by Suzi Fraser
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By Suzi Fraser Dominy

FIAExpo ’03, the American Feed Industry Association’s trade exhibition and conference, will take place at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., from May 4-7, 2003.

Established primarily for the U.S. animal feed sector, the event has become a priority meeting for feed industry professionals around the world, drawn not just by the 200 or more exhibitors at the trade show but also by the wealth of information packed into three days of technical conference sessions.

Delegates can participate in the Feed Production Session; Nutrition Conference; Information Technology Session; General Industry Session (which includes the award and member recognition lunch); Microbial, Enzyme Forage Technology Session and Pet Food Session — and for the first time this year, an Aquaculture Session. Novus International Inc. will also host a free breakfast session on "Improving Feed Hygiene with Organic Acids" and "Methods for Assessing Ingredient Digestibility" as the key topics.

This year will be the last year that the show will be held biennially: miss this one and you won’t have another chance until 2005. Commenting on the decision to change the schedule to every three years, AFIA president, Dave Bossman told World Grain that AFIA had adopted its new meeting format for a number of reasons.

"Primarily, it was made in response to industry attendance trends and to better fit the requirements of their member companies. Many associations, not just AFIA, are rethinking their policies on trade exhibitions and meetings," he said.

"I just recently attended a forum in Washington, D.C. and the topic turned to industry trade exhibitions. Every association that spoke up reported that they had either made changes or were considering changes to their events. Among the reasons cited were industry consolidation, travel limitations, the economy and declining attendance."

"AFIA’s directors looked at their overall meeting picture and devised a very progressive and responsive format, not just one addressing future Expos. It opens up new opportunities for AFIA exhibitors while likely decreasing some financial burdens associated with participating in a major, every-other year, trade show. The policy also creates new forums for interaction among AFIA’s councils and committees as well as novel networking opportunities," Bossman explained. "Initial feedback from our members has been extremely positive," he added.