For nearly 80 years, the Maine Agricultural Trades Show has been the single destination to showcase the breadth and value of Maine agriculture—and the people who work year-round to support it.
“Agriculture is not a spontaneous act, so it’s important and valuable that we have a common place where many in agriculture can prioritize planning and networking,” says show organizer Anne Trenholm.
Each winter, thousands of attendees save the dates so they can network, plan and learn. Meeting and exhibition spaces offer chances to ask questions of the experts, to research current topics, and to plan important purchases.
Collaborative Information Sharing
Attendees are familiar with the networking and planning routine of the Maine Ag Trades Show: much of the conference portion of the show is grass-roots. Maine agricultural organizations and service providers host much of the show’s three days of workshops, presentations, and resources. Annual meetings are a common occurrence as members plan yearly activities and connect on trends and ideas. While the Department plans the show logistics, promotions and some educational programming, the collaboration between producers, service providers and organizations is crucial to helping farmers obtain important information.
Every year, the show brings people together to celebrate common appreciations for agriculture, and the role of agriculture in Maine’s heritage and future.
As usual, more than 100 exhibit booths will feature displays in the main auditorium. The booths feature tools, equipment, agricultural business services, Maine farm products and organizations who work to support and promote their memberships and sectors, and those who offer marketing and technical assistance for agriculture.
Another returning feature of the 2020 show is the Online Newsroom. This is a courtesy press release feature for exhibitors and meeting hosts to pre-plan meetings or unique activities, and includes the calendar widget and schedule, which provides the most up-to-date tool to plan a trip to the show.
Returning this year is the Resource Room. It is a place where attendees can attend question and answer sessions with Department staff. Importantly, it’s a place where Department staff can connect with the public to listen and assist with obtaining information about agriculture.
What’s New for 2020
Managing each annual show requires balancing many interests. This includes expanding efforts to host different meetings and building out the conference sessions while finding adequate space to accommodate the popularity of the show.
This year show attendees will see both the new and the familiar in the auditorium.
One change is a new layout of the main auditorium for the 2020 show. The presentation stage will be in a central location. Foot traffic will flow in a different direction than past years, and two information booths will be at the center of the auditorium. (See diagram for reference.)
Moving the presentation stage is a change that is a direct response to attendee and exhibitor feedback. The stage is a place where the story of agriculture is told. Attendees of all ages will enjoy presentations that range from cooking and design how-to demonstrations, to learning more about agriculture from Maine’s farmers.
The tradition of touring exhibit booths will continue as the auditorium remains an important place to see and meet people who support agriculture. In the coming weeks, a map and list of exhibitors will be posted online to download.
Join the Conversation
For the 2020 show, DACF staff hope to hear more about attendees’ experiences, perhaps via social media with #MaineAgTradesShow. You can also save the date or share the event on social media.
Meeting hosts, exhibitors, and attendees are encouraged to check the event Online Newsroom in the coming months for up-to-date features of interest. Attendees are invited to visit multiple greeter stations and info booths throughout the venue, and partake in a pilot of event feedback forms.
Stay tuned for the next newsletter as we highlight some of the 2020 scheduled activities and sessions.