The 'Open Days' 2020 times – Meeting clients Virtually

Origene Seeds decided to utilize digital means to communicate information to clients
August 5, 2020
The 'Open Days' 2020 times – Meeting clients Virtually

“Open Days” is an event used by seed companies to introduce their newly developed seed varieties.  Origene Seeds, one of the world’s leading producers of hybrid vegetable varieties, has turned it into a traditional observation, both in the field and as a unique annual exhibition in early July, at the company’s R&D station.

 

The company prepares for this event early on, erecting  an exhibition next to the experimental fields at Moshav B’nei Darom. For two weeks it hosts clients from Israel and abroad, climaxing in a main event on the final day. Hospitality includes refreshments and tours in the adjacent experimental fields, explanations about new varieties, and sampling the varieties to acquaint customers with the newest cultivars so they can choose the right varieties for testing in target markets.

 


Ron Ziv,  says that “Open Days are our window to the world, with two main goals: first, it’s our opportunity to invite all clients in the value chain with whom we work throughout the year, to host them for a week, to organize visits to clients and to tour around the country, to make them part of the family. The second Open Days goal is to introduce the company’s new products and enable clients to choose products that fit their target markets.”
Ron adds that “in the current COVID-19 reality, it was only feasible to carry out these goals, using innovative ideas that would enable us first of all, to maintain contact with our clients, and also to show them the new products the company’s R&D department has labored upon year round.”

 

After lengthy deliberations involving several Origene Seeds departments, it was decided to utilize digital means to communicate information to clients.
The invitation sent to clients turned into an online event, in which each salesperson had a live video conversation with their clients from the field for 40 minutes, during which they presented clients with the appropriate varieties for their markets, including harvesting each variety (as is customary in the field) to illustrate the product’s appearance.
Just seeing the fruit isn’t enough, our clients need to see the plant and how it grows. So we also included ‘takes’ from the field, to give an impression of the whole plant and its different characteristics. Each meeting concluded with a question period, and questions were answered by the salesperson.

 


 

In addition, dedicated presentations were prepared for each target market including photos of all varieties and descriptions of their qualities. Our aim was that the presentations should enable the sales staff to convey information about each product to the clients. These same presentations would appear later in the catalog that will collect all products and serve as a basis for precise discussion about the different varieties, even after being shipped for trials in target markets.
In the local market, on the other hand, subject to Corona restrictions, small groups of clients were invited, and after light refreshments, they went out to the experimental field with the sales managers who provided them with information on each variety. Ron notes that “it’s possible to indicate with regard to the local market, this time the event had an advantage over previous years, since intimate contact was made with the clients who managed to arrive; clients also commented that they received personal attention, and the tour focused on their own needs.”

 

Another project that also results from the Corona era is production of promotional videos. Ron: “Initially we chose several leading products and made a promotional video. For example, in the local market we tried to present the advantages of each product for every link in the value chain: for the end user, to present the advantages of a medium size watermelon that’s easy to carry and fits in the refrigerator; for growers, to present the varieties’ resistances.

A no less important decision was made by Origene Seeds in light of the difficult Corona economic situation affecting so many people:  all produce from the experimental fields will be donated to “Leket Israel”, the only organization in Israel that deals with rescuing fresh food. The organization is responsible for collecting and harvesting a variety of quality surplus foods, and distributing it through charities to benefit hundreds of thousands of needy individuals throughout the country. Origene Seeds contributes the field every year, but especially so this year.

This reality has undoubtedly challenged Origene Seeds’ staff, to create solutions that will enable them to continue activities, and to deliver new varieties to the market with advantages for all links in the value chain. At the same time, it’s also possible to discern positive aspects in the situation, but we hope that reality will return to its normal state, and that next summer we will meet at the experimental fields in Moshav B’nei Darom! 

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