Let’s face it, this is not an industry that is overloaded with trade shows. I mean, when we have them, for the most part, they are big, glitzy and infrequent. Look no further than the Las Vegas-based ConExpo-Con/Agg and MINExpo.
But AGG1 is much more of an intimate experience. Typically held in secondary markets, such as San Antonio, Charlotte or like this year, in Baltimore, the show is only a fraction of the size of its big brothers out west. But that is a good thing.
This year’s show featured record registered attendance of more than 7,600, an increase of more than 1,000 over the previous record and 26 percent over the last edition of the shows; registrants came from all 50 states, 9 of the 10 Canadian provinces and more than 50 other countries.
AGG1 allows you to take a little bit more time visiting new manufacturers and catching up with those that you already know.
And let’s not forget education. This year’s event included NSSGA’s signature AGG1 Academy and NAPA’s People, Plants and Paving Training Program. Attendees could take advantage of more than 110 education sessions focused on industry best practices, solutions and benchmarking.
The show offered added value through a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce, and its International Buyer Select Program. The program helped attract visitors from around the world, increasing the networking and business connections for all show participants.
And as is the case with the Las Vegas-based mega-shows, the NSSGA convention is held in conjunction. So attendees can get a nice double dip of action as well.
As noted above, attendance broke records this year, but you know what? There is plenty of room for more. I would like to see many more producers taking advantage of this great opportunity. With the economy continuing to improve, the time is ripe for networking, equipment capitalization and industry outreach.
Next year’s show is March 22-24, 2016, in Nashville at the Music City Center. I hope to see you there.