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Thread: ABF in Hershey

  1. #1
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    Default ABF in Hershey

    Not sure where to post this since it doesn't seem to fit anywhere under the Associations & Meetings (not local or the others listed).

    The American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) has the annual meeting in Hershey, PA this year. I would like feedback on the value of this multi-day meeting from those who have actually gone to it before, especially given the costs involved.

    Questions:

    1. Are their a lot of unique vendors at the tradeshow, or just the usual showing from the larger beekeeping supply companies (i.e. how about packaging / bottle / jar manufacturers)?

    2. Are the sessions of REAL VALUE for sideliners or is most of it geared to the large commercial producers or just the hobbyists with 1 or 2 hives?

    3. Its a 6 day show, but Thursday - Saturday appear to be the most valuable. What days do you attend.

    4. Any other information would be appreciated.

    -ekrouse

  2. #2
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    Default Re: ABF in Hershey

    That event is just 40 mins from me and I would also like to know the value of attending.
    At this time, paying approx $200 to attend some seminars is a bit steep.
    I looked for the seminar schedule on their website and didn't really find anything.
    The topics/speakers page is blank.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: ABF in Hershey

    The time I attended an ABF Mtng was in Orlando,FL. There was a room the size of a large gymnasium which was full of vendor displays. Everybody and anybody selling bee equipment was there. It was a bee equipment super store.

    There are talks of all sorts, something for almost everyone. You can meet and talk to anyone you may have only read in the bee mags. I often find that the hallway conversations are my personal highlights at any bee meeting. It's the speakers who give us the excuse to get together and meet friends old and new.

    If you are anywhere close you will regret not going, even if for only one day.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  4. #4
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    Lewistown,Pa,USA
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    Default Re: ABF in Hershey

    I agree with sqkcrk. I also went to one in Orlanda years ago. It is a great way to network with others in the industy and hear of the latest inovations. I plan to go to this one if I am in the state at the time.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: ABF in Hershey

    Emailed them...the vendor list is at the bottom of the exhibitors info page. There's even an agenda...go to the schedule page and look right under the top paragraph for "General Session Agenda". It's a pdf that lists speakers, etc. The site's a little like where's waldo

  6. #6
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    Default Re: ABF in Hershey

    Thanks Libhart.

  7. #7
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    sewell, nj
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    Default Re: ABF in Hershey

    seems like a lot of money to me.. did u see the costs of the rooms? thats the off season in hershey and its still high..

  8. #8
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    Default Re: ABF in Hershey

    If you're driving there anyway, don't think you have to stay at the Hershey Lodge. It's a tourist town, so there are plenty of brand name hotels. Just search expedia or kyak or AAA or whatever you like and find a room at a reputable place, then drive over every morning.

    Winter in Hershey isn't busy at all, and just an fyi...Hersheypark won't be open but Chocolate World will be, and that's worth the side trip.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: ABF in Hershey

    Also, depending on how much time you want to spend in central PA, you could come a day early because this is Farm Show week in Harrisburg. The PA Farm Show is essentially our state fair. It's the biggest indoor ag show in the country, so if you want to see anything ag, it's the place, and it's only about 30min from Hershey.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: ABF in Hershey

    I will be attending ABF in Hershey, but stay the night w/ my Daughter in Quarryville. Unless it proves economically too far a drive.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  11. #11
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    Default Re: ABF in Hershey

    Also looking to hear from anyone that has been to an ABF conference recently. The price is high, for one day $235, for entire conference $335 pre-paid by 12/12. I would hope there would be an extensive list of vendors and meaningful seminars and paper presentations. Looking at the web site, the research sections looks meaty - UNTIL - you look at the time allowed per speaker. 15 minutes for each scientific paper presentation makes no sense to me. That's not enough time to present and take questions. Is this the format they used in previous meetings?

    www.nabeekeepingconference.com/schedule.html

  12. #12
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    Default Re: ABF in Hershey

    R u sure it isn't $135.00 per day and not $235.00?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  13. #13
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    Default Re: ABF in Hershey

    The $135 rate was for ABF member paid before October 3, 2012. I'm a non member and the next prepay date is December 12th and the one day rate for non member is $235, goes up to $285 for on-site registrations.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: ABF in Hershey

    Because it's in PA, if you're a member of the PSBA you get their member rate.

    I too am a little concerned about the 15min presentations. It seems like they went for the method of letting everyone attend everything vs having multiple rooms and having the presentations for a reasonable length and making you choose. I've gone to quite a few conferences in my field and for almost every time slot, you're choosing between 2-3 presentations, you wish you could go to all of them, but I think that's better than shorting the time. Especially if you're there with a colleague or two, you each go to one and then share notes.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: ABF in Hershey

    Did not know that PSBA Membership counted. $185 is certainly better than $235, still pretty pricey for a one day event. Thanks for the info.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: ABF in Hershey

    Quote Originally Posted by libhart View Post
    .... It's the biggest indoor ag show in the country, so if you want to see anything ag, it's the place....
    There's a bunch of folks from Louisville, Kentucky that will dispute that!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: ABF in Hershey

    Looked it up. National Farm Machinery Show.

    Yep, you're right. 1.2M square feet is a little more than the 24 acres of the PA Show. The PA show though is an all-encompassing ag show. Machinery is there, but so are judged entries under any and all ag categories you can think of from poultry to rabbits to hogs to cattle to goats to fruit to vegetables to apiary, the list goes on. Competitions are held for draft horse pulling, driving, and showmanship, rodeo and roping, I'm sure more. Lots of demonstrations. It's really a show for the farmers to show off and be proud while the non-farmers learn to appreciate the source of their food and the people behind it all. The PA State Beekeepers Assoc. runs a great learning center there with observation hives that gets a great response every year and also does extraction demonstrations. It really is something to see.
    Last edited by libhart; 12-08-2012 at 09:24 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: ABF in Hershey

    Attended the 1997 convention in Norfolk ( I think I pronounced that wrong :-) ) Had Dr. Shiminoko from beltsville as an instructor, several great eas instructors, good meals, wide variety of classes and David Hackenberg, then president, was a real hoot. The banquet was a blast ( I think it was Binford Weaver bid a beeswax sculpture up to 1100 bucks and then bought it) got a smooch from the honey queen and spent a great week sharing with a hundred other beekeepers. The trade show was too good, we filled my buddy's mini van with everything from a 20 frame extractor to candle molds and had a blast. Still have my ABF hat and my canvas bee bag as momento's. I think in all I spent 600 bucks in the 4 days and would do it again.

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