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How to navigate the grain and feed winter trade show season

The winter trade show season is a crucial opportunity for young professionals that find their time stretched thin.

Steven Kilger 2 Headshot
Registration Area At Ippe
International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE)

In the world of feed manufacturing and grain handling, there does not tend to be much down time. With new batches to be made, shipments to load, maintenance, cleaning, paperwork and customer service to deal with, professionals in the industry do not get a lot of time for education and professional growth.

Young professionals have the added challenge of seizing every opportunity to enhance skills, expand networks and stay informed about industry developments. I recently made the case for smaller regional tradeshows, but the winter trade show season offers a unique platform for achieving these goals by showing the best the industry can offer. By taking advantage of discounted admission and education opportunities during the trade show season, young professionals can position themselves for success and contribute to the advancement of the feed manufacturing and grain handling industry.

Each winter, two prominent events stand out in our industry — the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) and the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) Exchange. These trade shows not only provide avenues for knowledge exchange and networking but also present discounted admission and education opportunities for young professionals eager to make a mark in the industry.

IPPE: A global opportunity

Attendee registration and general housing for the 2024 IPPE opened on October 16. This event, sponsored by the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), North American Meat Institute (NAMI), and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY), is not just a trade show. It's an immersive experience encompassing the world's largest annual display of technology, equipment, supplies and services used in the production and processing of eggs, meat and poultry, as well as feed manufacturing.

With over 588,500 square feet of exhibit space and 1,185-plus exhibitors, the 2024 IPPE is poised to be one of the top three largest shows in the Expo’s history. Early birds can register online for a discounted of $80 through January 12, 2024. After this date, the registration increases to $130. Until January 12, the Members to Atlanta program allows qualified attendees from member companies of AFIA, NAMI and USPOULTRY to participate at no cost.

Over 80 hours of education programs, on-floor activities and networking opportunities will provide attendees with insights into the latest solutions, technologies, research, processes, services and products in the global animal food and protein industries.

GEAPS Exchange 2024: focus on grain innovations

Meanwhile, the GEAPS Exchange, scheduled for February 24-27, 2024, in Kansas City, Missouri, is another golden opportunity for young professionals in the grain industry. Early registration, open now, offers significant cost savings.

GEAPS Exchange is a comprehensive experience featuring an Expo Hall with hundreds of exhibitors showcasing the latest industry technologies. Members receive free admission to the Expo Hall, where they can explore new equipment and engage with suppliers. The education schedule includes keynote speakers, idea exchanges and educational sessions covering maintenance, safety, employee development and grain operations.

The event also incorporates social events such as mixers, welcome receptions and a closing event providing opportunities for professionals to reconnect and foster relationships within the industry.

Strategic planning for attendees

  • Early registration: Take advantage of early registration discounts for the IPPE, securing access to the extensive range of solutions and networking opportunities.
  • Members to Atlanta Program: If eligible, consider participating in the M2A program to attend the IPPE without registration fees, thanks to the support of some exhibitors.
  • Networking opportunities: Leverage these events to build relationships, find new suppliers, connect with colleagues and stay updated on the latest industry trends.
  • Educational programs: Engage in the world-class education programs offered at the IPPE, GEAPS Exchange and others to stay ahead of the curve in your field.
  • Exploration and innovation: Immerse yourself in the exhibit spaces of these events to explore the newest solutions, technologies and products, gaining insights that can drive innovation in your work.

Both IPPE and GEAPS Exchange offer discounted admission, education, and networking opportunities that can significantly impact the careers of young professionals in feed manufacturing and grain handling.

By actively participating in these events, individuals not only stay on top of industry advancements but also position themselves as key contributors to the future of these critical sectors. As the industry evolves, the commitment to continuous learning and engagement showcased at these events becomes increasingly vital for the growth and sustainability of the feed manufacturing and grain handling industry.

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