Kevin Doherty, who was elected WBE president in March, told The Country Today that the 2011 profit was small -- the event had a positive cash flow of $1,400 -- but the bank balance was at least in the black.
In recent years, each annual event has lost at least $4,000 and sometimes much more.
WBE organizers are planning to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary at this year’s event, scheduled for September 28-30 in West Allis, Wisconsin. About 900 animals are exhibited at the show each year.
Now that the show has reached the break-even point, Doherty said organizers should be able to propel the event upward. "When we talked with exhibitors, they think it’s a good show, so we have to do what’s necessary to make it survive.”
Doherty said the volunteer board has carefully scrutinized expenses and found ways to cut costs. They also hired a new executive director, Charlene Becker, who has more than 25 years of experience in event planning, marketing and advertising.
In addition, the WBE board has ended restrictions on the number of animals needed for a breed to be recognized during the show. The previous minimum was 10 animals.
“We now recognize every breed that comes in with its own show,” Doherty said. “We will have 23 breeds of cattle in 2012. We will be adding Scottish Highland this year. It has helped us bump up some of the smaller breeds of cattle.”
Organizers have also improved the WBE website, begun using social media tools and are looking for more ways to get the word out about the show.
A future challenge will be making the show profitable on a long-term basis, Doherty said.
—From The Country Today news release (Click here to read the full article.)