Tulare, Calif. - Exhibitors are beginning to move equipment onto World Ag Expo's show grounds, as opening day, Tuesday, Feb. 8, grows closer.
The early bird exhibitors on the show grounds are generally large manufacturers, bringing massive, high-tech tractors, cotton pickers and implements.
"This becomes a very busy, exciting place as the semi-trucks roll in, tractors roll off and workers position the displays," said 2011 World Ag Expo chairman Lee Coito. "The decorative bark, elaborate 'show rooms,' demonstration areas, product literature displays and the last-minute details, all represent a significant investment and take weeks to set up."
As World Ag Expo's opening day nears, smaller businesses begin to arrive to set up 10-foot by 10-foot booths in the pavilions. It is not unusual for the company owner to man the booth, and World Ag Expo may be the only trade show a small company's budget allows.
"The covered pavilions, in particular, are incredibly busy right up to the moment World Ag Expo opens to the public on Tuesday morning," Coito added. "Every last-minute detail is poured over by each exhibitor hoping to land a big sale at the expo."
And exhibitors make big sales. Conservative studies have set a value of onsite sales at $350 million. Most exhibitors only need to sell one piece of equipment to justify their participation. Two or three sales will ensure that they will be back for the 2012 expo. With an annual average of 100,000 attendees on the grounds for the three days, every attendee is a potential customer and every booth detail a potential deal-maker.
Orange Jacket volunteers have been on the show grounds for weeks, meticulously marking each exhibit area, grooming the show grounds, running forklifts for exhibitors, hand-delivering shipments and making the exhibitors feel welcome.
"World Ag Expo is a success in large part because of our location in the world's most productive ag region," Coito said. "But what makes this trade show special is our volunteers. We wouldn't be the huge success story that we are without their helping hands.
Learn more about the show at worldagexpo.com.