Atlanta, GA – An early January ice storm scuttled hundreds of flights in Atlanta on the final day of AG CONNECT Expo and set its sights on the East Coast.
Weather forecasters warned that Atlanta could be iced in for the rest of the week thanks to cold temperatures and snow expected to march across the Southeast. At the same time, a second snowy storm swept through the Midwest with the promise of snowfall for Illinois, Indianapolis, Michigan, Philadelphia, New York and Atlantic City.
The January 10 storm put the kibosh on any ideas AG CONNECT Expo attendees may have had about heading for home at the close the highly successful event. The show, which is organized by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), beat expectations with an estimated 12,000 attendees, 382 exhibitors and 174,500 net square feet (nsf) of exhibit space.
“The show was open for business,” said Michelle Sanford, AEM director of exhibition operations. The mood was positive and traffic on the show floor was steady to the end.”
Travel for trucks and other vehicles in the Atlanta area was dicey as the southern city’s small snowplow fleet struggled with icy roads and highways.
“We closely monitored the situation with local authorities, the convention center and our general contractor Freeman,” Sanford said. “Freeman made changes as needed. For example, all forklifts, equipment and crates were moved inside the building prior to the show close to expedite move-out. All empties were delivered to exhibitors in about three hours at show close and move-out is proceeding smoothly given the circumstances.”
Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the world’s busiest and a key Delta Airlines hub, was described in news reports as virtually deserted by nightfall after most of the day’s flights were cancelled. Delta and other airlines were warning passengers that weather would likely cause more cancellations in the Northeast in the coming days.
The flight cancellations caused the standard ripple effect at other airports across the U.S. Attendance at trade shows across the nation will be impacted. TSE will provide continuing coverage.