[Author: Tom Junge, 05.2020 | Keywords: Iowa Field Notes, IAE, NAE, Strategic Initiative]
Operational to Strategic
Both the Iowa and Nebraska Exhibit Committees met this spring to review the previous winter shows and to plan for upcoming shows. During these meetings, a change in the committee’s role was introduced. Instead of spending time reviewing the operational side of the show, the committee will now focus on the big picture – sustaining and creating relevant shows.
INEDA CEO Mark Hennessey introduced the “Initiative Dashboard” to both committees. This dashboard states our 3-Year Plan (Goals, Assumptions and Issues) and “Performance Metrics” established by show management. Our overall mission is to provide the best attendee and exhibitor experience possible. For attendees, this means offering the best collection of ag technology products, services and experts in the industry. For exhibitors, this means providing unsurpassed customer service and increasing their Return-on-Investment (ROI) by increasing their target audience exposure.
- Change show names to reflect the diversity and scope of the show
- Invigorate the show experience with new, fresh ideas
- Increase attendance
- Research who is attending farm shows, what attracts them, how they heard about the shows and where gaps may exist
- Conduct focus groups of our target audience (younger farmers) to gain insight on ideas, social media and promotions
- Promote ag careers to high school students (our future workforce) and increase awareness of the show to these future farmers
New Names. Same Great Shows.
As a first initiative, we are excited to announce a big change to the second and third largest indoor farm shows in the U.S. – new names! The Nebraska Power Farming Show is now called the Nebraska Ag Expo and the Iowa Power Farming Show is the Iowa Ag Expo.
These name changes better reflect the evolution of agriculture and our farm shows. In 1918, the Iowa farm show had an unimaginable 43 tractor brands on display. While U.S. tractor sales peaked in the early 1950s, the horsepower or “power” of tractors continued to increase, which resulted in improved productivity. This evolution brought about the names “Iowa and Nebraska Power Farming Shows.”
At one time, only ag equipment companies were allowed to exhibit at our Iowa show. Now our “pure-ag” shows include the expansion of ALL ag-related products. Precision ag brought satellite and aerial imagery, weather prediction, variable-rate fertilizer application and crop health indicators to growers. This was followed by aggregating the machine data for even more precise planting, topographical mapping and soil data. Today, precision agriculture has grown to include biologicals, robotics and autonomous vehicles.
Growers and producers are hungry for knowledge and eager to adopt innovation and new technology. Our new names reflect the changes happening in agriculture today and illustrate our commitment to provide the best attendee and exhibitor experience possible.
The Nebraska Ag Expo (nebraskaagexpo.com) will be held on December 8-10, 2020 at the Lancaster Event Center in Lincoln, NE. The Iowa Ag Expo (iowaagexpo.com) will be held on February 2-4, 2021 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, IA.
About the Author
Tom has traveled across Iowa calling on members for more than 24 years. When he’s not on the road, Tom stays busy managing both the Iowa and Nebraska Power Farming Shows. In his free time, Tom enjoys watching college and NFL football, fruit gardening and taking trips with his wife and children.