The Irrigation Association hosted the 2017 Irrigation Show and Education Conference on Nov. 6 – 10, offering thousands of attendees a trade show floor filled with exhibit booths and the most comprehensive education offerings available.
“Each year, the Irrigation Show expands and gets better, and we are excited to have so many irrigation professionals join us in Orlando with a goal to promote efficient irrigation,” said IA CEO Deborah Hamlin, CAE, FASAE. “As the irrigation industry changes and evolves through technology and innovation, the IA will continue to provide a comprehensive trade show and education conference meeting the unique business and education needs of agriculture, landscape and golf irrigation professionals.”
The following are some highlights of this year’s show:
- The new product contest included 51 product entries, offering attendees a first look at the latest cutting-edge technologies while judges analyzed each product and chose winners in four different agriculture and landscape categories.
- Over 80 education classes, seminars, technical programs and CAD Learning Labs were offered covering myriad agriculture and landscape topics.
- For the first time, a Spanish-language version of two education classes was offered, as well as a Spanish CIT examination.
- Five budding irrigation entrepreneurs pitched their product and technology ideas during the IA Pitcher’s Mound, an event modeled after ABC’s hit television show “Shark Tank.”
- “Shark Tank” television show success story Johnny Georges, founder of the successful tree T-PEE, made a special appearance during the IA Pitcher’s Mound event.
- The popular Bringing Water to Life podcast was broadcast in front of a live audience on the exposition hall floor and livestreamed for online listeners.
- The new IA Power Breakfast provided information about how IA membership offers numerous benefits and a competitive advantage.
- Attendees took full advantage of the specialty events available during the show, including the opening and closing night parties, events for women and young professionals, and common interest groups.
Celebrating a successful 2017
The pinnacle event during the Irrigation Show was the general session. During the session, the IA presented the annual industry awards, including two new awards honoring outstanding work in irrigation and water-use efficiency: the Vanguard Award and the Innovator Award. Former Trader Joe’s President Doug Rauch entertained and inspired attendees as the keynote speaker, and the session ended with the anticipated announcement of the 2017 New Product Contest winners.
The 2017 IA Water Summit welcomed Florida Department of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam as the featured presenter to kick off the event. Following Putnam were two esteemed panel discussions focusing on sustainability in water use and water challenges. The summit provided an interactive discussion about the recurring national issues facing water use in agriculture and landscape irrigation, as well as potential solutions and programs for overcoming these challenges.
Looking ahead to 2018
With Orlando in the rearview mirror, the IA has set its sights on Long Beach, California. The 2018 Irrigation Show and Education Conference will be held at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center Dec. 3 – 7, with the exhibit floor opening on Dec. 5. Registration information will be available online in spring 2018.