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The Big E – How To Improve The Experience For Exhibitors

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90 – April, 2018



Who remembers high school? A better question is who doesn’t? Before most of us returned to school each year, the football team and cheerleaders had been practicing for weeks. The sounds from the marching band could be heard coming from the football field before you got near the stadium. Then the flag squad and baton twirlers could be seen doing their precision routines.

School opened. The excitement began. Who was in your class? Who were the teachers? Did you have all your supplies? Were your new outfits on trend? One event, however, garnered the attention more than any other. The biggest chatter centered on Friday night football. Who was going to the first football game on Friday night and with whom?

That first week, the cheerleaders planned a pep rally for Fri- day afternoon. They sold cheer buttons all week to raise funds for the squad. The football team held raffles for their fundraiser. Marching band members made their money by selling choco- late bars. A car wash sponsored by the twirlers and flag squad was set for that Saturday morning after the game. The school was buzzing with activity. The excitement reached a feverish pitch, hitting its crescendo at the beginning of the pep rally. As the football team entered the gym, the noise was deafening as it reverberated within the room.

In the same way that high schools, collegiate teams, and professional ones want to create a level of enthusiasm surrounding their games, show chairs want to create a that same hype for their dog shows. Most of our shows are comparable to the games we attended and loved in high school. Others are larger, taking everything up to a “collegiate” level. Our “professional” events have publicists, radio and television advertising, huge attendance by exhibitors and spectators, and some have stream- ing and live coverage. Ticket sales generate income. We have our Super Bowls, too!

Building interest and excitement for any size show starts the very next day after the last show ends. The process begins with listing the things that went well and those that did not. The big question that must be addressed is what to do to improve the experience for entrants and how to share that information.

Our all breed club and the club with whom we share the weekend compete with the large cluster of all breed shows and specialties in Orlando, Florida in December and the AKC National Championship which follows on the weekend. To create our own buzz, we first had to identify ourselves and the segment of the dog show community we can serve well. To do that requires our attention and energy throughout the year.

Click here to read the complete article
90 – April, 2018

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