Annual Irrigation Show Shatters Previous Year's Attendance Numbers
IA's 2016 Irrigation Show Welcomed Almost 9,000 Participants
In December, the Irrigation Association wrapped up its 2016 Irrigation Show and Education Conference in Las Vegas, where the association welcomed nearly 9,000 participants and 600 exhibiting companies from around the world, almost doubling last year's numbers.
The increase in attendance was largely a result of a co-location with the National Ground Water Association's Groundwater Week. The partnership allowed atten
dees to access the two show floors, the joint keynote presentation, opening night party, and more.
"I couldn't be happier with the outcome of this year's show and the co-location with National Groundwater Week," said IA's CEO Deborah Hamlin, CAE, FASAE. "Preliminary survey results support the practical feedback we received on site. The only question remaining is when will we co-locate again?"
o The Irrigation Show saw a 5 percent increase in registrants who attended over last year.
o The new product contest displayed 46 product entries that were analyzed by judges with technical knowledge and professional experience within various aspects of the industry.
o Over 40 educational seminars were offered covering agriculture, landscape and groundwater topics.
o Pitcher's Mound debuted at this year's show. Modeled after ABC's popular reality TV show "Shark Tank," Pitcher's Mound was designed as an avenue to help inventors, entrepreneurs and business people in the irrigation arena bring new products to market.
o Award-winning filmmaker Conrad Weaver screened his newest full-length documentary, Thirsty Land, during the show.
o An abundance of networking opportunities included the Women in Irrigation Breakfast, the first-ever Young Professionals breakfast and a certification luncheon honoring those who have been certified for more than 20 years.
o The CAD Learning Lab returned to the show floor, offering attendees complimentary classes on how to use CAD-based software for irrigation design.
o In addition to agricultural and landscape irrigation presentations, show floor sessions included an update on the Smart Water Application Technologies and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense program in the Oasis area.
During the second annual drought summit, co-hosted with NGWA, the IA was honored to welcome Pat Mulroy as the featured speaker. Mulroy is a senior fellow in climate adaptation and environmental policy at the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and former general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority.
The summit focused on technologies for a sustainable future, looking at both irrigation and aquifer storage and recovery and culminated with five perspectives from different states on how each has dealt with drought and ensuring sustainable water supplies.
The IA general session took the shape of a morning talk show this year, branding itself as "The IA Show." Outgoing President Jay Robbins, CEO Deborah Hamlin and President-Elect Greg Hunter chatted about 2016 and what the IA is looking forward to in 2017.
The Irrigation Foundation Chair Thomas Glazener, CGIA, CIC, CID, CLIA, CLWM, gave an update on the Foundation, including information about the scholarship program launching in 2017. The Foundation also presented the 2016 Excellence in Education Award to Ronald Sneed, PhD, PE, CAIS, CIC, CID, CLIA.
The IA honored the following recipients of 2016 IA awards:
o Crawford Reid Memorial Award: Andrii Gogolev, TerraTarsa
o Industry Achievement Award: Inge Bisconer, CID, CLIA, The Toro Company
o National Water and Energy Conservation Award: Texas Alliance for Water Conservation
o Partner of the Year Award: Irrigation Training and Research Center
o Person of the Year Award: Richard Allen, PhD, University of Idaho Kimberly Research and Extension Center
Winners of the annual new product contest were announced as well. Products were evaluated by a panel of judges based on innovation, design quality, increased water/resource use efficiency, ease of use and product life expectancy. Winners were chosen in the categories of agriculture irrigation, specialty - agriculture, landscape irrigation, specialty - landscape and landscape lighting.
Planning for the 2017 Irrigation Show is already underway. The show will be held at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla., from Nov. 6 - 10. The show floor will officially open to all attendees on Nov. 8. Online registration will be available in early 2017. For more information, visit www.irrigation.org.