How to Organize a Car ShowEdition 2.0 (2013)

How to Organize a Car Show 2012Table of ContentsPreface .4Select your team .5Pick a Date 5Picking the perfect spot .5Set the event’s theme .6Money .6Advertise your event .7What type of cars do you want to come?.8Must have items on show flyers: 9Make your show stand out from the crowd .9Information to capture at registration .10Dash Plaques .10Trophies .11To judge or not to judge .11Food at Shows 13Goodie bags .13Door Prizes .14Hey Mr. DJ!?!.152 Page

How to Organize a Car Show 2012Must haves at the show 15Day of the show 16Set it up 16Event Registration Entry Processing 18Parking Management 18Bikes and Dogs 19How to keep people at the show?.19Time to start Judging .19Giving the awards .20After Event Activities . .20Online survey . 20Closing Thoughts 213 Page

How to Organize a Car Show 2012PrefaceThe purpose of this book is to give you my thoughts on organizing a car show. I’ve attended car showsfor over 20 years and have been a project manager for over 15. Now, have I ever formally managed aproject related to a car show? No. But after attending hundreds of shows you see the good and bad ofshows. So if you are ready, let’s turn the key and get to planning a car show!4 Page

How to Organize a Car Show 2012Select your teamAt the start of any project you need to select your team. I don’t care if you think your show is going tohave 25 or 1000 cars, you will need a team of people to help you organize your show. Once you haveyour team, you will need to determine who is going to do what on your team. Also, if a team memberisn’t able to do the things you need them to do, you need to kick them off the team. I know that soundspretty ruff, but you don’t want to get to your car show day without a place for the show. Set up acalendar with when you are going to meet each month or week to organize the show.Pick a DateJust like a wedding you need to pick a date that works for most of your team and you need toinvestigate what other shows will be happening on the same date. Ideally you want a day to yourself,but that is not always possible. And your best bet is to pick 2 or 3 dates and then find the best venue foryour event.Picking the perfect spotI’ve attended shows at bars, parking lots of a business, car dealers, downtown area, fairs, race tracks,parks and indoors. With all of these spots there are different things to keep in-mind. For a 1st year showtypically you are lucky to get 50-100 cars. A local business many times is the best place for a small show.Why? Typically the business owner will have food and bathrooms to use and you won’t have to worryabout permits and convincing city officials on the idea of a car show. The risk is not having enoughspace for all the cars and people whining about toilet paper in the bathroom. Keep it simple and youwon’t have to worry about spending so much money.My favorite spot for a car show is in a smalldowntown setting, because I can swing into a localcafé for lunch, or maybe checkout some of thelocal businesses. Car shows that are in the middleof nowhere and are not within walking distance torestaurants and other non-car show related things,typically make for a super long day for the carowners, and it will typically greatly limit theamount of foot traffic. Car shows that grow eachyear typically have that one thing is common andthat is a great location for foot traffic and things tokeep the car owners engaged at the show oroutside the show.5 Page

How to Organize a Car Show 2012Parks and downtown areas are also great venues but there will be permits and meetings with the localcity consuls to get approval for your show.If there is a second event that is going on at the same time like a fair it is an excellent way of increasingfoot traffic at your show.Once you have a couple of places in-mind, drive out and check them out. Think about whereregistration would be at, where the cars might park at, where the DJ would setup (got power) and so on.Then you have to find out if it is available for the date you selected, and you may have to pitch the ideato a business owner (hopefully you have a car guy on your team that already owns a business).Set the event’s themeMost car shows have a theme or a reason more than just, “it’s just another car show”. Having a reasonfor any extra money raised at the show, or at least the money from the 50/50 raffle going to abeneficiary, will at least give the car owners an idea where they entry fee is going to other than someones pocket.Beneficiaries – who will get the money at the end of the event? If it is a recognized charity, make surethat you get their endorsement or acceptance in writing. Car people are very generous and will usuallytry and come to an event benefiting a worthy cause. The burden is on you as the event planner to makesure that the charity gets all of the money (or whatever amount you advertise for the event). You mustbe accurate in your description of the event. If you say “proceeds go to the American Red Cross”. Thenmake sure the Red Cross is on-board and that you give them “all of the proceeds”. It is also a good ideato keep them informed during the show planning. Also, give them a complete reconciliation (accounting)of the proceeds. Clearly show the costs of promoting and managing the event. The deal with all of this is“if you are not truthful about who gets what, the car folks will not come back”. And sadly enough I haveattended shows that have turned out to be a scam for the organizer to pocket the cash (sad, but true).MoneyIf you think running a show is just picking up a 100 bucks of trophies online and then grabbing ten bucksfrom car owners as they drive in, you are completely wrong. You may be able to pull off a small showfor 2000 or less. The reality is a 5000 budget is probably what it will take for a medium show with 150or fewer cars (think of what it takes for a wedding). Money goes fast when you need to buy: food, rentprota-Jons, rent tents, hire a DJ, buy trophies and door prizes, advertise and so on. The two ways youcan raise money is by finding sponsors or knowing someone with deep pockets who will write you acheck. Many times car clubs will use their yearly fees towards a yearly car show they put on. If you areshort on cash, you may need to scale back your show. Hit up potential sponsors early on so you knowwhat your real budget will be early in the planning stages of your show.6 Page

