Call it the final domino to fall in the indoor farm show world. First the 32nd annual Fort Wayne Farm Show was moved from its usual January timeframe to new dates in March because of the pandemic. Now the annual event at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne is canceled altogether.
Show Director Dan Slowinski says it was uncertainty that finally made the decision clear.
“With the recent spike in Indiana and the color coordinating that they do with the counties, Allen county being in the orange and flirting with the yellow, it just wasn’t a feasible option. There’s too much on the line we felt like. We felt this was the safest and smartest decision to make for the show altogether.”
Slowinski says exhaustive efforts were taken to produce this year’s Fort Wayne Farm Show. The postponement to March was one of those, but additionally the floor plan was modified, extra masks and sanitizer were to be provided, there just wasn’t an option that would allow for a strong show.
Unlike some business models that may permanently change even after this pandemic, he expects farm show patrons will be anxious to visit those shows once again.
“I 100 percent expect that,” he said. “I expect it to be a very positive and strong show and I know both exhibitors and attendees are going to be anxious to get there and I see us coming out of this thing stronger than ever, yes.”
The next Fort Wayne Farm Show is set for January 18, 19, and 20 of 2022.
Tradexpos, Inc. produces Ft. Wayne and three other indoor agricultural tradeshows, and they did keep their Wichita Farm & Ranch Show in early December open.
“It was a slightly smaller show than previous years, which was expected, but the overall feedback we got back from the exhibitors was very positive. They were happy to have the show. They had a good experience and overall we consider it a successful show.”
For now, the North American Farm & Power Show in mid-March in Minnesota and the Topeka Farm Show in mid-April are planning to open.