Best Practice – Duties of a Show Secretary
The Show Secretary is an important part of the team running a show and, as such, will need to establish a good working relationship with other officials of the show team. Other officers who may join you on this team are the show manager, patronage secretary, treasurer, staging manager, publicity officer, fund raising officer, bio-security officer, sales officer, trophy officer (if any) and others depending on the size of the show.
The show secretary is in charge of the preparation of the paper work for the show including the preparation of both the show schedule and catalogue. On occasions the show secretary and patronage secretary are one and the same, so you have a double task to carry out. Well before the morning of the show, certain duties will have been carried out in the months prior to the show; but it is still your duty to ensure that they have been acted upon. Teamwork, cooperation and good lines of communication are of paramount importance in running any event successfully.
Before the show (for some tasks many months before) you will need to ensure that:
- hall has been booked
- judges booked
- patronage applied for well before 28th February
- DEFRA has been notified and a vet has been booked on a standby basis
- Public Liability Insurance obtained
- schedules printed and sent to members of the society, past exhibitors and judges
- publicity has been carried out to promote the show in the fancy press and local papers
- accommodation for the judges booked if required
- catering for the day has been sorted out
- catalogues have been printed just before the show
- staging has been brought to the show hall, erected and numbered
- chief stewards have been booked
- all bio-security materials are available
- all relevant patronage and show office paper work is ready for each judge
- all relevant equipment like photocopier/PC are ready on the morning of the show
Of course other show officers will have done some of the above tasks, but you will need to ensure that they have been carried out and that the results are available on the day. This is where TEAM WORK, COMMUNICATION and COOPERATION between all officers are essential in ensuring a successful and enjoyable show.
Remember that, on the day, the show office duties falls on your shoulders and you need to run your side of the event efficiently.
So let us look at the duties more closely:
- Judges – The Year before the show you should write letters to the judges that have been selected by the club to be invited to judge the show. The letter should ask if the judge requires overnight accommodation the night before the show if travelling a long distance, and a rough cost of travelling expenses. Enclose a sae for a reply to confirm acceptance.
- Patronage – You (or the Patronage Secretary, if any) must apply for all patronages required using the forms that will have been supplied the year before. The most important one of these is the Budgerigar Society patronage. This form needs to be signed by two officials of the Club. All Patronages need to be applied for before the 28th February, at the very latest, in the year of the show.
- Rosettes – In March/April you need to order the Rosettes for the show. Also if any trophies are needed for the show these should be ordered now. Both tasks can be carried out by other officers (Patronage Secretary & Trophy Steward) if available.
- Schedule – During May you should compile the schedule, after receiving all the patronage details from the societies that you have applied. Chase up those societies that have not sent you their paper work. If you are using last year’s schedule as the template, you need to remember to change all the dates in the schedule from the previous year’s dates. Be very careful also to change details of names of officers, subscription rates and patronage details of the various societies that have granted your show their patronage. Ensure that you have all the B.S. details absolutely correct. Make available your mobile number to be used by exhibitors for emergencies only, on the morning of the show.
- Colour & Section Allocation – Your committee will have previously agreed on the colour and section allocation per judge and that information should also be included in the schedule. Colour allocation can be an emotive subject and the major colours should be divided equally between the judges and, as a guide, all the judges should have a number of challenge certificates to judge with roughly an equal total number of birds to judge based on last year’s number of entries per colour.
- Distribution – Print the required number of schedules in early June. It is a B.S. requirement that a schedule must be sent to them for checking prior to distribution to the rest of the members/exhibitors. Schedules need to be distributed to all your society members and previous 2-3 years exhibitors at least 4 weeks before the date of the show. You also need to send schedules to the judges (with a covering note) and to patronage secretaries of the societies that have granted your show their patronage.
- Paper Work – A month prior to the show you will also need to have prepared your paperwork ready for the show and have obtained sufficient cage labels. Currently the B.S. supplies the cage labels as part of a sponsorship. Are you running the show manually or by a computer program? Ask for either manual or computer type cage labels.
If you are running the show from a computer program then you are dictated by that program. However, let us consider that you are running the show manually. There are a number of ways that you can prepare for the show but all the ways eventually and basically are similar. It is best to create a binder for each status; 5 in total. In each binder you will need a sheet per colour for the cock and hen of that colour. In a Silver/Bronze type of championship show for the champion any age you will need 18 sheets and for the champion young bird another 18 sheets. Divide each sheet for cock and hen of that colour. Create many columns for the patronage nominations to have a tick for each society the exhibitor has nominated. Do the same for all the 5 status.
- Entries – If you are using manual cage labels it is best to use a different colour felt tip pen for each status. This will help stewards and judges on the morning with easy identification of birds on the staging and when judging. Each entry you receive you can enter them on the appropriate class sheet by writing the cage number, exhibitor name and ticking the patronage nomination columns. Fill up the entry form as well with the cage number for each class entered. Write the necessary cage labels for this particular entry and post back to the exhibitor in the sae provided. You eventually fill the binders with all the entries in the same fashion as above. Phone Entries – Ensure that you have sufficient copies of entry forms available for phone entries to fill up as they come. You will use the same process as above but insist that the exhibitor sends you their proper entry in the post with the appropriate fee.