How to Organize a Car Show 2012Some shows have an admission fee for spectators. I think this is fine if you have a show with over a1000 cars, but if you are going to have a typical local car show with a couple hundred cars I wouldsuggest not charging for spectators.What are you going to charge? Most shows in the Midwest charge 5-10 bucks per car. On the westcoast it is 20-25 bucks. Make sure this information in on your flyer and on the day of the show andmake sure you have plenty of change on hand.Advertise your eventYou need to do this early and often if you have a new show, and even more so if there is already asecond show in your area at the same time. Get your car event “accepted” by the car people in yourarea. Immediately begin to talk it up and get the word out about your event. This will discourage othersfrom planning an event on the same day.Head on out to the interweb and find every car show list you can find for your specific state and get yourshow posted on it. Below is a national car show list:www.rocknrod.comCreate your own website and post your flyer so it is easy to print off (others may help out by printingsome off and handing them out at shows). offers free websites and at godaddy you can buy awebsite domain for about ten dollars a year. Most 15 year old kids now can build you a generic website.Also, this is a great place to list your sponsors.Have a blog on your website and post weekly how the planning is going ( offers free blogs)Post a Video of last year’s event, or a short video from the folks putting on the show who will talk aboutthe show.7 Page

How to Organize a Car Show 2012Hand out flyers at local car shows at the beginning of the season.Search for Local Message forums and post detailsabout your show early in the season.Post it on Craigslist.Advertise in your local newspaper.Create a Facebook Fans page.Hit up a couple of automotive related car forums(like tuners, mustangs, low riders .) and letthem know you are having a show).The key thing is to have a plan and stick to it. Ifyour primary focus is to hand out flyers (which was the only way folks did it prior to the internet) don’tbe surprised if you only have 12 cars show up. Marketing a show is a lot more than just handing out apiece of paper (again, which was cool back in 1986). Get out and talk with owners, and have an onlinestrategy.What type of cars do you want to come?I’ve gone to large shows that only have room for 1000 cars and they have a 20 year cut off. And I’vegone to shows before where they have over 10,000 cars with a 1964 and older cut off. You shoulddescribe what types of cars you want to come. For instance, if you say “Open to all pre-1948 Hot Rods,Rat Rods and classics American Cars”. That’s fine. If you say “Open to all cars and trucks”, you will get alittle bit of everything. Don’t forget to indicate Tuners too! They are the next generation of the carhobby! If you want a pure classic car show the typical date cut off is 1974. If you are a purist you maywant to have a cut off, but by allowing everyone in, you should have a lot more cars show up. And if youare a purist, don’t be snotty about all of these new cars at shows. The new car owners are putting theirpride into their rides and you should respect that.Must have items on show flyers:Every show needs an informative flyer that you can hand out at shows. Here are some things to keep inmind when you are developing your flyer:1. Map to the location or the address (I like the address so I can plug it into my GPS). An emailaddress, website and phone number to find out more information.2. Is it a judged show? Who is judging it? Participants?3. List of all classes.4. When does registration start and end?5. Will there be a DJ?8 Page

How to Organize a Car Show 20126. Cost to enter your car? If you can send in your money (early bird discount) what is the cutoffdate?7. Will there be food on site?8. If giving out awards indicate the time the awards will be presented9. Is the parking on grass or asphalt? If parking on grass make sure the area was mowed 3-5 daysprior to the show.10. If you have a website think about allowing online registration and allowing folks to pay viapaypal. Quick easy and it will draw them to your website.11. Don't forget to include the hours of the show so the owners know when to roll in and when theawards will be.Podcast on Show Flyers: s of good car show unityservices/documents/CarShowFLYER08.pdfMake your show stand out from the crowd:To keep folks coming back year after year you need to have a reason for them to come back. Here aresome of my ideas to help make your show different:50/50 raffle with the proceeds going to charity (have atable near registration to sell them and have folkswalk around and sell them too)Cruise after or during the showBring in your local Hooters restaurant girls, for somephotos with the carsHave a clinic on how to judge a carDoor PrizesEngine “Blow ups”Burn-out Competition (very popular on the west coast; would recommend some 3 foot high concretewalls and access to water to keep it safe; 5 bucks a burn-out with money going to a charity)Poker runs (everyone meets at one spot and drives to several other locations)Live bands9 Page

How to Organize a Car Show 2012Tire toss or piston tossName that car part make and modelFloor creeper racesReading off trivia questions; correct answer gets a prizeAllow vendors to come to your show to sell car related items (tupperware and cheap necklaces are notcar related)Chinese auction. 1 dollar gets you 1 ticket. Fill out one side of the ticket and place the other part in a cannext to an auction item. At the end of the show draw out the tickets next to the items to determine thewinners.Information to capture at registration1.Name, address, city (this can be used for the next year if you have a budget to mail out eventflyers; and you can easily set it up to print of address onto labels for your mailing).2.Email address. Why snail mail when you can email it! Make, model, color, and year of car.Once you have this information it is nice to enter this into an Excel wform.xlsThis sheet can also capture your judges scores and quickly and easily find your winners.How to use the Excel wFormHowTo.docDash Plaques:The majority of shows hand out dash plaques andtypically advertise the total number they will haveavailable. The costs for the plaques range from 75cents on up. If you are looking to save a couple bucksthis maybe the area to do it. Car shows have beenhanding out dash