So You Want to Host a National Specialty
FIRST THINGS FIRST:
- LOCATION - find a club or clubs that hold multiple shows in one place over a weekend between MARCH 15 and SEPTEMBER 30.
- CONTACT THE HOST CLUB - the club that hosts the Saturday show is the most preferable day for the Specialty as a lot of Members can’t attend on week days. The Supported Entry is usually the day before and/or after. Contact the President of the potential Host Club (or whomever the show contact is, sometimes only the Show Secretary’s contact information is listed). Ask if they would be open to allowing the Affenpinscher Club of America to embed our National Specialty in their show. Are they open to hiring a judge of our choice? If approved, a letter from the Host Club granting permission to the Affenpinscher Club for an embedded National Specialty to be held within their show on the date chosen has to be received and forwarded to the AKC along with our event paperwork. This letter is a form letter found on the AKC website, along with all the rest of the AKC required paperwork.
- FIND A HOTEL - the Host Club may have a list of dog friendly hotels in their premium list. The Officer and/or Directors of the Host Club may also have more detailed information. Ask them when you contact them if there is a hotel they would recommend. NOTE: The hotel ideally will have an in-house restaurant, a large room with catering available for a banquet and the ability to set up a bar during the banquet. It is also important that a breakfast of some type be offered at the hotel. Most hotels will offer the ACA a “block” of rooms that will be a bit lower in price (we try to guarantee a minimum number of reservations).
- RV PARKING - the show site should have accommodations for RVs. Water, electricity and sewer hook ups are ideal but not always available. As long as there is assigned parking in a safe area within easy walking distance from the show site most people will be happy.
- GROOMING SPACE - ask the contact person from the Host Club if it would be possible to set aside a large area for the ACA Members to groom their Affens together. There must be electricity available. If the holding of spaces is not allowed, arrange for a few Members to arrive very early and set up an area that could be shared by all. If grooming spaces are rented, or reserved in advance, it might be possible to reserve a block of spaces that the ACA would pay for and those who use it would reimburse the ACA. If all else fails, tell the ACA Members to reserve their own spaces by a certain date and ask the Host Club Member responsible for the grooming area if it would be at all possible to please group the Affen requests together (ONLY Affens - no other breeds).
- MEETING ROOM - the Annual Meeting, according to the bylaws, must take place on the same day as the National Specialty. The Annual Meeting is usually held either immediately after BOB and before Groups or after Best in Show. If held after BOB then it would be ideal if there was a catered lunch available for the Members. The room should hold at least 40 people. Chairs should be provided by the show venue.
- BANQUET FACILITY - if the Host Hotel does not have an available banquet facility, then a local restaurant must to be found that will serve the same purpose. Please keep in mind that quite a few of the Members will be staying in their RVs so the banquet facility should be as close to the show site as is possible. The ACA usually has anywhere from 40 to 80 people attending a banquet. Depending on location, time of the year, the weather, this number can go way up or way down. Unfortunately there is no way to predict the number of people who will attend a banquet - flexibility is key here. Most banquet facilities require a minimum guaranteed and will be able to add extra seats/plates as the time draws near and a more accurate count is available. If the banquet doesn’t meet the minimum - the ACA pays the extra amount. Prices for each person attending have ranged from $20 to $40.
- ANNUAL AUCTION - the auction is held during the banquet so the facility must be able to accommodate extra tables around the edges of the room for the silent auction and display of live auction items. The hotel/banquet facility should be asked if this is possible.
THE SECOND STEPS:
- PRESENT YOUR PROPOSAL - according to the bylaws, the site of the National Specialty is approved by the Board of Directors and then presented to the Membership, either at the Annual Meeting or by notice in the Newsletter. Put together all your information regarding the important details and add anything else that you think will help “sell” your proposal to the Board. Describe the location, address and it’s conveniences. Airports, major roadways and close proximity to the Host hotel, ample grooming, nice RV parking, available meeting room for ACA use good banquet facility - all these are great. However, adding information about local attractions, interesting facts about the area, short trips to historic sites or even shopping malls are all good selling points. By presenting a complete proposal that is interesting and inviting, you’ll stand a good chance of getting Members excited about the Specialty long in advance.
- ONCE THE PROPOSAL IS ACCEPTED - get to work. Call the Host Club contact person and begin the procedure for the acceptance letter that is needed. Be sure to confirm all the details regarding grooming space, use of a private room for Judge’s Education Seminar and Annual Meeting. Possibility of catering a lunch, choice of judges and premium list information should also be included in your discussion with the Host KC representative. Download and fill out the required AKC information. If you are confused by anything regarding AKC paperwork - call the AKC Event Planning number and ask for help! Put together a group of Members who you know are good workers and choose a Trophy Chair, Banquet Chair, Auction Chair, Grooming, Handling or Breeders Seminar Coordinator, Hospitality Chair. Find some folks who are willing to help on the day of the National and the Supported Entry with setting up the trophy tables and making sure each winner gets the correct trophy. Don’t forget to include Affenpinscher Rescue in your planning - they should be given a special time to hold a fundraising party or get-together and they should also be allowed a table in the grooming area to sell items. They may also need a small table for Rescue Income Items at the Auction as well.
TIME FOR THE DETAILED LISTS
This is where the real fun starts and if you are seriously interested, please contact the Specialty Liaison designated Board Member for the details (see below). Basically, trophies need to be purchased, banquet food needs to be selected, Grooming/Handling/Breeder Seminar presenters lined up - it can be as complicated as you wish to make it! One thing to keep in mind - any expenses you occur MUST be presented to the Treasurer along with receipts. The ACA does not advance money, so be prepared to be use your credit card to purchase items (with approval beforehand from the Board). Again, please contact the Specialty Liaison for more information/assistance/help/support!
NOTE: THE AFFENPINSCHER CLUB OF AMERICA BOARD OF DIRECTORS HAS DESIGNATED A BOARD MEMBER TO BE THE SPECIALTY LIAISON. THIS PERSON IS LISTED ON THE ACA WEBSITE ALONG WITH CONTACT INFORMATION. PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH THIS PERSON FOR GUIDANCE, ADVICE AND IDEAS. THE “LIAISON PERSON” IS A VALUABLE RESOURCE - DON’T WASTE TIME RE-INVENTING THE WHEEL, THIS PERSON HAS BEEN THERE, DONE THAT AND WILL BE A TREMENDOUS HELP TO YOU IN THE PROCESS.