Horizon – Our first Agritechnica

Can we justify the expense? Do we have enough staff? Do we know anyone who speaks German? Where is Hannover? These were the questions being discussed at Horizon in 2021, but the decision was finally made; “we’re going to Agritechnica 23 and we will make it a  success!’”

As a young company with only 2 years of trading at the time, we committed to attending. This decision was a bold one to say the least! Not only is Agritechnica a huge financial investment, the planning, build phase and attendance of the event would also drain a considerable amount of resources from the daily operation of the business.

With credit to everyone involved, the preparations and build phase went well. The machines arrived on time, our stand builders were brilliant, nothing was left in England and all the marketing material looked fantastic. One lesson we quickly learnt was to not underestimate the time it takes to polish our machines to ‘Agritechnica standard’! After Sam Illingworth and I spent over two hours cleaning one 750 Michelin tyre each, we quickly called for reinforcements!

Several months before the event, conversations developed with the marketing team at  Fendt about Horizon displaying products on their stand as part of their ‘Future Farming’ area. This was clearly a huge opportunity for us to showcase our products alongside such an established German brand.  I thought I had a lot on my plate organising for Horizon to attend, but working alongside the Fendt marketing team gave me a great insight into just what level of preparation is required for the tractor manufacturers to attend such an event.

Our SPX (Strip-Till) and PPX (Planter) looked fantastic on their stand, it gave us significant exposure to farmers who weren’t aware of Horizon and added a real buzz to the occasion. We were incredibly proud to have our machines endorsed by such a huge global player and it was a fitting representation of just how far Horizon has come in such a short period of time.

7 days is a long time to work on an exhibition stand, so we staggered the team attendance to ensure we always had fresh and enthusiastic faces to greet potential customers. With no German speakers in our commercial team and no German dealers, our inability to speak German was a big concern. Thankfully Florian Roettger (our first German DSX customer) kindly offered to help us for 2 days and he was so inundated with German farmers interested in our products that after the event we agreed to employ him as our German Territory Manager.

We were delighted with how many farmers and dealers visited our stand. The event offered a great platform for us to formally launch into the German market, which is now seeing significant interest as German farmers start to transition to regenerative practices. It also gave us a fantastic platform to meet a lot of new dealers, from Agritechnica introductions we have now appointed new dealers in Italy, Switzerland, Czech, Croatia, Austria, Bulgaria and Moldova.

It’s always nice to shake hands on a deal at a show, with one such deal at Agritechnica leading to the sale of our first machine into China. This was a PPX Planter which we delivered in March with Jon Gray, our Head of Technical Support, travelling to China to install with the farmer.

It was also great to welcome so many British farmers to our stand, however another lesson that we quickly learnt is that when a British farmer travels abroad, he wants beer! We had planned to offer refreshments to all our visitors but massively underestimated the required volumes of beer so every morning the team had to make trips to the local Lidl to fill the back of our cars and carry in crates on a daily basis, much to the concern of the event security!

Was it worth it and will we go back? Absolutely no question we will! Agritechnica is a special show and if you’ve never attended then I highly recommend it. We have already started our preparations for next year and can’t wait to launch several exciting new product developments.

Do come and visit us at Agritechnica in November 2025, we’ll have plenty of cold beer next time!  

Charlie Eaton, Head of Sales & Marketing – Horizon Agricultural Machinery