As the 2008 International Poultry Exposition (IPE) passes the halfway mark it is appropriate to reflect on the value of commercial exhibitions. The US Poultry and Egg Association estimate registration at 20,000, exceeding the 2007 total. This is a large complement by any standard. The number attests to the importance of the US Poultry Industry and the recognition of the venue to both domestic and international participants.
This is my 30th consecutive "show" having witnessed the progression from the "Southeastern" to the present format. Each year I leave with more pamphlets, business cards, contacts and hopefully friends. The basic question in this era of "Show Overload" is whether attendance is beneficial. The cost in terms of outlay on subsistence, travel and communications in addition to the time expended must be balanced against the value of participation.
The IPE is a preeminent opportunity to acquire information. The International Poultry Science Forum, the concurrent educational program featuring specialists in their fields in addition to the wealth of information and equipment on display should satisfy the most avid seeker after new technology. Renewing old acquaintences both in the organized sessions and the informal social events facilitate communications and mutual understanding.The IPE alo offers the opportunity for industry committees to convene and advance their work.
The Georgia World Conference Center, long-time venue for the IPE is a significant factor in the success of annual IPEs. There is no facility in the World as convenient or conducive to the exchange of information and dispay of products and services. The ancilliary and support infrastructure offered by Atlanta including the airport, hotels, restaurants and cultural and entertainment options place the IPE in the first rank of international exhibitions.
It is indeed unfortunate that the IPE, showplace of our industry is not more heavily supported by the production and processing associates of our major integrators and their Contractors. Even in times of fiscal stringency the value of knowledge cannot be underestimated. The IPE serves as a useful adjunct to in-Company training programs although some may question the value of attendance in relation to cost.
The devoted staff of the US Poultry and Egg Association, umbrella for all feather associations are to be complemented on a further successful event.