About ASTA

Founded in 1883, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) is one of the oldest trade organizations in the United States. Its membership consists of over 700 companies involved in seed production and distribution, plant breeding, and related industries in North America. As an authority on plant germplasm, ASTA advocates science and policy issues of industry-wide importance.

ASTA’s mission is to be an effective voice of action in all matters concerning the development, marketing and movement of seed, associated products and services throughout the world. ASTA promotes the development of better seed to produce better crops for a better quality of life.

ASTA is looking forward to the opportunity in 2020 to bring our membership and seed industry community together for a time-honored tradition this December. Come together with seed professionals from around the world for four days of networking and education - with the biggest audience we have convened in the show's 70+ year history. As we have all learned so vividly this year - "social distance" can sometimes be a misnomer, as today's technology can often bring us even closer connections than we would have had otherwise. The CSS & Seed Expo is an event we need to bring the seed industry back together as we all work to determine our next steps forward. Updates coming soon!

ASTA’s CSS & Seed Expo 2020 will be held December 7 - 9, 2020 in a virtual conference and trade show format. Join us for the American seed industry's largest exhibition event, this year featuring a new virtual opportunity for participating exhibitors to reach a larger audience than ever before! Please visit our Schedule page for more details.

The seed industry is ready to come together after a challenging year. We may not be able to do it in person, but there’s no question that the seed industry runs on the connections we make each year at America’s largest seed industry conference. This year will be bigger than ever, with the 100% online virtual format breaking down all previous barriers to participation that will allow a broader, newer, and much larger audience than we’ve ever seen.

In addition to government restrictions in Chicago making it impossible to hold our usual live event, we have determined that it is necessary to move ASTA 2020 online for the safety and well-being of our guests.

ASTA will hold three main conference sessions and one Seed Expo special session each day from December 7 to 9, in addition to morning kick-offs featuring student presentations. Session highlights include the “Majors’ Crystal Ball” general session and panel discussion and Dan Basse’s annual Global Agricultural Economy Forecast on December 8, as well as the Ag Tech Innovations Showcase on the Seed Expo show floor.

Yes, all sessions will be recorded and available to registrants on demand for up to three months after the conference dates.

Registration

Register Socially this year by connecting with others by joining Who’s In, Network Notification Emails and by posting to your Newsfeed. You can do by when registering through LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. You may also click to register with your email information as well.

You can register at any time up until the final day of the virtual event on December 9th, 2020.

A. ASTA is offering an 80% discount over the regular pricing at our in-person conference. We want to build the largest-ever CSS audience this year to maximize the networking for everyone. “First Access” registration, prior to September 30, will be an even deeper discount -  just $75 for members/$150 for non-members, which will also include a copy of the traditional printed ASTA Attendee Roster booklet, for our U.S. registrants.

A. In a word, audience. You certainly could schedule your own appointments with people you already know. But as we said, this year’s audience will be breaking every attendance record for this event, AND we will be match-making you to other attendees an exhibitors based on your personal needs/preferences, to help connect you to the new people you never knew you wanted to meet. New business connections will be handed right to you – and if your company wants to use our platform for events much longer than December 7 – 9 – it’s available right away for scheduling. What’s more, your company can even setup a virtual private company meeting room, branded with your logo, your video, your sense of arrival – and even link it to your own preferred meeting link if you want to. Why sift through all of your contacts lists, spend hours parsing through data, when you can instead search and set up your whole list of meetings in a few clicks?

You can register at any time up until the final day of the virtual event on December 9th, 2020.

Yes, you can attend any portion of the conference that your schedule permits; all sessions are included in one low registration price, and those you miss can still be viewed later on-demand.

Exhibit booths are offered in three tiers: Standard, Upgraded and Premier Booths. Each level offers different options for your company's opportunities for participation and promotion. 

