Charging Exhibitors

| July/August 2002

  • Smokstak

  • Smokstak

The following comes from a recent topic on SmokStak, which can be found on the Internet at: As ever, various individuals started, commented on and concluded the following bulletin board thread.

What does everyone think of the practice of show committees charging the exhibitors an entrance fee? Does anyone else have a problem with this? We, as exhibitors, are the entire reason that the general public comes to the show. The spectators come to see the engines (for a dedicated engine show, anyway). Yet many events choose to charge US so that we can become the attraction of the show. Doesn't that kind of sound like the New York Yankees players each having to buy a ticket before every game? When I ATTEND a show, whether it's an antique car show, or an engine show, or any other spectator event, I expect to pay some form of an admission fee. But when I am an exhibitor, it just seems disingenuous on the part of the show committee. Am I out of line on this one? - Tim

The local show around here used to get a lot of engine people until they started charging entrance and camping fees and moved the campers into the shaded areas where they used to have the engines. Now most have left, as a matter of fact there was only one engine running there last year. Bums a guy out. - Randy

I totally agree with the previous posts. I attended a show about 20 years ago that started charging the exhibitors. It sure made a lot of exhibitors mad and they also had problems getting exhibitors to come to their show. I haven't been back. I think that the only reason that they continue to draw people is that it is the first show of the season. They also have a lot of steam. I noticed they have a half page ad in the April issue of GEM and in bold letters EXIB1TORS WELCOME. I think they finally got the message. -Dale

I agree to a point. There are some shows that charge a fee that makes me mad. But I don't mind donating to a club, like Dublin, N.H., which is put on by the club and the volunteer fire department. The two greatest type organizations, in my opinion, engines and volunteer fireman. I do know that some of that money does go to insurance, like if someone's five-year-old boy grabs your exhaust pipe gets burned and goes to the hospital. That's why we have insurance. - Justin

I have to agree 100 percent with not charging exhibitors to get on a show grounds. But in all fairness to some clubs, they have insurance, which requires that exhibitors be members. So at the very least be understanding and patient until you get the whole scoop. Remember the hard working club members who have good intentions, and feel the same as you, but can't govern every last decision made by their officers. I've seen a lot of big shows ruined (at least for the exhibitors) by just a few big shots with that little bit of power going to their head. On the other hand there are a certain number of exhibitors who want special treatment and they can be a pain also. - Ed


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