2014 Commodity Classic Breaks All RecordsFri, 07 Mar 2014 11:33:18 CST
With more than 7,300 total attendees, the 2014 Commodity Classic convention and trade show, which took place last week in San Antonio, Texas, shattered previous records for the landmark event.
"We knew it was the biggest event ever, but the numbers really surprised us as we saw them rolling in over the course of the event," said Commodity Classic Co-Chair Rob Elliott. "San Antonio was such a perfect venue for our growers, and Commodity Classic had so much to offer this year. We're thrilled with the numbers and the great feedback we had from our growers."
Total attendance was 7,325, representing an 18 percent increase over last year's record-breaking number of 6,214. Other records broken were the number of growers, at 3,874, a 16.5 percent increase over 2013's record-breaking number of 3,324; and the number of first-time attendees, at 1,261. Additionally, the trade show featured an all-time high of 301 participating companies, representing a record 126,200 net square feet of booth space.
"It's amazing the number of first-time attendees we saw at this year's Classic," Commodity Classic Co-Chair Wyatt Whitford said. "This means not only are we reaching a wider farmer audience, but will continue to do so as these attendees spread the word and encourage even more to see what Classic is all about next year."
The record attendance comes as Commodity Classic looks forward to two landmark events in 2015 and 2016. Next year in Phoenix, Ariz., the 20thannual event takes place in the city where it all started; and in 2016 in New Orleans, Commodity Classic welcomes a new affiliate, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). The expanded show of tomorrow will look much like the Commodity Classic of today, only bigger and better, including the addition of several components and a number of exhibitors from AEM's 2013 AG CONNECT Expo & Summit. Commodity Classic is, and will continue to be, farmer-led.
The recently updated Strategic Vision for Commodity Classic is as follows: Commodity Classic is America's top agricultural convention and trade show, managed by farmers, for farmers, and will draw a greater quantity of high-caliber, innovative and professional farmers who attend to be educated, engaged and entertained. A key strategic goal of Commodity Classic is to more than double the number of farmer-attendees, and this year's increase in attendance continues the progress toward that end.
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