The 2020 Great Bend Farm, Ranch and Hemp Expo/Tradeshow, originally listed as postponed to an undetermined date due to Covid-19, is back on again, in a way. It will run as planned April 8-10, except as a virtual event, said Tana Dale, with show owners Star Expos of Bird City.
Although more information will be forthcoming, Dale said vendors will be invited to upload videos of their booths from their businesses at home to Star Enterprises website. Viewers can then take virtual tours of them.
The show will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with content available throughout the day. In addition to the exhibitors, there will be video presentations from hemp vendors and from Kansas State University Extension speakers, and live interviews with businesses and other features, she said.
This marks the first time Star Expos has attempted a virtual show, Dale said. And, they are still learning. “We are hoping to get people excited about this.”
It was Tuesday, March 17 that the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee voted to postpone the expo, which had utilized the Great Bend Expo Complex, some of which is owned by the Chamber. At the time, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly had banned public gatherings of 50 or more, a number that has since been cut to 10.
However, chamber President Megan Barfield said the idea of going virtual was discussed then. “We are totally on board with this. They are thinking outside the box.”
Although, she said, the expo was big chuck of the chamber’s revenue and they will have to work through this.
In the meantime, Barfield said she will be in touch with Tana and her husband Darren to figure out the details.
The expo has been dubbed as the largest farm event in the United States dedicated to promoting agricultural technology with more than 700 Vendors covering 80 acres.
Exhibitors were to include numerous displays for farm and ranch equipment, seed and chemicals, agricultural services, irrigation manufacturers, financial providers, commodity organizations, colleges, governmental services, home services, furniture and art galleries, boutiques, hats, boots, and more. There were also several presentations planned.
In addition, Star Expos added hemp components to their shows this year.
In addition to the Great Bend show, Star Expos has the Wichita Falls, Texas, Farm, Ranch and Hemp Expo which concluded earlier this month, and the McCook, Neb., Farm, Ranch and Hemp Expo which is set for Nov. 18-19.
Contact the Great Bend Farm and Ranch Expo office at 866-685-0989, cell 785-426-2092, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.