- Catalogue – After entries have closed you will need to compile the catalogue and print it before the show. The number of catalogues to be printed can be worked out from a simple formula: Number of catalogues = number of exhibitors + judges + patronage societies + extra 10-20
- Communication – Inform the Show Manager how many exhibitors wish to steward. Inform the Catering personnel how many exhibitors have ordered lunches, not forgetting the judges and the show committee.
- Judges Folders – During the week before the show and after entries have closed, you will need to create a Judge’s Folder for each judge containing the following:
- BS Judges Benched Form (supplied by the BS) for each colour. Ensure to fill in the name and date of the show.
- Show Office paperwork per colour with column of birds entered in each class, number benched and space for absent cage numbers. Space for 1st – 7th placing for each class and space for the Colour Run Down. There is some nicely designed paperwork about for which you can ask (see example enclosed).
- First, second and third place labels.
- Colour spots (5 colours supplied by the B.S.) for each of the number of colours that the judge is judging.
- Any other relevant paper work needed like a copy of the classification, B.S. Certificate of Merit form etc.
Section Sheets – You need to also create a Section sheet with a column of all the classes in that section (1-38 for example); in the column next to that insert the winning cage number for each of those classes and tick the appropriate patronage nomination columns of the winner. Another area is for the judge to enter cage details of the winners in order when the sections are judged (see example enclosed). You can also put N/E (No Entry) against each class that had no entry in it and draw a line through all the nominations.
Result Sheets – You need to create a Result Sheet consisting of one page of all Major Winners, Best of Colour winners and Section Winners. Also two more sheets for the classes in all the 10 sections (see example enclosed). You can also put N/E (No Entry) against each class that had no entry in it.
Preparation Day – The day before the show you will have arrived in time from when the hall was booked and set up your Office area as you desire. Some of the duties that you may do or share with other officers and helpers are:
- Help to put the staging up
- Assist with marking the staging with the number of birds entered in each class (usually Show Manager’s duty but you will have provided the entry data)
- Sort out all your rosettes in either section or society order
- Sort out your entry forms in sections and in alphabetical order for easy booking in
- Start booking in birds (rely on booking staff to allow you to do your work in the office)
- Transfer absentees to the Absentees Sheets per colour
Show Date – Arrive early, before booking in starts, and prepare yourself for the task ahead. Again rely, if possible, on other members to actually do the booking in and free yourself for completing the Absentees Sheets to be ready to start judging on time.
- Start booking birds in (most of the birds will arrive on the morning)
- Transfer absentees to the Absentees Sheets per colour
- Make ready the Colour Sheets for the Judges Folders
- Ensure that each judge has all the relevant papers appertaining to the colours that he/she is judging
- Ensure that each judge signs the BS Bucktons Breeder of the Year competition sheet
- Ensure that all the CCs are headed up with the name and date of the show (try to organise another person to do this task)
After judging starts you will be ready to receive the first batches of the Colour Sheets. With other Office Staff start:
- Transferring data from the Colour Sheets to the Result Sheets
- Transferring data of class winners from the Colour Sheets to the Section Sheets and tick the nomination columns accordingly
- Allocating the rosettes of the 6 specialist societies from the run down sheets and put them in boxes/trays in their sections
- Writing the CC with the colour and sex details of the winning BOC (ensuring it is rung and the owner is a BS member)
- Filling in the BS and the specialist societies Return Forms as you go along
After judging is completed ensure that the BS Paper work per colour is complete with all the necessary details and ready for the judge to check the ring of the BOC winner (if eligible for the CC) and enter the ring details in the space provided on both the CC and the BS paper. Ensure that the judge signs that sheet as well as the CC itself.
Rosettes – After the section judging is complete, make sure that all patronage rosettes are awarded from the section order. You may encourage/ask the chief steward to do that task if all the rosettes for that section are made available.
Description on the CC – When describing the colour/variety of the winning bird on the CC, birds should always be described in the order of variety first followed by the body colour and sex of the bird (separate line). So, for example, if you had a composite bird of a few varieties then it is best to start the description by the variety in which the bird has been exhibited and the C.C. that it won first. For example; Circular Crest Spangle Yellowface Skyblue.
Last Duties – After all the judging is completed ensure that:
- All the CCs have been written and signed by the judges and then displayed on or near the winning birds cages
- Ensure that the Result Sheet is completed and printed
- Ensure that catalogues, result sheets, float and Bio-security available at opening time
VERY IMPORTANT – Make sure that you have lunch!
After The Show – Make sure that:
- All the BS paperwork is completed and correct and post back with a copy of the catalogue and result sheet within 21 days
- All specialist societies’ patronage returns are completed and posted back with a copy of the catalogue, result sheet and any unawarded rosettes
WELL DONE, HAVE A REST UNTIL NEXT YEAR’S SHOW!