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Old October 26th   #1
aaronkt
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Putting together a car show

I am with a non-profit called Asperger Connection. We are a non-profit based in Huntsville that helps individuals in north Alabama and southern middle Tennessee who have Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism recieve money to attend social skills and job skills classes not normally covered by insurance. We recently had our annual poker run at Diamonds Sports Bar in which we raised a lot of money.

I don't know if any of you know Tom Jeffreys who used to own Tom Jeffreys Sign and Banner but he suggested we add a car show to our poker run next year. I am starting to look into the idea of our organization having a car show as a fundraiser either as part of our poker run or as a seperate event at a different time.

Since everyone on this form is into cars, the big question is, what goes into putting together a car show? Where do we start?

Some specific questions I have are:

1. Should we do a car show as part of the poker run or would it be best done as a seperate event? Our poker run is mostly with motorcycles?

2. How many months in advance do we need to plan a car show?

3. How do we go about securing a site for our car show?

4. When is the best time to do a car show? I'm aware of the car show on the square in Athens in April and the one in Ardmore in August.

5. How do we go about getting sponsors for our car show? What is the purpose of getting money from sponsors to sponsor our car show?

6. What's the best way to decide what types of cars will be at our event?

7. What are some appropriate prizes and raffle items for a car show?

I'm new to the car world but at work I am exposed to people who love cars. If you all could help me, that would be great. I am responsible for taking my findings and presenting them at our next board meeting.

Last edited by aaronkt; October 26th at 04:24 PM.
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Old October 26th   #2
///Laid GP
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1. If it's a first time event I would just do it as a separate event. There are a lot of car shows in Huntsville so making it too complicated might turn people off.

2. I recently put one on with three weeks of planning but we had a small turnout. The longer lead time you have the more time to advertise and get the word out.

3. Figure out a list of places that might work and get on the phone.

4. April to October, really. The weather here is still warm enough in early October to support shows. During football season you will have trouble getting some folks to come out.

5. Again, get on the phone or hit the road and go in person. Sponsors may not do a money sponsorship but they may donate items for door prizes or raffle items, etc.

6. That's up to you really. Ours was open to all makes and models.

7. Car related stuff usually. Cleaning products, gift certificates etc.
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Old October 26th   #3
k9racer
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One thing for sure.. Buy enough insurance.. Rates are not that high.. Do not forget that people are sue happy.. Not so much the car people but the general public who attend these events. I know of a suit where some stepped in some dog do do slipped down and claimed injury............................................ ................. Lead Time get as much as possible as car guys make schedules out in advance........................................ A church in Hsv only had less than 2 weeks and the turn out was low............................................... ............... Be sure not to conflict with other activitys like FOOT BALL any type and religious holidays.......................................... ......... Check other show dates that have been around a long time. People like to go to the same shows.. ie Ardmore/Point Mallard/ Athens/ and so on....................................... If you have a D J keep the volume down as I have seen participants ask for their money back because the D J was to loud both with the music and his announcing.. Remind him he is not the show but the cars are........................................ Keep the entry fees within reason..

Last edited by k9racer; October 26th at 11:55 PM. Reason: spel dog correct
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Old October 27th   #4
HOSS429
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plan something in a area that does`nt already have events .. like hazel green .. meridianville or southern tenn .. there is already enuff stuff in huntsville and decatur ..
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Old October 27th   #5
coupemama
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Yes, check the car calendars on line & here for the previous year or so to see what local shows are going on in your neighborhood. North Alabama pretty well has many shows on any given weekend during the season, April - October. The further in advance you can plan and set the date, the better. Many of us plan our car calendar the beginning of the year to where we are going and make arrangements. If you say open to all years & models, you should have a better turn out.

Time is a factor for many of us. To be at an event for the day, do not make too long, ending around 2pm is good. Gives us time to get to an evening cruise-in that starts at 5 or 6pm.

Some days/weekends to avoid would be the Athens show in April, Decatur shows in May & July, Ardmore in August, and the Priceville annual evening cruise-in in August. These are open to all and are the bigger events that I can think of without reviewing this past calendar. I am sure there are a few more. For example, Cullman has the all Ford show in April.

It is always good to attend a few events, if you have not already, and see how they handle during the show hours, and be able to speak with them.
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Old October 27th   #6
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Plus in picking a site - Many events that I have helped with in the Decatur, Danville, Priceville & Somerville areas, with about 1 year of planning and getting the word out, including flyers and internet sites, the attendance was about 100 rides. So make sure that the site you pick would fit the number of rides that you are anticipating.

One incentive was to offer a club of 15 or more arriving together a small discount - maybe $5 off each ride. Or for the ones pre-registering by a certan date a discount.
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Old October 27th   #7
HOSS429
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gunna miss you taking care of things Marsha ...
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Old October 27th   #8
aaronkt
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Do they still have the car show at Dublin Rec Center in Madison? I know there used to be a car show during the summer.
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Old October 27th   #9
coupemama
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I am still here to help out when I can; get the word out; put on the internet site(s); pass out flyers. We still attend many events every month, all year long. Just do not have the time to put on an event or do it all!!!!!
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Old October 27th   #10
aaronkt
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How much money can one expect to spend out of pocket if it is a non-profit? We want to actually make a profit for our fundraiser.
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Old October 28th   #11
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If your non-profit / charity is a federal or state licensed entity, then have those documents with you, as well as a written plan to the event, purpose of the event, and detailed accounting of proposed expenses.

Try to locate a site for the event that the owner may let you use free or for a small fee.

Then head to businesses for sponsorships. May need an actual officer from the non-profit entity with you, as sponsors will be more willing to help and deal directly with said officer. Sponsors may give funds to cover any or some expenses; others may donate items or services. For example, one WalMart has given directly to the non-profit personnel food for the event, which the day of the event was charged $5 to $7 per plate - all profit for the cause.

Plan well ahead and get the word out. If the car community knows the proceeds are going to a good cause, they are more willing to pay a reasonable entry fee, pay for a meal, and sometimes may even give a little more.

If you work hard at it, may just get enough involved that most or all expenses are covered.
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Old October 29th   #12
b.a.king
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Nashville has 2 large events in January.Has a place to give out flyers.Easy way to get out the word.
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Old November 4th   #13
Samir
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Some super-great suggestions in this thread! I'm so proud to have built a site with such great people on it.

One thing I'd say about the date is to watch for the weather as well as the conflicts with other events that's been mentioned. If it rains, you will have no one show up. If it's too hot, no one will show up or go home well before your show end time.

Using a farmer's almanac to check the weather about 10 years back will give you a really good idea of what to expect. If it's looking like rain or 110+ temps, definitely choose another date.

Also, to keep from conflicting with the busy Saturdays, consider a Sunday event. One that runs from 1pm to 5pm gives people enough time to hit church in the morning, the show, and then still go home and get ready for the work week.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronkt View Post
Do they still have the car show at Dublin Rec Center in Madison? I know there used to be a car show during the summer.
If it had a lot of European and British Cars, then that's the Annual EuroBrit show which started back in 2005. It conflicts with the big show in Athens on the square in recent years, but since the demographic only slightly overlaps, there's good turnouts at both. I still don't think that it's optimal as people that want the potenial prizes of the Athens event have to choose between that event or a show that's for their marque.
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