Santa Gertrudis Breeders International (SGBI) was the host for the Santa Gertrudis World Congress 2019 – a 17-day educational and informational bus tour across five states and with more than 20 event stops, educational meetings and conferences. The client needed a professional company to manage the event from start to finish. SGBI hired BluePrint Media because of our experience in the industry, our abilities and experience as an event planner and coordinator, and our financial acuity.
BluePrint organized, promoted and managed the Santa Gertrudis World Congress 2019, including the Congress’s tour, conference and meetings. BluePrint was responsible for project management; coordination and implementation of third-party participation; collection and management of third-party payment for participation; liaison support with venues; audiovisual and information technology support; topic and speaker identification; site location research; transportation and lodging during the tour; reservation of facilities; on-site meeting and registration support; editorial services; automation and telecommunications support; design and editing production; and mailing and other communication with attendees, including pre- and post-meeting mailings/travel support; event website development and maintenance; and computer database creation.
BluePrint began our work on Santa Gertrudis World Congress (SGWC) in November 2018 – almost a year before the event but approximately six months after our ideal start time. Therefore, we had a great deal of work to do in a very short time since the SGWC planning committee had only outlined the itinerary and tour stops. In order to execute this event, we had a very detailed, specific list of tasks for this project, as outlined below.
Our first activities were to firm up the schedule; establish budgets and registration costs; identify and negotiate all hotel, meeting and venue contracts; identify and negotiate all transportation contracts; identify and create sponsorship packages; and create event brand, identity and marketing concepts.
Next came tasks centered around marketing and registration, including building an international database of prospects; building an online registration process; building registration forms and payment processes; building financial systems for account payables and account receivables; and soliciting and obtaining registrations from attendees in 11 countries.
Tasks in the months prior to the event centered around firming up all schedule and tour stop details, including coordinating with more than 20 individual operations along the tour route; and coordinating with planners, presenters and speakers for two separate educational seminars and numerous social activities during the event.
We also executed advanced coordination with international registrants, including translating necessary material into Spanish and Portuguese; assisting with international travel plans; coordinating numerous attendees’ arrival and departure plans; and finalizing all partial and domestic registrations. We also worked with the tour stops to coordinate meal and attendee counts and itineraries.
As the event neared, we created needed on-site materials such as programs, name tags, banners, registration materials and signage; assembled on-site supplies needed for buses, including first-aid supplies, food, drinks and other materials for attendee comfort; created and secured on-site attendee supplies; reconfirmed all venue, registration and payment details; and organized all on-site staffing needs.
The event began Oct. 3, 2019 and ended Oct. 20, 2019. We had staff on site for the entire tour/event, coordinating all details of the event 24/7 from start to finish.
After the event concluded, we settled all accounts with all vendors and the client, and followed up with all participants, vendors, sponsors, ranch stops, seminar participants and volunteers. Final revenue/profit payment was paid to client in December and the books and event was closed.
Throughout the event’s planning process, we had numerous team members assigned to various tasks as well as regular conference calls with the volunteer planning committee and SGBI staff to ensure constant communication and transparency. Approximately five months prior to the event, we conducted weekly status/working meetings to keep all tasks on track and moving along.
BluePrint has a great deal of experience in dealing with volunteer boards, non-profits and committees; experience with international travel and events, including those from Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica and Brazil; experience in planning and executing academic and educational seminars and meetings; experience in venue negotiation and contract execution; experience in marketing and promotion; experience in financial management; and team members with certifications in event planning.
Approximately 100 people attended the Santa Gertrudis World Congress 2019 for some or all of the 17-day tour that began in Atlanta, Ga., on Oct. 4 and concluded on Oct. 20 in Houston, Texas. (As event managers, BluePrint was on-site beginning Oct. 3.) International delegates from nine countries came to the United States to see some of the best Santa Gertrudis cattle and to interact with U.S. breeders from all over the southern half of the United States.
The tour’s day-by-day itinerary is beyond accurate description, but the effort, expertise, hospitality, cattle, people and camaraderie was a constant throughout World Congress 2019. Every day, stop, event, meal and interaction was a celebration of cattle producers devoted to promoting, developing and advancing the “Data Driven, Profit Proven, Preferred American Beef Breed” brand and identity.
International delegates describe World Congress 2019 as “a great event and experience” and remarked that “everyone was most hospitable. A lot of trouble was taken to host us in every place we visited.”
Each ranch visit pulled out all the stops to showcase their cattle and operations. The two educational seminars held during and as part of World Congress 2019 further expanded the attendees’ experiences.
The event had no major setbacks, delays or roadblocks. Financially, it was a highly successful event for SGBI, garnering income far exceeding expectations and budget goals.