A Show Not to Miss

December 10, 2009 06:00 PM

Start 2010 off right with a trip to Orlando, Fla., and the first-ever Ag Connect Expo at the Orange County Convention Center. This one-of-a-kind global show will not only showcase new technology but also provide easy access to experts and industry seminars—all in one spot.

Held Jan. 13 to 15 in Orlando's world-class convention center by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), Ag Connect is designed to let producers who are serious about agriculture accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. And as more than one farmer has pointed out, the chance to do that in sunny Florida and write off the trip doesn't hurt either!

"This is certainly one of those events that you have to experience in order to understand the depth and breadth offered,” says Charlie O'Brien, vice president, AEM. "That's because there is truly nothing like it in the U.S. It's a business-focused expo that is more than machinery, more than technology and more than just another show—it's a true gathering place for agriculture.”

In addition to the expo, Ag Connect is a magnet that is drawing together 13 co-located events, 34 educational seminars and several other industry meetings. An online show planner makes it easy for attendees to keep track of what is going on—and maximize
opportunities. Check out the planning tool and find more information at www.AgConnect.com/FJ.

While you're online, be sure to check the wide range of products that exhibitors promise to display at the show. You can also rate those new products.

One defining feature of Ag Connect is the extensive networking opportunities. Not only will there be a who's who of attendees to network with but also a special breakout area set aside near the educational seminars for follow-up and targeted networking.
"The networking adds to the professionalism of the show,” O'Brien says. "A lot of the activity at Ag Connect is geared to sharing best practices and producer-to-producer contact.”

The chance for networking and a more business-minded show is also appealing for exhibitors. "Ag Connect is an opportunity for companies to share new technology in products and the services that go along with them at an event where you can talk on a one-on-one level,” says Doug DeVries, senior vice president of global marketing services, John Deere Agriculture and Turf Division. "We see this as a premier event that is about the business of agriculture—and one that offers multiple levels of connections.”

In light of that, DeVries says, John Deere will not only be showcasing products but also the management systems and technology that add value to farmers' production systems. "We will have experts available that can connect product and technology for the benefit of the producers,” he says.

One thing is clear in talking to show organizers and exhibitors: Ag Connect is not just another farm show. "It is an event where there is a true opportunity for partner interaction,” explains Mark Core, vice president of Vermeer Corporation. "Everyone attending will notice a different feel—and a different value—than they find at a typical farm show. The global nature, the educational seminars and the pure excitement at the show will set it apart.”

The show is attracting the attention of producers hungry for a more businesslike trade show. "I like the idea of going to one place—especially a nice warm one—and networking with a wide range of players in the industry in a short amount of time,” says Kip Tom, a Warsaw, Ind., farmer. "Ag Connect promises to be a place where I can make the most of my time.”

Make Time for Fun

While you're in Orlando, join fellow farmers and exhibitors at an exclusive Networking Night at Super Hero Island, located in Universal's Islands of Adventure. The Marvel Super Heroes will greet you and your family when you arrive—and you'll enjoy having the park to yourself. Held on Thursday, Jan. 14, from 7 to 10 p.m., the fun is open only to Ag Connect Expo participants. Sign up online at www.AgConnect.com/FJ.

As an Ag Connect attendee, you can also purchase discounted tickets for SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort, Walt Disney World Resort and many more. Buy tickets online at http://agconnect.orlandomeetinginfo.com/tickets/index.cfm or call (407) 566-5600.

You can e-mail Charlene Finck at

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