numbers and that is why we feel we are able to become a four-day event because it merits it.

"There are too many visitors for us to be able to concentrate those visitors over three days.

"The extra day will allow us to break through the 100,000 visitor ceiling. For visitors who have been to the show before, you will remember that we are around the 93,000-94,000 visitors."

Berthon said spreading visitors over an extra day would also make a "more enjoyable show experience".

He added that organisers were also looking at ways to extend the length of time visitors spend at the show, allowing exhibitors to increase their contacts with farmers.

"With easier routes access to the show, visitors will have more time to spend at the show and, therefore, at each stand. This will allow exhibitors to offer a better welcome for the visitors on their stand," he said.

Work has also gone on behind the scenes to find ways to enrich the show programme by welcoming more breeds and adding new events, such as an exhibitors' evening.

Showcasing a sustainable industry

Directors explained they wanted the 2021 event to showcase sustainable efficiency of French and European livestock production.

Dairy animals, energy production, off-ground farming, and farm building construction will be grouped together in one. Also, in the same building will be on-farm processing.

"That's a sector we are looking to develop. We believe that they are important future prospects for agriculture and that is why we are putting emphasis on these two sectors - energy production and on-farm processing," Jean-François Blanc, Sommet director, said.