Expo Suggestions and Resources from Fellow Curly Owners
Have you ever wanted to do an expo or demo and just wasn't sure where to start? This page is to help Curly owners and breeders get a feel for what to expect, how to go about it and suggestions on making your expo a great success!
This page will be updated often as more suggestions and resources are added, so if you would like to contribute, just email me.
CLICK HERE FOR RESOURCE LINKS & INFORMATION
Great advice from Exhibitors!
Comments from Dan & Sue Hathaway:
Expos can be fun if you pick a theme. Sue & Dan go with a primative atmosphere, ie furs, tomahawks, a fake fire that lights up, custom made wood panels and native music playing in the background.
Covering your stall with large laminated pics of curlies is also a great eye catcher. Horse sale pages and magnetic business cards are also recommended. Each horse should have photos and information tacked to their stall so people can read it if you don't have time to visit with each person.
"I wrote a script that had to be mostly info on the breed with a little blurb at the end about each horse in the ring. Also background music on a CD. If they say it only can be 10 minutes long make sure it is!!!!!!!! There are certain things you really need to be diligent on. Get your stall entrees in as soon as you can!!! So you can get INSIDE the main barn & not get left out! Follow the rules as to time frames, entrees, decorating, & etc. At this event we were penalized for anyone who had packed up early the year before, anyone who didn't decorate, & for not ordering their $350 hospitality (DEMO) booth! We were rewarded for staying in costume, & following the rules. If you skip a year, you my end up outside the following year.
You must be early to go into the ring, they get nervous about it & remember the late ones. They went out of their way to accommodate us this year It was nice. Everyone was happy. When I got there, I asked to talk to the announcer when I turned in the background music. I taped a note to it explaining just what we wanted him to do. It helps!!!!!! We tried to wear our coats with the CURLY HORSES Logo on them & had a lot of people stop us to talk because they saw them. I also had Magnetic signs made for the Truck, Trailer, & run around car with a CURLY Horse, Logo, Farm info & phone #.
It also would help to make a sign saying "THIS WAY TO THE CURLIES" in case you are stuck way outside somewhere. We also walked around in costume a lot & told people where they were at. We also took the sweetest one (Curly) out for lots of "walks" to be seen & petted on. No one said anything.
We also made sure we were there EVERY DAY at dawn, at the outside exercise pen, to turn our 3 loose to run & burn off steam & roll & just relieve some stress. Then we hosed them off & was ready to start saddling up & get our costumes on. We were lucky & our performances each day were around 11 or 12. So we had time to get ready & walk around with them A LOT before we went in. We spent a lot of time at the in & out gates so the young colts could get used to the excitement, clapping, sound system, etc.
We also were lucky to have a FARM SUPPLY & HOME DEPOT only a mile away if we had forgotten anything. I also brought Flavored Electrolyte powder for the water as mine don't like the taste of strange water. You usually have to share a tack room so we were careful not to hog it & left some stuff in the Trailer or spare car. We got there early so we were able to park our trailer REALLY close, & used it for a change room I printed out all kinds of info from the ABC & the ICHO for handouts. And the Coloring book pages too. This was expensive but I didn't mind. Everyone was very happy to get it. I want to go to the dollar store for crayons next year.
Wendy also had a really BIG cloth CURLY HORSE Banner on the end of the isle. I made a bunch of bumper stickers with a Curly Horses Butt & Farm Logos/phone numbers for each of the farms that were there. Be prepared to print out more at home if you are lucky to live close enough to go home. Or print LOTS of Business cards, you will use them!!!!!! Make sure you have enough people! There's nothing worse than getting stuck there at the stalls & you cant go to get a drink or to the rest rooms, etc.
DON'T wait till the last minute to get the costumes & the decorations ready!!!!!!!!!! I started 6 months before!!!!!!!!! I bathed the horses the weekend before really well & did the trimming. We just had to hose them off on Wednesday & scrub legs again. I had them wormed & vaccinated well in advance. I wanted proof of shots, so I had the vet out. I usually do it myself. It takes 8 to 10 days or more, for the shots to protect. Also the West Nile has a booster. WORK YOUR HORSES WELL! Especially if they have been sitting all winter! We try to go to the facility the week or so before & practice the routine to the music in the arena at the show grounds Don't try out new tack, costumes, saddles. etc at the event! Do that in advance.