From company videos, downloadable brochures to live chats, virtual product demos, private company meeting rooms and even your own company hosted session, in addition to various sponsorship options, the opportunities abound for your company to reach what we expect to be the largest ever CSS audience. In addition to the December event, ASTA will be offering bonus publicity opportunities for our participating exhibitors by creating pre-conference and post-conference "Momentum Builder" events as well as connecting, for the first time ever, the Seed Expo trade show floor with the Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference's famous Trading Room in February 2020! A full description of the transition from live to virtual will be presented on August 14. 

If you have any questions or need assistance, or would like to obtain the recording for the complete overview, contact Jennifer Crouse at jcrouse@betterseed.org.

ASTA has a new online sponsorship gallery this year that will help you easily and quickly peruse the many options we have to put your company name "in lights" at the CSS & Seed Expo Virtual, at the 60th Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference, or year-round for all ASTA events, as an Annual sponsor. 

Current exhibitors can login to confirm your sponsorship using your company exhibit password, or for new sponsors or further assistance, contact Jennifer Crouse at jcrouse@betterseed.org

Navigating the Event

  • All registered attendees will be sent an email with a link to login to the system prior to the event.
  • Use the same email and password you created for your registration
  • Once logged in, click “Attend the Event Now” and you will be directed to the event lobby
  • Use your cursor to scroll, click on doors, signs, and objects to navigate and move from room to room to see all the virtual venue has to offer.
  • Keynotes, Exhibit Hall and Exhibit booths can be entered with a simple click! Once in the room, click on the screens to view the content. You can return to the lobby by clicking the Exit signs situated in every room. 
  • Our sponsors are waiting for you in the Expo Hall! Click on the icons at each sponsor booth to learn more.
  • Your Personal Agenda found in the top navigation has the sessions you selected during registration. It also has links to join each session live.
  • Find and connect with fellow attendees using the Attendee Directory. Your accepted requests will appear in your 1:1 Meetings schedule already integrated with your selected sessions.
  • Need Help? Ask Alistair! Alistair, located in the bottom right corner of your screen is happy to help.
  • You can access sessions through the lobby or through your personal agenda
  • Lobby Access -  From the lobby click the main stage doors. Once inside, click on the screen to access the session.
  • Agenda Access – Clicking on your “Personal Agenda” will show the sessions you selected to attend during registration.  Every session in the agenda will have a link to join the session.

You can access your “Personal Agenda” in the lobby by clicking on the “Personal Agenda” sign, or under the “My Event” tab

  • From the lobby visit the Appointments Hubb. Once in the room click “Schedule a Meeting” that will take you to our Attendee Networking Directory.
  • You will see a list of people who have opted into sharing their information.
  • You can search by Full Name, Company, Job Title to set up a meeting with someone.
  • After finding the person you would like to have a 1:1 Meeting with, click the “Request Meeting” button in their profile
  • Here you can choose the date of the 1:1 Meeting, (we suggest making this a date within the event date), the meeting type, as well as when you would like to start and end the meeting.
  • After you will hit submit, the attendee will be sent an email to accept your invitation.
  • All accepted meetings will show up in your 1:1 Meeting Schedule

Drop your question to Alistair, our Help Desk support and someone will be glad to assist you!

Streaming Platforms

  • No
  • A stable Internet connection – 3G or 4G/LTE min bandwidth is 600kbps and 1.5Mbps (up/down) 
  • A built-in microphone, USB plug – in, or a Bluetooth microphone.  
  • A built- in head set jack. Although it is not required to use the zoom application, using a headset will limit the echo caused by your built-in speakers. ** Remember to keep yourself on mute if you are not talking to minimize the echo.  
  • Webcam either built-in or external USB webcam  
  • Mac OS X with MacOS 10.6.8 /(Snow Leopard) or later 
  • Windows 10 
  • Windows 8 or 8.1 
  • Windows 7 
  • Windows Vista with SP1 or later 
  • Windows XP with SP3 or later 
  • Ubuntu 12.04 or higher 
  • Mint 17.1 or higher 
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 or higher 
  • Oracle Linux 6.4 or higher 
  • CentOS 6.4 or higher 
  • Fedora 21 or higher 
  • OpenSUSE 13.2 or higher 
  • ArchLinux (64-bit only) 
  • Any IOS or Android Device  
  • Window surface PRO 2, Pro 3 
  • Any Blackberry Device  
  • Although streaming platforms often work best on Chrome for Windows, Linux, and MAC. They are often supported on Firefox, and Safari5+ as well.

