Get the Most Out Of Convention

Get the Most Out Of Convention

Get the Most Out Of Beef Industry Meetings


Regional, state and national beef industry meetings normally are held during winter, spring and fall.


The 2019 meeting schedule began with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Cattle Industry Convention and Tradeshow held in New Orleans from Jan. 30 through Feb. 1. The next big meeting for Texas and Oklahoma beef cattle producers is the Cattle Raisers Convention March 29-31 in Fort Worth. Other large meetings will be conducted later in the year.


Two-day or longer meetings normally require travel, lodging, meals and meeting registration fees, which are expensive. To justify the expenses, an attendee needs to get as much benefit from the meeting as possible and this requires planning. Toward the end of last year, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association hosted a webinar during which Tim Hammerich, founder of AgGrad and host of the “Future of Agriculture” podcast, discussed how to get the most out of beef industry meetings.


Information in this article is taken from Hammerich’s presentation.


What should you get out of an industry event?


Before arrangements are made to attend an industry event, ask yourself the following question: “Why am I going?” Determine at least one goal to achieve at the meeting by writing the one thing you want to accomplish. There are seven possible reasons for attending, one of which might fit your situation. The first reason to consider is to meet new people in the industry such as suppliers, cattle buyers, university extension specialists, ag credit irms, Natural Resources Conservation Service conservationists, or other people who can have an influence on your operation.


Another reason to attend is the possibility of re-connecting with old friends. Maybe you haven’t interacted with them for a while and you want to re-kindle the relationship. Professional development is a good reason for attending an industry event. Most beef cattle events have qualified speakers who provide the latest technology in breeding, nutrition, animal health, livestock handling, business management and other pertinent topics. Adoption of some of the presented information may help to become a better producer.


Many industry events offer opportunities to find new customers. Maybe you are looking for a new cattle buyer or someone to lease your property for hunting. In addition, existing relationships are often strengthened at these events. If you market a certain type of cattle, an industry meeting is a good place to build or maintain your brand presence.


Last but not least, maybe the reason for attending is to have fun. Most large events have dinners, receptions, dances, sight-seeing tours and various types of entertainment that you and your family might enjoy. Some producers use industry events as family vacations.


Before attending the next event, outline a people strategy. Who are the 10 most important people to achieving your success and what can you do to deepen those relationships? Ask them what they can do to help you reach your goals. You may feel, at first, that this is using people to achieve success, but most people are flattered by the question.


Develop a network of mentors and influencers. Whether you know the target people or not, arrange meetings prior to attending the event. Do not depend on catching them at the tradeshow where it is extremely hard to get anyone’s undivided attention. If you don’t have contact information for a person on your list, try connecting through social media.