GREAT FALLS — The annul Montana Agricultural & Industrial Expo (MAGIE) has moved online this year due to Covid-19.
The MAGIE usually generates millions of dollars in revenue for businesses like Hoven Equipment.
Staff say they're now waiting to see what sales will come from the online event. Lewistown store manager Anna Morris told MTN News that clients rarely purchase large items like tractors at the MAGIE.
Profits are made months down the line, when farmers and ranchers look to the equipment supplier for their next purchase.
But Morris says revenue relies on a relationship. In previous years, staff met customers in person to form lasting bonds and showcase new technology at the expo.
Morris believes face-to-face interaction would have helped interested buyers learn more about a future purchase.
"We can explain things over the phone on how a tractor has changed and explained what the cab looks like,” she said. “But it's totally different when you get to sit them inside the cab and explain what the mew monitor does and all the new features of that tractor."
Staff at Hoven Equipment are still showcasing new technology from this year's event at their store locations.
Morris says the MAGIE was also a great community event that got residents from all walks of life together, to learn more about Montana's main industry.
They look forward to seeing old and new faces at the 2022 MAGIE Expo. Click here to visit the MAGIE website.