Ag in Motion plans to return to live show format this year

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COVID-19 safety measures such as proof of vaccination and mandatory face masks will depend on government requirements in place in July

Western Canada’s largest outdoor agricultural show is set to return to an in-person event in 2022, organizers announced this week.

For the past two years, due to COVID-19, Ag in Motion (AIM) has been held online, consisting of digital events and online presentations.

In 2022, show organizers plan to bring the show back to its original format, with in-person events, live demonstrations and face-to-face networking opportunities for farmers and other industry players. agricultural.

The in-person event is scheduled for July 19-21 at the Discovery Farm show site near Langham, Saskatchewan, northwest of Saskatoon.

“On the field and in person, that’s where this show really comes to life,” Ag in Motion show director Rob O’Connor said in a Jan. 11 press release.

“Our farmer and industry networks tell us they want a personal experience with live demonstrations, hands-on access to products and equipment, and meaningful face-to-face contact.

“That’s what our team really loves to do is put on these big (in-person) events,” he later added.

O’Connor said the 2022 show will meet all provincial safety guidelines.

This means that people attending the show may be required to present proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test before being admitted, depending on provincial requirements at the time.

The last AIM show, in 2019, attracted more than 30,000 people over three days.

In a recent interview with The Western Producer, O’Connor said extraordinary measures will be taken to ensure the safety of visitors and exhibitors.

Hand hygiene stations will be located throughout the show site and the wearing of a mask may be required, if the provincial health directives stipulate it.

Currently, Saskatchewan only requires masking for indoor venues and events.

In order to avoid long queues and ensure efficient entry of visitors to the venue, the number of entrance gates will be increased, allowing show staff and volunteers to check vaccination documents, if necessary. .

Staffing requirements will be higher than in 2019 and around 20% more volunteers will be needed, O’Connor said.

While planning for the show’s return in 2022, AIM organizers observed similar shows in the United States, many of which took place in 2020, despite regional health restrictions.

In 2021, nearly all outdoor agricultural expos held in the United States were held as in-person events.

“What we found during COVID (in 2020) is that yes, sometimes these shows had smaller exhibitor bases or had smaller attendance numbers – you know 70-85% of normal” , O’Connor said.

“But in 2021, most of them were at or near their regular (pre-COVID) levels.”

O’Connor said AIM organizers are planning a show as big as the 2019 event.

“Ag in Motion had strong momentum up to the point where COVID shut us down, but I think now too society and especially our farming community understands COVID and is not scared like it was in 2020” , did he declare.

“If a big wave (of COVID infections) comes in June or July, we may have to respond to that.

“But I think that’s unlikely and I think most people in government and outside of government think that with a big outdoor event it’s unlikely that we have to worry about it. ‘be completely closed.’

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