Observations from Beef Week Australia 2024 with Acre Agency

Observations from Beef Week Australia 2024 with Acre Agency

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The most Instagram-a bull place in Australia this week has been Beef Week Australia taking place in Rockhampton Queensland.

Beef Week is a premier gathering that brings together the best minds in the beef industry from around Australia and the world. 

Emma Williams, founder of Acre Agency, traveled interstate to attend what she describes as ‘Disneyland for farmers’.

“Beef Week is the mecca for beef producers. I've been calling it ‘farmers Disneyland’ all week, just without the rides,” says Emma.

“It attracts the most amazing cross-section of the industry, not just beef producers. That is why I'm here. I couldn't not be.”

The program features 35 seminars and over 125 speakers delivered by 18 industry partners. It’s the place for important conversations that will help shape the future of our beef industry.

“The conversations have really been about how we start communicating and effectively talking with our urban counterparts. There's a lot of chats about sustainability, carbon, the environment, the pressures from government perspective, the amazing job that we do as producers. And we have been talking pretty well to each other over the course of the entire Beef Week.

So now the conversation is, ‘OK, well, how do we talk to the people in metropolitan areas? How do we connect with them?’. They're also decision makers making purchasing decisions and voting.”

Emma said women are playing a significant role at Beef Week, actively participating in discussions on various important topics. 

“We're not having any of those conversations about why they're not on the panels, why they're not speaking. I almost feel like it hasn't been a topic of conversation at all. It's just been a given. AndI love that.

“I don't think that we need to be talking about that fact because for once, it's very measured, very balanced. If anything, the females have been punching above their weight in terms of the value that they're offering the panels and the speaking.

”There’s already been so many incredible headlines about some really landmark voices that have spoken to the right people in the right rooms this year. And a lot of them have been female voices.”

Emma runs a full-service marketing and communication agency in rural NSW, and was quick to notice an emerging trend at Beef24 - no free merch.

“Cheap merch is out and I'm all for it; although I was coming in hot trying to find the merch that I loved. But you're just not seeing it.

“Nothing is free and being given away which we're loving for the environment. Everybody has gone quality and made it really reflective of their brand, their ethos and their values.

“We're talking Yeti cups, we're talking Country Trucker caps, we're talking beautiful silk scarves; not your stereotypical merch suite.

“I think it's all about relationships with the merch this time. I've realised across the whole of Beef Week, that people have intent and purpose being here.

“No one's wandering around and just picking up the normal merch rubbish that you would see. They're there for meaningful conversations and to actually interact with people that they've probably been talking to over the past three years, but never been in the same place at the same time.

“The merch is almost like a value add for people that are already in their ecosystems, whether they're clients or not, they're stakeholders in some capacity. And that's what the merch is for this year and many have gone higher value.”

You’d be forgiven for thinking Beef Week is all about… well beef. But in fact, fashion is a close second with many posting daily outfit inspiration on Instagram. Emma says this year, it’s all about quality over fast fashion with many women opting for micro brands.

“Oh my gosh, isn't it an event for fashion? It has been incredible. The ladies have just been beautiful.

“It is not all about jeans and boots, although there's some gorgeous shirts that are also going around. But we've got dresses, sandals and slides. And there is such a beautiful community of what I would call micro brands who are seen all over these ladies.

“People are coming up to each other and asking, ‘Where's that from? Whose jewelry is that? Can I get a scarf like that here?’. It's so lovely to see. It's definitely an event to be pulling out the best frock.

“There's a lifestyle pavilion, and there's a handful of amazing brands that are in there, from Aerohart, to Goondiwindi Cotton, to some gorgeous jewellery and pearl brands.

“But so many of the brands I have never heard of, they are spectacular. And they are being worn by so many of the ladies and the men around here. It’s just so good to see.

“I always go onto their socials and investigate. And they're all regionally based businesses. You're just not seeing your stereotypical fast fashion brands, which I absolutely love.

“It’s been an incredible event for discovery on who's out there and what they've got to offer.”

Beef Week is a week long event held once every three years. So is Emma planning already for Beef Week 2027?

“See you in three years. There's so much opportunity, there's so much potential, there's so much excitement. We're a resilient bunch, but it has just been brilliant to be amongst incredible game changers over the course of the entire week. And I'll be the first to sign up for three years' time.”

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