In light of ongoing developments with COVID-19, the Midwest Poultry Federation has shifted its 2021 convention to a fully online, virtual experience. The event will be from May 18 to 21.
“We were hopeful that we might be able to bring attendees, exhibitors and speakers together safely in-person in May, but after careful consideration of all the factors, it became clear that this was the best decision we could make for everyone involved,” said MPF President Scott Waldner of Purina Animal Nutrition.
Waldner represents the Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota on the MPF board.
The board reviewed all the current, science-based information, looked at vaccination rates for the country, reviewed travel policies (both nationally and internationally), and collaborated closely with its vendor partners. In the end, an in-person show in May would not allow the kind of show experience MPF attendees and exhibitors have come to expect.
“The safety of our attendees is paramount, and there are simply too many unknowns at this point, especially with the national and international nature of our meeting,” Waldner said.
In a typical year, MPF draws more than 3,000 attendees and exhibitors from across the U.S., nearly every province in Canada and several other countries.
What to expect in 2021
Attendees and exhibitors will recognize the same 3D virtual platform that MPF used for its 2020 virtual event last August. Several exciting enhancements are in the works, including:
- an expanded schedule over four days, offering more flexibility and more on-demand sessions to fit busy schedules
- all exhibitors in one virtual exhibit hall, with enhanced search functions by both company names and product categories to quickly find who and what you are looking for
- video chats enabled for all booths so that companies can easily connect in real time with potential customers (Text chats will continue to be available as well.)
- a flexible education program with a mix of livestream and taped presentations, offering more flexibility
- upgrades to the networking lounge to enrich the virtual social atmosphere and help people make better connections
Attendees can also expect live Q&A opportunities with speakers; a new product showcase highlighting all the new products and services available to the poultry industry; a resource center with job postings and other information; and on-demand access to the entire convention through May 31.
The Multi-State Poultry Feeding & Nutrition Conference will hold its program May 19. This event is a longstanding cooperative effort between the poultry industries and Michigan State University, Ohio State University, Indiana University, the University of Illinois and the University of Kentucky.
Because of the pandemic, the conference will be held within MPF’s virtual platform instead of in person, and it will replace MPF’s Poultry Health & Nutrition Symposium this year.
MPF also is continuing its partnership with the North Central Avian Disease Conference virtually. NCADC will be held May 18-19 within MPF’s virtual platform. For NCADC registration details, visit 2021ncadc.eventbrite.com.
MPF was founded 50 years ago in 1971 and held its first convention in Minneapolis in 1972. All revenue generated by the convention is donated to various poultry organizations for research and educational activities, as well as back to MPF’s member organizations.
MPF registration is open via midwestpoultry.com.