AUGUST 13, 2013: THE WORLD OF SUMMER CAR SHOWS AND HOW TO MAKE THEM A SUCCESS

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We attend as many car shows as possible every summer because car shows are where we find most of our stories.

 

The car shows are ground zero for car guys and their rides.

 

We also added a car event calendar link to our front page so we can provide a way for the car show organizers to let people know about their events.

 

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The result has been nothing short of spectacular because our car event link has become bigger than we had ever imagined in terms of use. The car events page on our site also gives us an opportunity to assess the strategy behind the events and how the organizers could make them a bigger success.

 

We have found that many local shows have locked into summer dates that compete against each other for car guys and their rides. By local we mean a radius of about 50 miles (80km) between towns and their shows.

 

It can become a tug of war between the towns for the same core group of cars and owners. It also means the shows will have fewer cars if they put their shows on the same day. The traditional day for a car show is Saturday and that philosophy has hurt attendance for local shows that choose to run on the same Saturday.

 

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I would move one of the shows to Sunday if one show was on the same day as another show within the 50-mile radius. Sundays are not used for shows very often in our region and the field is basically wide open for the local organizers.

 

I would also consult with other show organizers within the 50 mile radius during the off season and see whether one of two or more competing shows could move their date off the same weekend if they were unwilling to shake the Saturday show concept.

 

Canada has an annual May long weekend holiday called Victoria Day that occurs one week before Memorial Day weekend in the United States. It is a kickoff to summer but it can be a dicey time for outdoor events in our part of western Canada because of notoriously unpredictable weather that could range from blazing hot to blizzard at that time of year.

 

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That’s why the field is also wide open for car events because of this unpredictable weather but a club with a gambler’s spirit could roll the dice and throw a car show with little or no competition within a hundred miles of our community. That 100 mile radius includes two cities with well over 2 million people combined total in their greater metropolitan areas.

 

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Another concept would be a Friday night show during the summer months in the downtown core of some of these small towns. We have very long daylight hours during June and July in our part of Canada and the days get even longer the further north you go.

 

I know the summer night shows work because our local weekly Thursday night show just keeps getting bigger and bigger under the watch of local organizer Challenger Dave Burden. His biggest problem is finding enough room for the cars on a pleasant Thursday night.

 

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There you have it; an outsider’s inside look at car shows and how to make them work better for your club’s show.

 

Jim Sutherland

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