How to run a well-organized poultry show

Whether you've been the show secretary of a show for years, want to start a new show in your area, or are just needing a reminder of why you need to thank the show secretary every show you attend, here is a wonderful compilation of the tasks that need to happen in order to successfully run a well-organized poultry show.  All the credit goes to Dan Castle, the show secretary for the Connecticut Poultry Breeders show, for sharing his list with the poultry community.  

1 Year in Advance:

  • Coordinate rental of grounds
  • Coordinate Insurance

6 Months in Advance:

  • Take inventory of current awards
  • Order new Awards and arrange them at the show
  • Make and hand out postcards to advertise the NE shows
  • Update Show information on Website & with Poultry Show Central
  • Request sanctioning paperwork from the APA and ABA

4 Months in Advance:

  • Create and submit Poultry Press Ad 
  •  Call local feed stores and Poultry Supply companies to ask for Raffle donations or ad space in our show book 
  •  Create/Update Show Book & Entry Form
  • Create and send 8.5 x 11 flyers to disburse and hang 
  •  Coordinate Judges for show

3 Months in Advance:

  • Invite Bill Wulff to show to take pictures and run advertising 
  •  Call around for donations ($$ and items for raffle) 
  •  Hang and disperse show flyers in local feed stores, 4-H Offices 
  •  Contact 4-H offices (and Poultry Clubs) to announce the show and ask for help  
  •  Send pre-show email with showbook and entry 
  •  Contact local florists to ask for donations
  •  Send Hard Mailing with showbook and entry
  •  Contact vendors for shavings to be delivered for setup 
  •  Contact fairgrounds to discuss food options 
  •  Advertise show and raffle on Facebook

Month of the show:

  • Plan for raffle table:  buy raffle tickets, bags for tickets, etc. 
  •  Accept Entries via hard mail.  
  • Create coop tags and entry report 
  •  Create Show Day posters 
  •  Plan show layout 
  •  Print show agenda cards and poster 
  •  Collect special donations $$$ from people 
  •  Create and stuff envelopes for awards 
  •  Purchase Table Covers 
  •  Purchase water cups for Bantams, Large Fowl, Waterfowl, Turkeys

Setup:

  • Bring Speaker System for announcements 
  •  Bring raffle tickets and bags; 
  • Set up raffle area 
  •  Setup Directional Signs by road(s) 
  •  Setup Cages, tables, etc. 
  •  Bring Ribbons 
  •  Hang Coop Tags 
  •  Measure and mark aisles, direct location of areas, number of cages in each area/row 
  •  Bring cage and row signs 
  •  Hang (3) Agenda in Hall, (18) Class Signs on Rows, (18) Champion Row, (1) Showmanship/Presentation area 
  •  Bring backpack blowers 
  •  Bring Show Cups 
  •  Set up award area:  Ribbons on cages and other ribbons on a string, hanging
  • Bring tablecloths, flowers, etc.; 
  • Set up decorations

Day of the Show:

  • Sign People in, give them an exhibitor list, show agenda and ask them to update their contact information on the Contact List 
  •  Take pictures of show and Class Champions 
  •  Run a 50/50 raffle and get tickets for use 
  •  Accept donations as they come in, place bags for tickets, sell tickets, run raffle of items 
  •  Run Showmanship:  schedule, announcements, awards 
  •  Keep notes on class winners and special prize winners 
  •  Bring Junior and Open Class Champions to Champion Row 
  •  Keep Track of judges and their schedule, bring them next classes to judge
  •  Check for sick birds 
  •  Judge Junior Showmanship 
  •  Decorate Show Hall (Flowers, Tablecloths, Signs, etc) 
  •  Judge all birds according to APA and ABA standards

Post Show:

  • Clean bathrooms 
  •  Help tear down cages and clean building 
  •  Submit Show Reports to APA, ABA and breed clubs 
  •  Post Results and Pictures to website and social media

For more detail, including who should be responsible for each of these tasks, download the pdf of Dan's original spreadsheet which goes into even more detail.  

Thank your show secretaries and volunteer to help the months, weeks, and days before the show.  The biggest reason shows shut down is for lack of volunteers to help so do your part with your local shows.  

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