Exchange 2012 was the largest conference ever for the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) with a record number of attendees, booths, exhibitors,and education sessions. GEAPS 83rd grain operations technical conference and exposition was held March 3-6.
A record 2,727 attendees browsed 276 exhibitors showcasing the products, equipment and services at 453 booths in the Minneapolis Convention Center. The old attendance record was 2,380 at Exchange 2008 in Omaha.
One significant highlight of the Exchange occurred during the annual meeting on Tuesday, March 5. President Mark Fedje opened the annual meeting by announcing that GEAPS and Kansas State University are now offering a credentialing program in grain operations.
Exchange 2012 also offered 30 hours of focused information, open discussion and practical demonstrations. The Exchange got under way Sunday, March 4, with a packed house for the opening workshop on "Creating a Safety Culture: No Longer a Choice." The Idea Exchange, held after the opening workshop, was also very well attended. An estimated 383 attendees got practical ideas they can use from13 presenters at the annual "What's New" and, "Why don't They?... I Do."
This year's four expo-hall pods, which are curtained-off areas in the Main Expo Hall, once again featured 12 small-group sessions on such topics as : bin access control systems, hazard monitoring systems , and hazard-monitoring devises.
Additional educational sessions included such topics as: planning for safe effective grain -bin fumigation; current issues in food defense; do-it yourself planning; personal hazards and employer responsibilities; and current research in grain handling and storage.
The biggest Exchange ever was also the largest networking event of the year. Minneapolis provided plenty of occasions to interact with industry leaders, learn more about cutting-edge technologies, and discuss the future of grain operations.
The success of Exchange 2012 has already lead to a sold -out Exchange 2013 in Louisville, KY. The last of the 508 remaining booth spaces were selected in the closing minutes of the Exchange.