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From Labor Day through Christmas, the sales calendar is absolutely booked with production sales every weekend, and online sales every day, as thousands of purebred cattle breeders are selling their spring born calves. If you’re a rancher who hosts a sale, this is also stress city. At V8, we host five online sales and two major events each year. Here is a checklist I use to help myself try not to forget anything major!
1-2 Months Before the Event
- Begin heavy promotion by advertising and email blasts.
- Send invitations to special guests.
- Check with your vet for any health tests needed for interstate shipment.
- Finalize any vendors and rentals (tents, restrooms, caterers).
- Order staff apparel.
- Finalize printed materials (catalog, programs, signage).
- Picture and video your livestock.
- Begin any radio or television advertising.
- Begin preparing your facilities.
Week of the Event
- Send email blast reminders.
- Finalize nametags if needed.
- Determine parking plan and traffic control.
- Make extensive personal contacts. By this time, you should have an idea of who is coming to the sale or event.
- Finalize facility preparation. Grass mowed, pens cleaned, signage displayed. Significant animals displayed in visible pastures or pens. Bleachers, tables and chairs ready, restrooms in place. Facilities are your first chance to make a good impression.
- Meet with staff and assign all duties. Be clear on what each person is responsible for so no job goes unfinished.
- Make any last minute materials like a supplement sheet. Complete event decorations.
Day of the Event
- Try to relax! (Impossible).
- Have one person designated for restocking items like food, drinks and restroom supplies.
- Trust your team. Your staff will make or break your event, from the auctioneer to sale manager to ring crew to load out crew. Trust the professionals.
- Offer buyers a gift of appreciation like a cap, working stick, sweet treat.
After the Event
- Settle the sale promptly. Send invoices. Transfer papers.
- Coordinate delivery of animals.
- Make notes of any areas that you would improve on next year.
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