With so many factors influencing the animal feed industry right now—and agribusiness in general—as I boarded my plane at O’Hare and headed to Atlanta at the end of January, I really didn’t know what I was going to find at IPPE 2013. While I expected that the expansion to include processing would generate some interest, I wondered what the overall mood at the show would be like, and I prepared myself for what would probably be a somewhat subdued spirit at the Georgia World Congress Center.
Thankfully, I was wrong. While I would not describe the mood at IPPE 2013 as festive, there was definitely an upbeat feel throughout the week. Attendance was record-breaking, with over 26,000 visitors, and there were just shy of 1,200 exhibitors spread across the three halls.
As I spoke with individuals from companies within the feed industry, I generally heard the same story—visitors to their booths were there to buy, and there was not a lot of “sightseeing.” Visitors came with a purpose. The only exception to this I found were individuals from construction companies who said that they had not seen much in the way of immediate interest in building new facilities.
So overall, despite economic and material challenges on different fronts, things are moving along.
As one attendee observed, “The sun is still shining and things are still growing. Things might be a little tough right now, but it’s been worse. We’ll figure it all out.”
Ultimately, I guess that was the real mood of IPPE, and it was good to hear.