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2016 Canadian Dairy XPO to be held in April

Published on 23 April 2015
CDX Cow Coliseum

After three years of exponential growth, the Canadian Dairy XPO looks forward, embracing phase two of their strategic operating plan. The confirmed and scheduled 2016 XPO dates will be Wednesday, April 6, and Thursday, April 7, 2016, as opposed to the first week of February annually.

The event will then continue to follow the first week of April date sequence going forward. The Stratford Rotary Complex venue and the commercial dairy production focus will remain unchanged.

In an exclusive interview, Jordon Underhill, general manager and founder of CDX, explains, “Phase one was to take an idea from paper and make it come to life, against any and all adversity. We needed to build momentum and culture behind the brand and, most importantly, justify the value proposition to both attending dairy producers and the supporting industry.”

It’s reported that only two in 10 tradeshows survive past their second year of operation. Now heading into its fourth year of operation, the XPO currently has 350 qualified exhibitors representing 32 countries and an attendance of 15,200 dairy producers from across the country. This particular event has a unique 45-percent market share, against all other generic farm shows operating in Ontario and Canada.

Exponential growth has not come without its hurdles. The closest call was seen in 2014, the second year of CDX, when all major road arteries into Stratford were closed for almost three days, just one week before the opening day of CDX.

Why change something that already works?

Underhill says, “Our quest is to continuously improve the XPO, and that starts with customer safety. Phase two of our strategic plan is to protect the safety of our customers traveling from across the country and to move the event away from travel risk and ultimately the devastation of road closures during the week of CDX. The event has been vastly embraced by the Canadian dairy industry, and now it’s our job to protect both our people and our product.”

Underhill also talks about the “eminent need to embrace growth.” It’s reported that there is a significant waiting list for new exhibiting companies to obtain space at the XPO, with more than 30 percent of existing exhibiting companies requesting more exhibit space to display additional product lines and conduct Canadian and North American product launches.

Underhill further comments that there are no plans to move the XPO from the nucleus of commercial dairy production: Stratford, Ontario. However, April will allow for outdoor exhibit space growth and the potential construction of a large, onsite pole barn structure.

He explains that a permanent parking lot will be constructed this summer and meetings will begin with the city of Stratford mayor, the local MP and MPP, as well as the ag ministers to discuss funding options for facility expansion.

Careful and calculated date discussions have been ongoing within the CDX steering committee for the last year and a half. A professional research survey company was hired to analyze data collected from both producers who attended the 2015 XPO and producers from out of province who have not yet attended CDX.

Ultimately 73 percent of the current CDX exhibiting companies support the new April dates, with 15 percent undecided. Seventy-two percent of producers currently attending CDX support the new April dates; 86 percent of producers from out of province (who have not yet attended CDX, but plan to) support the new April dates.

CDX will be positioned as the spring kick-off for the Canadian dairy industry, utilizing their new slogan: “Spring into Innovation!” For more information, visit the CDX website.  PD

—From Canadian Dairy XPO news release

The jam-packed Cow Coliseum erected for CDX. Photo provided by Canadian Dairy XPO.

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