Last year, the Sunbelt Ag Expo board and staff began developing a strategic plan to guide the organization in the next decade. UGA’s Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development (CAED) completed an economic impact study and Georgia’s Rural Center (GRC) helped Expo formulate its strategic plan.
The annual Sunbelt Ag Expo, held in Moultrie, attracts attendees from across the Southeast, with some even traveling from across the country.
CAED faculty collected quantitative data during the 2019 Expo for the economic impact study. Data revealed that Expo has a $16.72 million annual economic impact in a 20-county region within a 50-mile radius of the show. The study revealed Expo generates $5.10 million in income for employees and proprietors in these 20 counties. Together, this accounts for about 187 part-time and full-time jobs in the region and a $1.1 million impact on state and local tax revenue.
The GRC completed the strategic plan to accompany the economic impact assessment. GRC staff interviewed key Expo stakeholders to gain a clear vision of the show’s future plans while outlining short, mid, and long-term future goals with objectives to help reach those goals which include: increase external communication with stakeholders and the public; engage exhibitors with the show as more than just an exhibitor/sponsor; increase local confidence & optimism; utilize strategic communication & marketing efforts for better internal communication; and create an enjoyable, engaging and educational experience for attendees and exhibitors at Expo.