Reflection on Agritechnica 2011 in Hannover, Germany, from Farm Industry News reporter Mark Moore.
It’s difficult to describe the absolute size of the world’s biggest farm show — Agritechnica. After a few days, however, my feet could give you an accurate description.
It’s massive. The fairgrounds in Hannover, Germany, where Agritechnica hosted more than 400,000 guests and 2,700 exhibitors throughout its run, make up the largest exhibition ground in the world. Each of the 26 buildings could potentially house its own show and still be a large event.
If you’ve ever attended a large farm show where an overnight stay is required, you know exactly what happens next. If you don’t make a reservation well in advance, you’re usually scrambling for accommodations. Fortunately, the organizers have a well-oiled system in place to find rooms, and I ended up at a small bed-and-breakfast only about 2 miles from the show.
With a show as large as Agritechnica, you can bet that a lot of other folks are caught in the same predicament. That occurred where I stayed, where I met some show exhibitors over breakfast. It was this chance meeting where I got a real appreciation of the full extent of the show’s reach. And, I met a couple of new friends.
Yes, Agritechnica has some immnse, and impressive, displays. But there is also an entire exhibition hall that houses the suppliers of these companies. It’s not normally a place where farmers would enter, but it was a hall with plenty of activity. And it’s where my new friends had their booth. So I decided to pay them a visit and find out more about why they are at the show.
You may never have heard of Deutsch Industrial, but they are a worldwide company with production facilities in California, Tennessee, China, the United Kingdom and France. They produce electrical connectors for the farm, construction and trucking industries, and the people they are attracting to their booth are the engineers, designers and manufacturers attending the show. The display at Deutsch is probably something you wouldn’t expect at a farm show — electrical connectors in all shapes and sizes. There are no tractors or tillage photos here. “That’s the first time for Deutsch being at the Agritechnica” explains Martin Suessmilch, regional sales manager for Deutsch Industrial. “The Agritechnica farm show is an important platform for us to meet business partners, view new farming equipment, and generate new business prospects.” Certainly only a small portion of the 400,000-plus visitors will stop by their booth, but the ones who do are important for their business.
Sure, Agritechnica is the place to go if you want to see tractors, combines, tillage, sprayers…and every other conceivable piece of new farming equipment. But it’s also an important exhibit for all of agriculture, right down to the suppliers of electrical connectors.