From crates to exhibit
The day before any show opens the exhibit area is a kind of controlled chaos with crates and people moving about setting up their space. Often you'll see folks talking over next steps in the process - then off to work they'll go. It's pretty amazing how things look by the next day.
Bringing in new machines to display involves keeping them clean and protected. For this product, plastic was in order. The wraps come off on opening days.
Getting details right
Tiny details make a big difference in a display, every flag, banner and literature stand is placed just so in the interest in getting the message across. The Hormel team likes to wear Spam shirts, and this year's blue shirts read "Glorious Spam" - no way we can argue with that.
Out of the box
When you see an exhibit unassembled, the number of pieces is intimidating. In this case, the exhibit includes a wide range of parts that in the end show off the company's products in the best light. Getting from crate to finished exhibit does take time.
Size makes a statement
Making a statement sometimes means thinking big. This vaccine bottle is more than 4-feet tall. But you can bet every detail in the product label is identical to it's life-size twin that fits in the palm of your hand.
Those crates of parts have to be assembled somehow. Here are some essential tools - and yes water is an essential tool when you're working hard.
Quiet before the show
This street of exhibits is quiet ahead of the big show - but as the crowds pour in, this area takes on a totally new look. Of course, you can also find your fair share of free food along this area too!
Is this a mascot? An indicator of good things to come? We don't know - though AP does a nice job of providing food at the World Pork Expo (you'll get a glimpse shortly).
Looking good for the show
The sound of a vacuum cleaner in an exhibit is a sign that a lot of hard work is almost done. In this case, Serge Labrecque, CEO, RO-MAIN is running the appliance getting ready for the show.
Into the smoker
We promised a peek at some food. AP puts on a feed every day at World Pork Expo for customers, but the process starts the day before as racks of ribs go into the smoker. And yes the word "yum" comes immediately to mind.
Promotion on the hoof?
Exhibitors want to get customer attention and one way to do that is signage under foot - on the sidewalks. They're all over, some small, some larger - but all of them get your attention.
Raising the roof
The folks at Compassion International assemble this galvanized steel structure for the show. This housing - designed by Sukup Mfg. - is said to be at least 10 degrees cooler than air outside on a hot day. They help get these structures sent - and assembled - for the poor in developing countries.
A little elevation
Exhibits are elaborate at World Pork Expo and that sometimes means a little climbing is in order. The extensive exhibits offer customers the chance to get in-depth information about key products and services for their operations.
You'll find products from around the world. In this case, it's a new kind of livestock trailer from Italy. Yes, a pig transport system from Italy. If you come to the show this week, it's probably worth checking out. European animal shippers are developing easier ways to move pigs than ever before.
Dressed for success
Letting your friends and others know you attended a major global event can be as simple as buying a new hoodie. Or sporting a new T-shirt showing the event logo. It's all available at World Pork Expo.
Making a statement
At the Bling Me exhibit, they showed off a number of T-shirt designs, and this one caught our eye. We're sure it's almost a chanted mantra for daddies of show kinds everywhere.
The perfect complement
Pork goes well with a wide range of condiments. In this tent, we came across a pretty wide array of sauces for the other white meat. These will be available to hungry diners from Day 1 of the event.
With the World Pork Expo Junior National Show going on ahead of the official expo, at least one sponsor is helping out with free food. And that's why there's a chow line outside the swine building.
At any livestock show, one key issue is that animals have to be moved from one place to another in the building. Sometimes it looks like a traffic jam, but experiences handlers just walk their animals right through.
Readying the ring
Once wood chips are down in the show ring, they need to be dampened to keep dust down, so that's what organizers are doing here - spraying chips to control dust. It's the last step before show pigs start entering the ring.
For these pigs, you'd never know they might be in a show later. These two characters were calm, cool and collected. Frankly, this is how all well-cared-for pigs look most days even on the farm.
Cooper Wuthrow, Abilene, Kan., has his game face on during the weigh-in ahead of his participation in the Junior National. Participants must have a cleared weight card before they can enter the ring and compete.
The Junior National has a lot of sponsors. And one idea organizers use is to get participants and their families to write a thank-you note to the sponsors. It takes a moment, but sponsors get a hand-written note for the support they provide.
A little advice
The judge in this ring was interacting with the Novice class. That sometimes mean leaning in to provide a little advice for these first-timers in the showmanship competition.
Eyes on the prize
Showmanship isn't as much about the pig as the handler. A key is keeping your eyes on the judge. And in this shot, these competitors in the Junior classes looking toward the judge, hoping for a high placement.
A novice at work
In the Novice class, some of the contestants aren't much bigger than the pigs they show. But she was a trooper, even when her pig decide to lay down during the competition. The key here: you have to start sometime!