TULARE, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — The World Ag Expo reported a successful first week after it was forced to hold the trade show entirely online for the first time in its history, attracting thousands of visitors from around the world.

The online show boasted 752 exhibitors and 24,639 visits through Feb. 9 to 11, from users in 70 countries, 49 states and the District of Columbia, said Jennifer Fawkes, Marketing Manager for the International Agri-Center. Exhibitors connected with visitors using customized pages, live demonstrations, seminars, live chats and Zoom calls.

The exhibitors also highlighted their products and services with photos, videos and giveaways.

“This is a very different way to do a farm show,” said Jerry Sinift, International Agri-Center CEO. “Our exhibitors worked hard on their pages and it shows. We had a strong first week and quality attendees. We have another ten months to share seminars and promote our exhibitors before we’re back to a live show.”

The global audience also attended more than 120 educational sessions that covered water, dairy, sustainability, hemp, technology and more. The seminars can be watched on-demand.

Representatives of the U.S. Commercial Service, the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, assisted with business matchmaking throughout the week, Fawkes said. More than 60 business introductions were made over three days and matches continue to be made. Attendees can request business matchmaking here.

With a change to the trade show’s traditional format, organizers decided to make the online show available for the rest of 2021 and plan to provide new content to exhibitors and attendees each month. To get alerts of new content and show news, subscribe to the email list here.

The World Ag Expo plans to return to the live show format in 2022.