2018 Side being held in Dunedin

The 2018 South Island Dairy Event (Side) will be held in Dunedin and organisers are planning to mark its 20th anniversary with a big celebration.

Event organising committee chairwoman Robyn Williams, of Oamaru, said the Side, which is one of the biggest dairy-related events in the country, would be held at the Dunedin Town Hall on June 25 and 26.

"We have held it in Dunedin before, in 2012," Mrs Williams said.

The theme was "It starts with us", as dairy farmers needed to look after themselves — their  health and wellbeing — first.

She said the social activities, speakers and workshop contents were still to be finalised and organisers wanted to refresh the format. They were also reducing the number of workshops being run, introducing new topics and possibly extending the length of the sessions.

"We really want to provide less quantity and better quality."

The formal dinner would be held on the Monday night at  Forsyth Barr Stadium, rather than on the  Tuesday night, which was more usual, as organisers had decided to shorten the event by half a day, Mrs Williams said.

About 450 people would be catered for.

Organisers also intended to mark the 20-year milestone with "something fun" and get the sponsors involved. The Side would also be a celebration of  the industry, as well as what had been achieved, and look at how to encourage more young people into leadership roles, Mrs Williams said.

"We want people to be proud of us and our industry."

Organisers were also looking at running a media forum.

Registrations are expected to open in April.  

yvonne.ohara@alliedpress.co.nz

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