Livestock Shows Expertly Herd Entrants with New Entry System App

The 113-year-old National Western Stock Show is deeply committed to its Western heritage and steeped in tradition—but tradition doesn’t extend to its technology. The Western Stock Show Association (WSSA), which runs all Junior Market competitions at National Western, leads the world in finding 21st-century agriculture solutions. Farmers use DNA markers to inform breeding decisions to create healthier herds. And, last year, National Western implemented its new entry system app, Exhibitor’s Corner.

No bull; it’s complicated.

Livestock shows and state fairs are among the most complex events to manage; competitions often number in the hundreds, each with its own entry and eligibility requirements, category breakdowns, and fees. Exhibitors can number in the thousands and participate in multiple events. Several events run simultaneously, and some event entries are dependent upon the outcomes of previous events.

Most livestock shows and state fairs have long histories like National Western and, back in the day, everything was written on paper and handled with manual processes. While some event management apps have come on the market in recent years, they don’t have the scalability, customization, and robust infrastructure required to adequately address the onslaught of variables shows the size of National Western contend with every year.

Large-scale shows often find themselves running several technology solutions to try to address everything, and because those solutions don’t all communicate with each other, they’re still encumbered by manual processes.

National Western’s entry system challenges wrangled by Exhibitor’s Corner

What makes running the National Western Stock Show demanding is that all the variables have variables. To start, there are two main branches of the show: Open competitions run by breed associations, and Junior Market competitions run by the WSSA. The differentiation between the two branches is age of the participants.

Every single event has its own criteria; each criterion has its own elements of consideration. While most competitions are broken down via species, breed, sex, date of birth, and weight, and then grouped into a final show, there are numerous other events that take into account different factors.

National Western needed a solution to keep all relevant information related to entries together, generate show programs, notify participants of location changes, and update results in near-real time.

Livestock show complexities become manageable with the right entry system

Exhibitor’s Corner improves all aspects of running a large-scale livestock show, state fair, or county fair. From event set up to exhibitor registration, on to creating show programs and splitting classes, through reporting and wrap-up, it simplifies and clarifies for cost savings, workflow improvements, and a better show experience for all.

From the beginning, we built Exhibitor’s Corner to give each show the ability to fully customize the app, enabling features it wants, eliminating those it doesn’t, and requesting features that don’t exist yet. For instance, National Western opted to collect W-9 information at the entry stage so it didn’t have to follow up with winners after the show in order to pay them out. Exhibitor’s Corner can also interface with external accounting software and ticketing apps.

Managing the Super Bowl of livestock shows

There’s nothing quite like the National Western Stock Show. We’re proud to have helped implement this entry system solution that handles even their outlier events, some of which include

The Catch-a-Calf competition, in which young competitors vie for a chance to raise a calf to show in next year’s marketplace—by, you guessed it, physically catching a calf.

Judging contests, in which teams compete on their ability to accurately judge and appraise livestock, meat, and wool.

The Junior Market Swine Draw, in which junior competitors enter for a chance to show four pigs in the Junior Marketplace.

Exhibitor’s Corner keeps events moving until the cows come home. Read more about National Western Stock Show’s experience with Exhibitor’s Corner here.

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