Appreciate all the people that are there at the event to help you! I thank them A LOT & try to have a little gift for them too. Be REALLY nice to the other breed people stalled next to you!!! Even if they are snobby, I find they all come around AND HAVE FUN! I used to stress, & it was not as fun, my husband almost refused to help, so I now make sure I make it fun, no matter what happens, like flooding isles, time changes, sawdust in the tack room, whatever. (Which all happened to us this year)
Never get tired of the same old questions & the silly tourist stuff, these people don't know you have answered that question 20 times already today & they are there to have fun & some people like to joke around. Try not to take the bad stuff to personal, just don't sweat the small stuff And you will have a great time! That's all I can think of. Anyone who wants to ask me any questions I haven't mentioned feel free to email me Have fun at your EXPO!"
Comments from Green Mountain Curlies in Vt.
"I have found three things really work well to draw folks in. One: I set up at least one, if not two "shows" of slides/movies of Curlies. I used my computer, and in the past I borrowed Betsy's VCR/TV; however I'm considering purchasing a DVD/TV as the screen can be larger. Two: Large, nice photographs of horses to hang up around the booth. Especially foal shots. Three: A display of fiber arts. Even non-crafty people are fascinated by the fact that you can use Curly hair to do artwork."
I print a lot of info. I print off my own brochures, CHR's, a copy of breed standards and basic info from the registries. I also write to local breeders (for me this is primarily New England) about 2 months before the expo and ask if they'd like me to include their brochures/sales lists? I offer the service free, but do tell them that I'm footing the total bill myself so if they'd like to donate a bit of money for the service, I would deeply appreciate it. Then I send them thank you notes along with news from the Expo after I'm done.
Note: Adria is experimenting this year with a plastic bag with the curly horse logo on it to put all her curly information in to hand to interested visitors. I think this is a smashing idea!
Comments from Creekside Curlies in Idaho
I would suggest that folks have LOTS of quality pics to look at, and a short
explanation of the hair coat of the horses....since most folks have never
seen a curly horse. We always had a blast doing the expo, it is a grueling
schedule, with ride times often at the same time your stall needs manned.
The MORE help you get, the better off you are....I also have lots of
flyers/business cards, and WOULD have had the video Denise made planning if
it had been available at that time.
Take your horses in, looking their absolute BEST, and that is BEST for any
horse, not just a curly ;-) you have lots of competition for your attention
It is a great place to meet "stars" of the horse world too, see a pic here
of me and Lynn Palm...after her bridleless ride on Painted Lark.....I HATE
the stupid look on my face, but the pic and moment were PRICELESS !!! She
had very nice comments for Skookum Buck too ;-)
Represent the breed at the top of its game ! you represent the whole breed
to each person that knows nothing about curlies....not just your own
stock...remember that !
PAGE 2 -- MORE HELPFUL TIPS FROM EXHIBITORS! CLICK HERE!
Resource Links & Information
Here you will find a list of items that are strongly suggested by exhibitors for an outstanding expo.
To add your resource link, email me!
(click photo to enlarge)
These pictures show the curtains done up for a demo at Breyerfest where all the curly's are in one stalling area.
Rental charge is the same whether you are renting just the large tack stall curtains or the stall fronts. Each stall front has the ABC logo embroidered on it. If you would like any of the additional material: flags, navy drape for table, candy bucket, info sheets in 8"x10" frames - just let me know that can all be included at no additional cost. You may change out the pictures in the 5"x7" frames to your own, I only ask that you put the original pictures back. Anyone who would like to donate pictures of their curly in action is welcome to do so. Ideally we would like the pictures in this display to be changed regularly to continue to show all the things that we do with our curlies. If you would like copies of the breeders list from the Curly Cues, that can also be included, please just let me know. This list is EXTREMELY beneficial when going to a large demo such as Breyerfest where prospective buyers are visiting from all over the world.
Andrea donated these curtains to the ABC registry. Please contact them to use.
Don't forget the importance of Ranch Apparel for advertising your Curlies!
Check out the OMD Embroidery for Affordable Curly Apparel! or contact OMD for Custom logos!
Curly Promotion Store
Lots of goodies here!
The Curly DVD was made with Expos, Demos and shows in mind. Set up your DVD/TV and play this high resolution video for visitors to see. It gives them a complete and thorough look into the breed!
Banners & Flyers
Contact your Curly Registry to see if they offer FREE stuff for your booth!