2011 event teams up with industry groups to create meeting place for ag professionals

Ag Connect Expo took another step this week in Atlanta toward becoming the global gathering place for agriculture in North America.  The 2011 event builds on  the first show in 2010 by offering more co-located industry meetings and events as well as exhibits featuring the latest technologies and products, and quality networking with producers and industry experts. The 2011 event kicked off January 7 (Preview Day) and ran through January 10, 2011 at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Ga.

The expo has continued to receive widespread industry support, with more than 35 sponsoring and supporting industry organizations and 20 co-located industry events.  The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the nation’s largest farm organization, held its annual meeting in Atlanta in the same location, January 9-12. 

“It has been AEM’s goal when we developed the plan for Ag Connect Expo to create an ag industry gathering place with a global perspective and access to the latest technologies and education. Ag Connect Expo 2011 is an important step to achieving that goal,” says Dennis Slater, president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the association that owns and produces the show.

Positive Mood on Show Floor

There were an estimated 12,000 Ag Connect Expo and AFBF registrants, with registrants from more than 60 countries outside the U.S., as well as nine out of 10 Canadian provinces and all 50 American states plus the District of Columbia. The 2010 expo had more than than 7,700 registrants.

"The show is an excellent opportunity for producers and other agribusiness professionals to meet one-on-one with executives and engineers in the booths and with expert speakers,” says Charlie O’Brien, AEM vice president, agricultural sector.       

Attendees in 2011 had the opportunity to see 382 exhibitors spanning 174,500 net square feet of exhibit space, including the AFBF Tradeshow Pavilion.   

The global scope of the show is also underscored by exhibitors from around the world and international exhibit pavilions from Argentina, Brazil, Germany, and Italy. The 2010 Ag Connect Expo had 312 exhibitors using 167,800 net square feet of exhibit space.

Global Scope – International Exhibit Pavilions, Visiting Trade Delegations

Specialized exhibit pavilions illustrate industry involvement with the show and provide another dimension to the show floor. These include the Shortliner Pavilion sponsored by the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association (FEMA), a Safety Zone exhibit pavilion coordinated by Progressive Agriculture Safety Day and sponsored by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), and an International Fluid Power Exposition (IFPE) exhibit pavilion sponsored by the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA).  

"It’s vital to see the various components of agriculture in one location; we are pleased to have such wide-ranging support for the show as a gathering place for agriculture. Our partners, sponsors and supporters have helped make this show happen and we value their participation,” says O'Brien. 

Expanded Education on Industry Best Practices, Key Issues

Expanded education features new Town Hall Forums, which give producers and industry leaders the chance to “sound off” on public policy and public opinion issues impacting the heart of agriculture operations today. Educational programming includes more than 39 sessions , including 21 Education Breakout sessions, 10 free sessions in the Innovations Theater in the exhibit hall.

The event now begins its biennial cycle and will return to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., in January 2013.