This past November, I had the opportunity to attend the EIMA Fair (International Agricultural Machinery Exhibition) in Bologna, Italy, an astonishingly large biennial event encompassing all aspects of agriculture worldwide. Having spent the majority of my trade show visits at relatively small regional and state shows, I found the size, scale and scope of the EIMA Fair stunning. More than 20 massive buildings hosting every imaginable type of equipment, product and service stretch out across over 1 million square feet!

What was most striking about the entire event was the positive attitude of both attendees and exhibitors. 2010 wasn’t kind to many industries, and agriculture took more than its fair share of lumps. Despite the various language barriers, it was clear that most everyone was cautiously optimistic about business for the coming year and genuinely enthusiastic for the future of the industry. The final tally of visitors was over 166,400, which is an 18 percent increase over the 2008 event. That reflects a global belief in the power of agriculture to play a major role in the worldwide economic recovery.

One of the most openly hopeful examples: manufacturer confidence on display in the booth sizes. For an event held almost entirely inside, some of the booths were staggering in size—single companies with entire business complexes encompassing warehouse-size spaces. Exciting and optimistic, to be sure.

1. Antonio Carraro S.p.A. celebrated its 100th anniversary at the EIMA Fair. 2. Just one of the massive buildings at the EIMA Fair.
3. SAME Deutz-Fahr’s space at the event was nearly a village unto itself. 4. Antonio Carraro at the EIMA Fair.

How does this international event hosted in Europe translate to us? Attitude. Confidence is contagious. If we continue to recognize the essential nature of our industry, push for improvements in both production methods and results, communicate constantly with our customers and stay positive, 2011 can only grow.

Bob M. Montgomery