We're covering Agritechnica this week in Hannover, Germany and I hope to blog a couple times here at Farmer Iron about the experience. European trade shows are giant affairs held in super bring and modern exhibit facilities creating a different atmosphere from a U.S. farm show. And Agritechnica is the granddaddy of them all.
This giant farm show housed in about 84 acres of indoor space offers show visitors plenty to see from more than 2900 exhibitors. And of those 1,500 are international. The show is larger this year than when last held in 2011 (it happens every other year) and they expect more than 400,000 visitors. I was on hand for the second preview day, which was darn busy, can't wait to see what the first true day of the show is - when visitors from around the world head to the site.
One thing that farm show exhibitors have to do in an international setting is tell their story quickly to visitors. What does the product do? How do you relate to quality? What sets your product apart?
And equipment signage is a great way to tell the story using infographics and other tools to explain your product. We ran across a couple that do show that in a pretty efficient way. The first is a sign on a new Manitou telehandler that offers at-a-glance efficiency information based on industry data.
The graphic shows that machine uses 18% less fuel to do forklift duties, 8.5% less fuel with bucket work, its is 6.8% more efficient in transport and can save 10% in carbon emissions. Overall, the company claims the machine will use about $1,700 less fuel cost (remember fuel in Europe is much more expensive - about $6/gallon) in a year.
And all that is shown quickly using graphical information, not a lot of text. And yes one of those indicators is positive, noting a small increase in fuel use for one indicator - just showing they're being honest an detailed in their representation of product performance.
Steyr took a different tack to tell a story with its tractor. The company is committed to quality and so are its workers. And what better way to show that then to put the names of the folks who build your tractor right on the machine? It's an interesting display (Steyr is owned by CNH makers of Case IH and New Holland equipment but doesn't sell in the United States).
And finally, Case IH made a statement by introducing a special edition tractor on its Agritechnica stand. The company has sold more than 40,000 Puma model machines worldwide and to celebrate it rolled out the Platinum Edition at the show. It's not a new idea since Case IH has issued, with great success, celebratory models of the Magnum (25th anniversary) and other special models in the past.
However you have to admit, that Puma looks pretty sharp in black livery. And the tractor's paint job got the desired result - a visitor had to ask what's so special about the platinum edition? Which is a great way for the company to start a farm show customer conversation, provided you both speak the same language.