International Potato Technology Expo 2016
Charlottetown, PE – With its highest attendance in a decade, the 2016 edition of the International Potato Technology Expo was a resounding success. This top industry event took place last Friday and Saturday, February 26th and 27th, at the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown.
Approximately 3,200 industry professionals walked the show floor to check out the diverse grouping of local, regional, national, and international exhibitors. Potato growers, together with the leading manufacturers of equipment and product solutions from across the Maritimes and beyond were in attendance.
Matt Mitchell, Show Manager, said he was very pleased with the outcome of the event. “We were happy to see that this year’s edition drew the show’s highest attendance since 2006,” he said. “I think the excellent conference program really contributed to that, given that it was so well attended. Likewise, we certainly couldn’t have asked for better weather, and the addition of the tractors was a great draw for potato farmers.”
Exhibitors echoed the positive sentiments. “This year’s show was another very successful event,” said Brian Beaton, Potato Industry Coordinator with the PEI Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. “All the major suppliers to the Potato Industry were there and attendance by potato growers was very high. I heard many positive comments about the speakers at the conference and many said that they picked up some valuable information for their farm.”
“The Potato Expo provided an excellent opportunity to connect with our customers and others in the Ag industry,” said Karen MacInnis Larter, Farm Credit Canada (FCC) Marketing Program Manager. “The FCC booth was a busy place, with all kinds of people stopping by to discover what FCC does, learn about our financing options, see demonstrations of our farm management software, or just say hello. Our Agriculture More Than Ever booth was also popular. People were very interested in finding out how they could become ‘Agvocates’ and tell the great story of Canadian agriculture.”
“We were proud to be the major sponsor for this year’s event,” she added. “It was a great showcase and an excellent learning event for producers. They could find industry related information pertinent to their operations and hear top-notch speakers. It was a quality event from start to finish.”
“We found the Expo extremely beneficial,” said Trent Cousins, Allan Potato Handling Equipment Ltd. “We feel there was a huge attendance from our industry. Having our exhibit in the show put us in touch with many customers, both new and existing, that we may not have had the chance to meet with. We will definitely be attending again in the future.”
“I can honestly say that this year show was by far better for us in quality lead generation and people coming to visit our booth; industry interest was like we haven’t seen in a few years,” said Marco Gagnon, GOW Group Inc. “All in all, we qualify this event a success for us.”
This year, a full educational conference program was offered alongside the tradeshow portion of the event on Friday, February 26th. It featured seminar presentations from leading experts including Dr. Tom Wolf, Agrimetrix Research & Training, Saskatoon, SK; Dr. Bernie Zebarth, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Fredericton, NB; Dr. Gefu Wang-Pruski, Dalhousie University Agricultural Campus, Truro, NS; and Lane Stockbrugger, Farm Credit Canada, Englefeld, SK. The conference was well-attended with 173 registrants and strong attendance for both the morning and afternoon sessions.
The International Potato Technology Expo is North America’s leading potato event and takes place biennially in Charlottetown. The next edition will occur in February 2018 and information will be posted online at www.PotatoExpo.ca as it becomes available.
Matt Mitchell, Show Manager
Master Promotions Ltd.