An Open Letter to Gas Engine Clubs

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We're giving this space this month to Scott Sartwell, Pres., Champlain Valley Antique Gas Engine and Tractor Association, Inc., 90 Station Street, Altona, New York 12910, who sent this letter:

We recently received a letter from a gas engine club (who shall remain nameless) that is experiencing growing pains. We must never try to ease our growing pains at the expense of our exhibitors. The first thing we must never lose sight of is what makes our show a success is the exhibitors. People are using their own time, equipment and money to come many miles to display. We must always be grateful for their efforts on our behalf.

If we have three fields to use for displays, campers and parking, no matter how we set up we still have only three fields. We shouldn't ask an exhibitor to be separated from his prized possessions, by putting his exhibit in one field, his camper in another and his truck in the third. The reason most exhibitors have chosen to come to our shows with campers or motor homes is the convenience of food, beverage, bathrooms and resting areas. Certainly we should not expect to make them be separated from their engines and their camper/motor homes.

If someone is willing to travel after their day's work, and arrives at our show in the middle of the night, don't you think they can find a spot in one of our lanes to park? Please don't insult exhibitors by requesting that they pay so much per foot for camping fees; in essence you are saying, 'Pay me for being part of this show.' If their exhibits are set out in front of their campers, they are not using unnecessary space. The trucks used to pull the campers are parked at the end of the exhibit, usually with the tailgates facing the aisle, allowing the exhibitor to use the back of the truck for a workbench. Also, if supplies are needed by the exhibitor it makes it easier for him to get this vehicle out to go shopping.

When our exhibitors or their wives arrive with craft or flea market items, we say all the more power to them. Whatever they are able to sell from their exhibition site helps defray the cost of coming to our show. Strictly flea market participants are assigned a special area because they are there solely for a profit making event.

We have established a set-up day for our show. This gives the drivers a chance to rest before the show starts. We have our insurance begin on set-up day, thus we do not have a large number of exhibitors arriving the morning the show begins.

These items are only a few of the things that should be considered when we think of ways to make the stay of our exhibitors as pleasant as possible. Thank you should be more than just words; by our actions the message should come through loud and clear to our exhibitors that we are glad they came to our annual exhibition.