AG CONNECT Expo & Summit 2013 was record setting by all measurements. The show saw attendance nearly double while setting records for exhibit space, number of exhibitors, education tickets and co-located industry events.
The 2013 show attracted nearly 11,000 registrants, compared to 5,800 registrants in 2011. The co-location of the American Farm Bureau Federation brought an additional 5,500 registrants to AG CONNECT Expo 2011.
AG CONNECT Expo & Summit 2013 opened January 29 and ran through January 31, at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, MO.
There was tangible excitement about the innovation and the new technologies at the show.
One producer said AG CONNECT is a technology show, not just a display of big iron. “… (T)hat’s really what is needed because the iron’s always going to be there. It’s these systems that are going to make the iron work more efficiently and productively.”
A fifth-generation farmer attendee said, “They’re not only selling equipment but also providing knowledge and access to individuals who are on the cutting edge.”
And a Canadian producer in attendance said, “We’re at AG CONNECT because we’re good at what we do, and we came to AG CONNECT because we want to be great at what we do.”
AG CONNECT Expo & Summit had nearly 400 exhibitors and more than 220,000 net square ft. of exhibit space. High quality networking and conversation among serious, business-oriented farmers, senior executives, product developers, and industry experts has always been a cornerstone of the show. Eleven percent of the registrants came from outside the U.S., with more than 50 countries represented. Eight Canadian provinces were represented at the show, along with all U.S. states except Hawaii.
"These are industry professionals who specifically wanted to take advantage this year of all that AG CONNECT has to offer," says Show Director Sara Mooney. "Exhibitors tell us they have quality dialog with the right people, and attendees tell us the breadth of education is key as well as executive interaction and product innovations," she adds.
The high quality of the attendees was evident in the average acreage of 7,700 for the producers. As one company executive said, “The caliber of producer that comes here – this is the best of the best ... the business producers that will be the growers of the future. You can see that in the show today.”
There were more than 30 co-located events at the show, including 10 association conferences, eight educational seminars and more than 13 exhibitor events. There were more than 2,600 tickets reserved for the show’s educational programming, and several tours were conducted.
As part of the high-quality networking at the show, the opening ceremony featured a new awards program initiated this year by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and AG CONNECT.
These special awards showcased the best and brightest in product innovations to the industry. The awards will be presented biennially in conjunction with AG CONNECT and will be highlighted in a special display at the event.
AG CONNECT Expo & Summit clearly continues to build momentum as planning for the 2015 show is already well underway.