Running An Engine Show

By Staff

303 Fisher Road Fitchburg, Mass., 01420

What makes a top-notch engine show? ONE-every engine is in A-1
condition, running and used to do a job. TWO-every exhibitor camps
in a very small tent trailer beside his exhibit. THREE-if you
don’t produce at least ten engines you should not be allowed to
exhibit at a top-notch show.

Certainly none of these three statements is correct!

A top-grade show is one with a large number of exhibitors with a
large array of engines, machines and related equipment. After all,
what does anyone go to an engine show for but to show off their
engines and to look at other people’s engines?

How do you create a top-notch show? First, you actively recruit
exhibitors. You use flyers, direct mailing, advertisements in
national magazines, direct verbal invitations and, hopefully, a big
ad in the national show directory. Most clubs do all that.

Secondly, you supply them with a good exhibit area with adequate
toilets and adequate water, including drinking water.

Third, you make it as easy as possible for your exhibitors to
set up. You give them marked-off areas with adequate space. You
allow them to arrive early and leave late. And you allow them to
camp with their exhibits even if they bring a 40′ mobile home
and only show one engine. As an added attraction, you attempt to
provide them some form of entertainment and some type of
refreshment concessions that do not charge so much that an
exhibitor cannot afford to buy from them. You should supply added
features such as parades, demonstrations of specialized equipment
or techniques.

How do you accomplish this? Well, the ideal way would be to find
25 non-exhibitors, people not interested in engine shows, who could
start three or four days before the show and work two days after
the show, to do all of the set-ups, water supplying, errand
running, parking, clean-up, etc. But I guess that becomes
impossible.

So the next best thing is to prod enough willing volunteers
(remember only ten percent of any club/organization are the active
willing volunteers-200 members equals 20 active willing volunteers
at the most) who will find some way to get the field laid out
early; get adequate water for engines and drinking purposes; be
sure the concession stands are ready and able to function; make
some arrangements to get everybody parked; run errands with smiling
faces and take care of the thousand and one things that everybody
forgot would have to be done; find time in-between to set up their
own exhibits; at the end of the show to tear it down and still be
willing to come back and do their share of picking up tanks, hose,
wire, rubbish, debris and what-have you.

If anyone has a golden answer for getting volunteers, every club
and organization in the country would like to hear from them. Until
that person comes around it looks like ten may have to do the work
of twenty if their club wants to still run the biggest and best
engine show in the area.

Maybe we should think about volunteering to do all of the
set-up, clean-up, etc. for some other organization’s affair, in
return for their people doing it for our show!

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