Effective Show Management
Cat Talk|August 2020
Opening note: This is a work in progress, as many people across the country have helped. We began writing this series in March with the intent of eventually creating a piece which new and old show managers could use for reference. We began just after CFA joined the rest of the world in cancelling events in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and certainly local and state ordinances will change how we begin to hold shows again. But knowing about and responding to changes is also part of a show managers’ job.
Mike Altschul, Teresa Keiger

The show manager’s role is critical to the success of a show. The show manager should have a good working knowledge of all of the show rules, especially the ones pertaining to the show committee roles. The electronic version of the show rules can be found at https://cfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/19-20show-rules.pdf.

A good show manager will have all the details buttoned up before the show but be prepared for anything that might cause an issue during the show. With experience and hands-on attention, most things can be resolved before they become actual issues, and everyone will think things went along just perfectly. I have seen some wonderful show managers across CFA, but there are always new ones that do not know what they do not know. In working with many of them, some did not know there is a “show manager” section in the show rules. Those show rules should be at hand before and during each show.

Prior to the Show (at least 6 months out)

Download and Read the Current Year’s CFA Show Rules

1. Rules change every year. You should have a good working knowledge of them.

2. New rules will always have a vertical line on the left side of them.

3. Available on the CFA website at https://cfa.org/wp-content/ uploads/2019/07/19-20show-rules.pdf.

4. Show rules detail the specifics of each job (manager, secretary, entry clerk, etc.). There are things to do and not to do! The main ones to know by heart are: Show rules 2.30, 7.01, Article IX, 9.03 – 9.14, 10.12 – 10.22, 10.24 – 10.28, 11.03 – 11.06, 11.16, 12.06, Article XIII, Article XVI – Article XVIII, Article XIX, 35.03, 35.05

a. It is up to the show manager to make certain everyone does their jobs according to the rules.

b. If rules are violated and people protest, CFA will address it with the show manager first, and then the club.

Set Your Budget

1. Be realistic

2. Maximize income

a. Look at various revenue streams: gate, CFA sponsorships, local sponsorships, vendor fees

b. Decide on gate prices. Many clubs are still asking $5 or so, which is what it was 30 years ago. Today’s young people (our target audience) expect to pay $8-12 for entertainment. If we do not charge enough, they will assume it is nothing but a few cats being judged (as some have told me, like watching paint dry). Try to make your shows entertaining so they can have fun at the show. Matinée prices for mainstream movies will tell you what your pricing should be.

c. Decide on entry fees that will assure you can break even without any gate. Our venues and costs have all gone up.

3. Minimize expenses

a. Explore less expensive alternatives, if necessary

i. Rosettes

ii. Catalog: print black-and-white and condensed version

iii. Decorations can be expensive – or not

iv. Cage service or rentals

v. Labor cost if hiring outside labor

vi. Some show halls require security, engineering staff, maintenance staff, and other jobs

vii. Costs for draping, ring dividers (pipe and drape), tables, etc., could be additional

4. Many long running shows are now finding that costs have eroded their income and increased their expenses. Please take the time to do another analysis, because things continue to change.

Selecting a Show Hall

1. Where to look for a show hall

a. Location may matter if you are also trying to attract gate

b. Some venues may be available in their offseason, such as high school gyms

2. Considerations in selecting a venue

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