In mid-November, livestock producers from around the world will gather in Louisville, Kentucky for the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE). This is one of the top livestock shows worldwide and in my opinion, probably the #1 show in terms of elegance and class. There is just something about sitting in Freedom Hall listening to organ music and seeing amazing livestock on the green shavings.
So if you are planning to attend, we developed a checklist of 10 things you should do now to prepare for the North American. This article is designed as marketing advice, however, if you’re also looking for tourist advice, be sure to check this out.
1. Book your hotel rooms and travel.
If you’re like me, you tend to procrastinate. Then next thing I know I’m posting on Facebook the day before the show…”Does anyone have any spare rooms at the Garden Inn?” and I’m scrambling to try to find an open seat on the 8:00 p.m. Monday evening flight from Louisville to Houston. Don’t be like me, finalize your travel plans now.
2. Order your pedigree signs.
It takes about two weeks to have your signs printed and shipped, especially if you want to use ground shipping to save money. Ranch House would love to help you create a unique look for your stall signs. Interested? Get on our project list now.
3. Start posting with the #NAILE hashtag.
Post some fun pictures from the barn with a little sneak peak of what you’ll be taking to the show! Share a #Throwback of previous years or winners and how excited you are for this year. Invite people to look you up at the show.
4. Make a tentative calendar of what activities you’ll attend at the show.
There are tons of shows, sales and activities going on simultaneously during Louisville. Visit the NAILE website to see all the events to make sure you don’t miss out. Highlight the events that interest you the most so you make sure to get the full experience.
5. Gather up your registration papers.
Along the lines of travel, I also tend to the be the person scrambling the day before we leave for the show trying to assemble all of our health papers and registration papers. Do a double check that you have all of your original papers. Assemble them in a binder. Be thinking of when you need to get updated health papers. Remember Louisville is very strict on exhibitors following the appropriate health requirements.
6. Check your tattoos.
Double check that all your cattle’s tattoos are clearly visible and that they match what the registration paper says.
7. Consider doing some give-a-ways.
Will you need any hospitality or give-a-way items to have at your booth? Koozies? Caps? Jackets with your logo embroidered on the chest? These are also projects that require a little lead time to print and ship. Now is a good time to be considering these types of ideas instead of getting to the show and wishing you had something to give away or that your crew has some unique swag with your ranch logo on it.
8. Talk to other breeders.
Livestock shows are all about making personal connections! Check with other breeders in your area and see who all is going to the show. Want to travel together? Ask other breeders in your state or breed about the best stock in their string. The original purpose of livestock shows has always been to create an opportunity for breeders to get together to compare their stock to others — and to make a place where breeders can buy and sell livestock to improve their own herds. Don’t forget this original mission. Maybe this is the show where you can add some new genetics to your own operation.
9. Like the official NAILE Facebook
Check out the NAILE Facebook page and if you don’t already, give it a like! Facebook is where many shows post updated information and breaking news.
10. Fine tune your stock!!
The most important thing!!! Now is crunch time. Put all your effort into working hair, fine tuning showmanship, and managing your feeding program. The North American is your time to shine! Do everything you can to have your livestock in the best possible shape and ready to compete!
NEED HELP GETTING READY FOR NAILE?
Let us know! We are experts in livestock marketing and our team has a strong background in working with farmers, ranchers and stockmen. We can help you capitalize on your NAILE experience. It’s free to let us know you’re interested and get a quote!