It was three days of education and networking at the inaugural Ag Connect Expo, held in January in Orlando, FL. Sponsored by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the new conference was billed as a high-quality, globally focused alternative to the traditional North American equipment venue.
The event featured more than 150,000 square feet of equipment innovation, educational sessions, and networking opportunities, including a technology track of breakout sessions sponsored by the PrecisionAg Institute.
Some 2,000 producers were among the attendees, representing more than 60 countries and 49 states. The final attendance count from show management came in at more than 7,700, with 20% coming from outside the country.
Attendees appreciated the relative exclusivity of Ag Connect, says Charlie O’Brien, AEM’s vice president of agricultural services.
“In talking to producers here, they told us that if the vision is to provide an environment where they have the opportunity to go to an exhibit, conduct business, and talk directly to the experts within those exhibits, then Ag Connect is a success,” said O’Brien.
At the exhibits, engineers, product managers, and whoever may have been involved in developing the product, were on hand to provide attendees with the opportunity to have a real dialog with exhibitors, O’Brien added. “Attendees wanted to have access, and that’s all about quality,” he said.
Atlanta’s World Congress Center will host the next Ag Connect Expo, scheduled for Jan. 7-10, 2011. After that, the event will be held on an every-other-year basis.