STRATFORD – With the successful Virtual Canadian Dairy XPO (CDX) 2021 concluding, organizers say it has opened the doors for a hybrid approach to all future CDX in person events.
The attendance for an in person CDX (annually) is 16,000-plus dairy producers, who attend year-after-year. Virtual CDX 2021 saw just over 2,800 dairy producers log-in and 420 dairy industry professionals. However, 40% of attending producers were experiencing CDX for the first time, compared to the 5% new attendees at an in-person CDX.
“I really enjoyed the speed, chatting and researching different technologies and companies. I am embarrassed to say this was my first time attending CDX” states Scott Judd of Glad Crest Farms out of Shawville, Quebec. “I don’t take enough time for shows, but this Virtual show fit my schedule perfect.”
This having been an exceptional year for out of Country and out of province attendance, the stats clearly show that many dairy producers who could never attend an in-person CDX now can. “With the bolt-on of a virtual component to the live CDX 2022 – our exhibitors and sponsors will be able to take part in the best of both worlds with no additional cost to them for the virtual component. It’s a great value proposition we are offering for 2022.” states Jordon Underhill, Founder of CDX.
The virtual event would not have been possible without the support of CDX partners AR Tech and Ad Farm, who utilized their expertise to make virtual CDX come alive. officials note.
Educational institutions from across the country were able to take part in the Dairy Classroom for the first time. There was a significant increase in attendance of this area with the virtual platform welcoming 750 producers and industry (daily) compared to about 250 at the in-person CDX, up by 67%.
“Students in the Dairy Herdsperson Apprenticeship program at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus enjoyed learning about CowSignals from Dr. Joep Driessen at the virtual Canadian Dairy XPO” said Katie Hunter, dairy herdsperson apprenticeship coordinator. “Having the opportunity to virtually attend the education seminars and explore the online tradeshow exhibits allowed students to still participate in CDX in a different and informative way this year. We were excited to have the opportunity to virtually attend CDX and interact with a variety of dairy companies.”
Many exhibitors at the Virtual CDX saw steady traffic and lead generation; with several companies seeing up to 300 producers attending their exhibit and engaging in the interactive options they were offering.
“Virtual CDX has been an experience worthwhile doing” states Alex Pinard, Communications and Events Coordinator of GEA Farm Technologies Canada Inc. “I must admit that it is not comparable to a live event where we can meet with customers face-to-face. The pre-promotion campaign we did in magazines and on social media was good and has brought several dairy farmers to our virtual exhibit.”
Many CDX highlights and features continued at the virtual platform with exceptional success. Donations were made to 4-H dairy clubs, CDX will be matching these donations.
The networking components were carried out through the ‘Tractor Chat lounge’ seeing producers connecting globally, discussing on-farm challenges and successes. Many took part in the Scavenger hunt and or took home a collectable complimentary CDX hat for being one of the first 200 producers to log into CDX daily.
“Virtual CDX 2021 has been something new and challenging for our front-line dairy producers to adapt to in this ever-changing world” states Paul MacLeod, from Darcroft Farms, Woodstock Ontario. “The adaptation of this new platform brings the opportunity to have the Canadian Dairy industry showcased to us here in Ontario, and to the rest of the world. ”
For information, contact CDX Marketing Manager Donna Underhill 519-265-8300 204 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.dairyxpo.ca.
Dates for the 2022 live (in person) Canadian Dairy XPO are April 6 and 7. The permanent site of the Canadian Dairy XPO is the the Stratford Rotary Complex.