Devon Ingo Marketing Manager, Oliver Manufacturing

Last December, we did something entirely unexpected: we refrained from exhibiting at the largest U.S. seed industry convention. This was neither a mistake, nor a missed opportunity. Instead, we took those dollars that we would have spent on exhibiting and we visited our customers in their own backyards.

We met people in their office, drank coffee together and talked. We walked through their conditioning towers and got some dust on our shoes. We got to know them. As they showed us their facility, we listened to their stories, heard about their successes and dreamed with them about their ambitions. These conversations were intentional and meaningful.

What are we doing this year? You can expect us to be back in Chicago but with an entirely different presence, and one I’m super excited about. We are leaving our equipment at home and building out a set with small town Colorado hospitality in mind, complete with grass and refreshments. We want to start new conversations and continue building on those that we initiated last year. We want people to come into our exhibit, relax for a bit and take a break from the go-go that is the Chicago meeting, and feel like they’re in our backyard.

Have you ever noticed how coffee-pot and back-yard conversations often times lead to the best ideas. The idea of grabbing coffee with someone is so simple but the possibilities are endless. The science behind it: these are areas where people are comfortable. They’re relaxed and don’t have their guard up. They are willingly sharing information in an honest and transparent way. Connecting this way leads to creative conversations. It’s these conversations from which new insights come and from which new innovations come.

If you’re in Chicago for ASTA’s annual Seed Expo, we hope you’ll come connect with us “in our backyard.” We care about your business. We want to know what you like and what you don’t, and through these conversations, we can help you achieve improved results.