Technical FAQ's

  • Disconnect or turn off your VPN before joining
  • Use the latest version of Google Chrome
  • Display screen resolution at 1920x1080
  • Check your broadband speed
  • Close all tabs, apart from the event ones
  • Close other applications on your device during the event
  • If possible, avoid other household devices that use the internet during the event

If you are having any problems with audio or video quality of the livestream please try these things:

  • Click on the live button under the screen
  • Refreshing the browser page
  • Changing the resolution (little cog button under screen to the right – if picture is poor quality increase to 1080, if livestream is skipping or pausing decrease to 720 or 520).
  • Try using a different browser such as Firefox  to access event
  • Make sure your computer, internet browser and all extensions are up to date 
  • Sign into the event platform 15 minutes early where you can test your connection, audio and video settings. This will give you time to troubleshoot if necessary. 
  • Check your internet speed using sites like https://www.google.com/search?q=speedtest or https://fast.com/. Generally, a speed of 5 Mbps or higher is efficient. Zoom only requires a speed of 1.5 Mbps to run properly. 
  1. Reset your browser settings.
  2. Update to the latest version of browser.
  3. Delete cache, cookies and browser history.
  4. Play the media file in incognito mode.
  5. Turn off hardware acceleration.
  6. Disable browser extensions.
  7. If possible, make sure your device is the only one streaming during the event time
  • Try closing pages you aren’t using. 
  • Try opening the link in another browser 
  • Press the CTRL & ALT & DEL keys on your keyboard at the same time. This will bring you to the Task Manager Menu. You will be able to see the status of all programs currently open on your computer. Click on all programs with the status “Not Responding” and click the End Task button. From here, you can re-click on your event link. 
  • Try restarting your computer. 
  • If your computer is not responding to any of these options, hold down the power button for a few seconds until it is forcibly shut down. Wait approx. 30 seconds then turn it back on.  
  • If the program is running slowly, check your computer or web browser for software updates.  
  • Check your internet speed using sites like https://www.google.com/search?q=speedtest or https://fast.com/. Generally, a speed of 20 Mbps or higher is efficient. 
  • Check internet connection (see next question for further details) 
  • If neither of these options work, try closing the program and restarting it by Pressing the CTRL & ALT & DEL keys on your keyboard at the same time. This will bring you to the Task Manager Menu. You will be able to see the status of all programs currently open on your computer. Click on all programs with the status “Not Responding” or if the program is “Responding” then click the End Task button.  
  • If you are using a Wi-Fi connection, check to make sure you Wi-Fi on your computer is turned on. 
  • Check your internet connection by finding the network icon to see if you have internet access  
  • If you are unable to see your internet, make sure your internet cables are inserted properly. 
  • If you see your internet but are not connected. Click on “forget this network” this will remove the internet from your computer. You can then reconnect to your network.  
  • Reset your router either by holding down the power button for 30 seconds and turning it back on OR removing the internet cable for 30 seconds and inserting.
  • Check to see if your web browser is updated  
  • If you are trying to use your camera, make sure your camera is turned on. Most online meeting platforms have an icon that looks like a video recorder that will turn you webcam on and off. 
  • If you are trying to view a video - try watching at a lower quality. You can check the quality of the video by placing your curser over the player and clicking on the text that says. Video plays best 720, 480, 360, or 240. If you are unsure start with the lowest video quality (240) and work your way up.  
  • Check that the volume control on your computer as well as the volume control on the program are both turned up.  
  • Search Control Panel in your menu bar – click “hardware and sound” here you will be able to access your computers sound options.  
  • If you are using external speakers make sure they are connected properly, turned on, and turned up. 
  • Ask Alistair our help desk attendant, located in the bottom right corner of your screen.
  • For any additional help, contact ASTA at info@betterseed.org.