A Global Sensation Nearly 50 Years in the Making
Tens of thousands of entries submitted, vying for a chance to win each year at the North American International Livestock Exposition. Every year at the Kentucky Exposition Center, livestock aficionados and devotees champion their best across ten divisions of livestock competition. Just under half a century ago, the flagship exposition began as a beef-cattle-only event. Kentucky Venues now produces a beloved American tradition, garnering livestock, agricultural, and rodeo interest throughout the country.
Ian Cox, Executive Director of Communications at Kentucky Venues, knew NAILE and the Rodeo needed a website that could “support the growth of the livestock industry and provide opportunities for rural and urban understanding between our attendees.” Kentucky Venues was seeking a website that could honor “the legacy and good standing of the show,” while honing in on a “focus to create representation across the many breeds and species.”
“Throughout the years, expectations for our clients exceeded the capabilities we had available with the original website. Our new website needed to reflect the show as not only relevant but industry-leading,” explains Cox, who recognized that above all, “Mobile-first design was essential to our customers.” In addition to ensuring the revamped site would improve mobile accessibility for users across the board, Kentucky Venues asked for a redesign that could “better integrate the Rodeo within NAILE;” all while “making it feel approachable for all.”
For exhibitors and vendors, the ideal website would allow accessing key results as well as information about competitions to feel “easy to find and locate,” shares Cox. After all, “our show offers a unique space with 1.2 million square feet of indoor climate-controlled space,” continues Cox. Developing an audience-captivating redesign would need to capture the incredible history with features capable of riding into the future.
Breathing Modern Accessibility into the Digital Rodeo Ring
Hatfield Media’s Senior Account Representative, Christina Pfeifer, highlights, “NAILE and Rodeo are prized events produced at the Kentucky Exposition Center.” As such, “it was important for the site to not only be updated to modern standards, but be accessible and easy to use.” Kentucky Venues called on Hatfield Media to navigate translating this vision; a website revamp that would balance contemporary spirit with seamless functionality.
To accelerate this revamp into action, Pfeifer illuminates, “More colors and fun attributes were added along with a complete menu reorganization.” Our team strived for users to gain confidence exploring the new site, from entering their next award-winning dairy cow to visiting and viewing “the amazing variety of animals on display!” Pfeifer affirms, “As usual, it is a pleasure to bring the ideas and digital dreams for Kentucky Venues’ events and venues to life.”
Morgan Fletcher, Hatfield Graphic Designer, enjoyed the opportunity to “introduce new colors to the brand that make the buttons pop,” implementing “the flow of the site” through thoughtful design. “I had fun making the NAILE site,” says Fletcher, who innovatively selected each design choice to simplify navigation, improving the user experience. “The site has a lot of call to actions with an interesting shape to stand out amongst the other buttons,” conveys Fletcher.
Building a User Experience That Feels Like an Open Invitation
Jonny Kuo, Director of Web Development at Hatfield Media, recognizes the incredible ways “The North American International Livestock Expo brings the livestock community together, promoting quality through competition and supporting youth in the industry.” That’s why it was crucial for “the website to cater to different audiences in the community to facilitate the event,” simultaneously serving as “a valuable resource for those attending and participating.”
Kuo continues, “While the old website contained valuable information, it was difficult to discover relevant information, and didn’t identify with the quality that the event promotes. In the redesign, users engage with compelling information that’s organized according to how they intend to be a part of the event.”
Adam McMahan, Hatfield Front-End Developer, echoes the impact of developing a site that now displays a “massive amount of information regarding all the events taking place within the North American in a clean and easy to access way.” Because of the modern refresh, McMahan explains, “All of their data is organized in a much more user-friendly manner.”
Hatfield is proud to share a longstanding relationship working with Kentucky Venues. McMahan expresses, “Ian and Cassi are among my favorite clients to work with. For some things, they have a very clear vision of what they want, and for the things they do not, they are fine deferring to our expertise to get them exactly what they need.”
Delivering An Intuitive Site — Now at Anyone’s Fingertips
It was crucial for Kentucky Venues to gain the “ability to show stories highlighting exhibitors,” believes Cox. Kentucky Venues wanted Hatfield Media to create a site that could do justice to this reputable livestock event of the season; an invigorated digital entranceway that between “large pictures and clean sub-pages [would] allow the spirit of the show to shine through.”
A fresh website in tow, Cox upholds, “Our commitment to showing the most diverse livestock and creating family-friendly opportunities is displayed very well within the website.” Not only does this mean potential exhibitors will be better-informed about the show, but the redesign also helps facilitate “getting information as an attendee [is] a frictionless process.” Cox adds, “We see the site as something that will better grow with the event.”
Hatfield Media was honored to build a site that appeals to all kinds of spectators and participants, priming NAILE to entice the masses for generations to come. Because Kentucky Venues utilizes this online presence to “offer services and opportunities to experience the show,” the enhanced functionality opens potential to “connect with several different groups, including livestock exhibitors, merchandise and tack-related vendors, and general attendees interested in attending,” explains Cox.
"We have appreciated witnessing the development of this website come to life. Nuanced elements that come with producing these events were seen as opportunities to expand the capabilities of the site. Now, we are able to offer make a better experience for our users; and that's exactly why we are so passionate about what we do," says Cox. With a website that pops with NAILE’s crowd-drawing charisma, livestock producers and champions alike can flock to this beloved American exhibition; and now will find it easier than ever to attend.