SALEM, Ohio — Power Show Ohio, a decades-old show that had served the agricultural, landscape and construction industries, will be discontinued beginning next year, according to organizers.
Power Show Ohio, which was first held in 1971, wrapped up its 47th and final year with the January 2017 show, according to Dennis Alford, show manager.
Alford said the show no longer drew the crowds that once made it popular, and there was a steady shift away from agricultural equipment, to mostly lawn and garden equipment.
“It just wasn’t serving the purpose that it was intended to any longer,” he said.
At its peak, the show drew around 20,000 people, Alford said. The past couple years, attendance was between 10,000-12,000.
The decision was made by board members of the United Equipment Dealers Association, and plans are underway for a new show that will focus on lawn and rural equipment. That show, known as the Lawn and Rural Equipment Expo, is being planned for Dec. 7-8, 2018, at the Roberts Centre in Wilmington, Ohio.
Alford had managed Power Show Ohio since the mid-1990s, and said his favorite part was seeing it all come together.
The Power Show was held at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, and Alford said thousands of vendors worked together each year to transform a blank concrete floor, into a quality trade show.
Ending the show will not be easy, but is reflective of the changing marketplace.
“It was a difficult decision, but it was the right decision,” he said.
It’s difficult to say why the show ended up a lawn and garden event, but part of the reason could be the changes in modern agriculture.
Joe Cox, vice president at R.J. Cox Trailer Sales, from Darke County, said today’s farmers are fewer and bigger, with an eye for bigger equipment. He said a lot of the farm equipment dealers have moved to the Ohio Farm Science Review, and given up on Power Show Ohio.
R.J. Cox is one of a handful of companies who have exhibited at the Power Show since the beginning. Others include the Kubota Tractor Corp., Hayward Distributing and SISCO.
In his letter to vendors, Alford thanked all of the exhibitors for their support.
“We have been privileged to have been able to work with you,” he wrote.
More information on the 2018 Lawn and Rural Equipment Expo will be available soon. The focus will include lawn, landscape, small farm and rural lifestyle equipment. The target audience will be landscapers, commercial cutters, municipalities, cities, parks, large property owners, small farmers and homeowners.