Thursday, February 1, 2018

Showtime -- The Premium

The next big thing we have to do for the show is create a premium. This is the official announcement of a club's event. It contains the show’s entry form plus a slew of other information. Essentially, a premium is the contract between a club and prospective exhibitors.

As Show Secretary, the premium is my job. Unfortunately, a template wasn't handed down. Grr. I've been sketching out our premium for weeks now. Hopefully, I'll develop a decent template that can be passed on to the next Show Secretary -- saving her a lot of work. Like everything else, this is more complicated than I'd like. There's a lot more to it than I thought. The AKC requires a premium to include:
  • The name of club hosting the event.
  • The show’s official event number.
  • The date(s) of the event, its exact location and the time of the event’s opening and closing.
  • The words “Licensed Show” when the event-giving club is not a member of the AKC.
  • Whether the event is benched or unbenched. (And if benched, the hours that dogs are required to be on bench must be included.)
  • The AKC Secretary’s certification that permission has been granted for the club to hold the event, along with the AKC logo.
  • List of the officers of the event-giving club and the club secretary’s address.
  • List of the members of the Event Committee and the Show Chair’s address.
  • Name and address of the AKC-approved superintendent being used, or in the case of a small operation like us, the show secretary's name and address.
  • Name and telephone number of the veterinarian associated with the show, and whether the veterinarian will be in attendance or on-call.
  • Notice that the club may cancel the event due to extreme weather conditions.
  • Name, address, and assignment of each judge.
  • The statement that the event-giving club will collect recording and event service fees for the AKC.
  • Closing date and time for entries.
  • Entry fees and an entry form.
  • List of prizes and trophies, with an accurate description of prizes.
  • Hours and location where private exercise pens may be set up.
  • The following statement: "Exhibitors should follow their veterinarians' recommendation to assure their dogs are free of internal and external parasites, any communicable diseases, and have appropriate vaccinations."
Whew. There are even more requirements for all-breed shows and/or obedience trials.

Since exhibitors choose which shows to enter based on the premium, most clubs also include:
  • A statement of the policy on refunding entry fees.
  • Whether the event will be held indoors or outdoors.
  • The time when exhibitors and handlers can enter the site.
  • A list of nearby dog-friendly hotels/motels and directions to them.
  • Overnight and reserve parking information (if available).
  • Description of social activities available to the exhibitors.
  • Admission and parking fees (if any).
  • Available amenities (i.e. electricity, concessions, indoor toilets).
  • A site map.
  • Information/availability of a reserve grooming area.
  • Other special attractions (i.e. temperament test, sweepstakes, other shows in cluster).
Currently, our premium is a 14-page booklet. I know! I have a list of over 200 people to send it to. I'll be thrilled if 25% enter the show.

My contact list is proving to be another problem. It's ancient and was handed to me as a pdf, not an editable Word document. I spent 20 hours putting everything into an Excel spreadsheet. I spent another 10 hours combing through old emails, various GSD club sites and past show catalogs gathering more contact data. To date, I have email addresses for 150+ people, and only mailing addresses for another 60. Soon I'm going to have to get my premium to as many of them as possible. This is what I've done:
  • Set up a gmail account for the show.
  • Created a mailing list with all the email addresses I have.
  • Made mailing labels for all the people without email addresses.
The plan: two weeks before we release the premium, I'm sending a mass email to everybody on the list. The email states that the club is working off an old mailing list and they're on it. Recipents will be asked to respond if they wish to be removed from the list. (We understand that things change and some people may not be on the GSD show circuit any longer.)

At the same time l'm sending a postcard to the USPS address people. The postcard also states that the club is working off an old mailing list and they're on it. I'm asking recipients to send an email to the gmail address if they wish to have a premium emailed to them.

All recipients are told that I will send the premium out shortly. Hopefully, they'll be happy to get it.

Ideally, this strategy will keep the cost of postage down. I did the math. Printing, envelopes and postage for 225 14-page premium booklets would be about $530. Thank goodness for email! I don't think our club could afford that expense up front -- if at all. However, the AKC does insist that we send them four copies of our premium when we release it. (Why they can't get it via email and print all the copies they want is beyond me!)

As you can see, I've been busy! If you'd like to see the premium you can use the "contact me" form to the right and I'll send you one. Send an email to GSDCNFLShowSec at gmail.com and I'll add you to the list. We're shooting for a March 1 release date. 

As tedious as the premium seems, it's nothing compared to what's next -- the catalog