IT WILL seem strange travelling to the Royal Highland Showground for a Monday start. It will be strange not feeling that exhilarating buzz that you get once through the gates. And it will be strange to witness some fine livestock being paraded before a single judge and little else.

For The SF's reporting team, that will be the reality of the Royal Highland Showcase next week, but for you, the reader – with nine out of 10 of you desperate to be at a 'real' show – it's going to be very different too. You will, of course, be able to view it all on-line, streamed to your laptop, computer, phone or even your TV, but if you are too busy to take in what promises to be a nine-hour shift of video work from the Showcase, then remember this newspaper will have all the reports, the background data and the pictures of all the champions in our June 19 edition from most of the livestock classes.

A week later, we'll have the same for all the Young Farmers competitions, the sheep shearing, light horse placings, heavy horses champions and the showjumping action in our edition of June 26. So don't miss our in-depth analysis of the event in those two issues.

Hats off to the RHASS team, both its paid staff and directors, for taking the plunge and going ahead with this exhibitor-only event. It was a brave decision that was spurred on by a considerable cash injection of £750,000 by the Scottish Government, engineered by the then – as it has since turned out – outgoing Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Fergus Ewing. It was probably his last major act on behalf of agriculture in that role and the industry should be grateful for it.

We can have no doubt that there has been a lot of shouting behind the scenes, a lot of difficult decisions made and a myriad of last minute changes before the 'show' gets on the road. But, as the saying goes, it 'will go on.'

For those familiar with the tremendous coverage of the Royal Welsh Show, by the Welsh language channel, S4C, there will, no doubt, be similarities in how the Showcase will be presented. Plus, there is every reason to suggest that the lessons learnt from this one-off event, will actually be translated into an on-line presence for the Royal Highland Show proper in the coming years.

But, there's a fine balancing act to be achieved to ensure that this presence in coming years won't be so good, that attendance will be impacted upon. Also, RHASS will have to weigh up the costs involved – and they are considerable – of live-streaming the event every year.

It's a grand intention to beam the considerable charms of the Highland out to a world-wide audience, but it could be counter-productive in producing a stay-at-home audience. Given the fact that finances at RHASS will be tight for some years to come, it won't be added costs that are needed, it will be encouraging footfall through the gates that will ensure long-term viability.

As one long-time show aficionado put it: "An on-line attendee to the show is only worth two fags and a balloon to the society!"