A show on the road to transformation

Designing and implementing a customer-led experience reset for the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

An upgraded customer experience around an Australian cultural phenomenon.

Welcoming almost a million guests a year is no easy feat. Especially with a web presence that lacks software currency and hasn’t had a tune-up in over 7 years. This set-and-forget mentality was the root of all problems for the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW and its child companies, the Sydney Royal Easter Show and Sydney Showground. They needed a new digital approach that prioritised the customer’s needs.

A rite of passage for Sydneysiders.

The build-up to the Sydney Royal Easter Show generates buzz around Showbags, animal exhibits, carnival rides and food. And has done since 1823.

A cultural institution, the show is a 12-day event born out of the Royal Agricultural Society on NSW. Celebrating the role of agriculture in the health and wealth of our nation, it’s a time when country and city collide.

3 brands. A 3-year roadmap. 1 organisational transformation.

We’re all for honouring a rich history. But we can’t get round a digital presence that lives in the past. This whole brand family needed to present a better customer experience, but those aren’t built in a day. Hand-in-hand with the client (figuratively speaking) we embarked on a multi-year transformation that would stage-gate their development in a feasible, palatable way.

Sudo Roux led the opportunity to gather insights across our customers and stakeholders to drive the uplift in customer experience. In fact, they drove us forward reassuring me we could work at the pace required without compromising the looming ticket sales milestone in early February. They have immersed themselves as an integral part of the business the entire way.

Frances Jewell

Head of Marketing, Royal Agricultural Society of NSW

  • 900,000

    Ticket holders per year

  • 35%

    Online user increase from 2019 to 2023

  • 48x

    More online users than predicted

Flipping the switch to customer experience.

With COVID interfering with the events industry, there was a post-2020 reset moment. It called for a fresh dive into customer research, the development of personas, the analysis of their journeys. Looking outward to what customers want – not inward to what the business wants – gave us tangible data to inform decisions.

Despite having a customer base that was 1/5 of the size of Sydney, the Show was missing a B2C CRM. We established a CRM and marketing automation strategy to help the client understand their customers on a 1-to-1 level. So, we could segment the audience and create journeys tailored to them. An improved experience for people through the gate, partners, performers, everyone.


In our Showbag…

  • Optimizely

  • DXP Strategy and full stack overhaul

  • HubSpot

  • CRM, Marketing automation strategy, implementation and integration

  • Mapbox

  • Wayfinding design and implementation

  • Momentus

  • Customer relationship management

  • Eloqua

  • Event system integration

Intercepting user perceptions.

Clunky tech is a speed bump to the user experience. The websites presented a complex user journey and slow load speed, damaging their rankings and drop-off rates. The business prioritised desktop over mobile experience, which didn’t speak to the mobile-first crowd that represents 86% of their users.

We transformed the digital presence for the Sydney Royal Easter Show, with the RAS NSW and Sydney Showground sites currently undergoing the same sort of treatment. Search optimisation. GA4 implementation. Redesigns and rebuilds. One of the sites got a whole new look in just two months.

All websites got an upgrade of the opti-environment from .Net 4.6 to .Net Core in six weeks. This facilitated a decreased the page load speed from 3.82 seconds to 68ms. At the same time, we moved the client from Optimizely CMS 9 to CMS 12, for easy-to-use, “everything-in-a-box” type of software.

The outcome wasn’t just more visitors – but more visitors that wanted to stick around.

  • 31%

    Increase in page views for primary domain

  • 68ms

    New page load speed

  • 8,000+

    Users per minute

When the market moves fast, you better move faster.

The ticket to speed to execution is a scalable design system. By setting all three brands up with this, the client got the flexibility of authoring their own moves. So they were kitted out with the tools to solve problems at the pace demanded by the market.

A change in navigation.

Until this year, the Easter Show had a native mobile app thats primary utility was wayfinding. Though it was a helpful concept, the app caused experience continuity confusion for users tapping in.

We cut the fat from the customer journey by discontinuing the native app and incorporating wayfinding capability into the site instead – introducing MyShow for a simpler user experience. Mobile or desktop, each user’s itinerary planner and navigation were now all in one place.

An eye on the future.

The long-term strategy will encompass enhanced personalisation, an extension of data and modular commerce facilities, and a hybrid education portal. For now, we’ll be waiting in line for our Showbags.

Enhance your customers’ experience.

Untangle your organisation’s challenge. Re-imagine the customer experience.

It starts with a call to Sudo Roux: 1300 753 499