A car show is somewhere people with shared interests can come together. It’s a place to take in new and creative works, form connections and get ideas. If you’ve visited one, you know the feeling, and while it might seem like a tremendous undertaking, organizing a show is something you can and should do.
Just like any project, the secret to a good car show is preparation and planning. You’re not the first person to plan a car show — they’ve been going on for nearly a century now. That means you can benefit from these useful pointers others have shared.
Venue and Community
You can’t hold a car show without a proper place. Many different types of sites are appropriate for a car show. A local shop with a spacious warehouse could make for an excellent indoor venue. Other popular choices include open fields and fairgrounds where you can set up various stands and attractions.
You’ll want to contact the venue owner for permission and get any permits your city requires for this type of gathering. We also recommend communicating with the local authorities and notifying them that the event is going on. They may know of a conflict or reason the show might face challenges.
Putting a car show on costs money, so if you can set the show up to pay for itself, that’s a win. Depending on how you organize the fundraising, the event could cover some or all of its costs. Raffle prizes keep people interested and offer great sponsorship opportunities for local businesses.
Local vendors might also be interested in donating merchandise or having a presence at the show. See how you can make arrangements with them to add some life — for example, they can place a booth on the grounds and promote their services in exchange for sponsoring a raffle prize.
You’ll need to establish defined categories to break different makes and models into. Then, assemble a crack team of judges from the community or local shops to select the best cars in each category.
Consider having some serious groups defined based on year or particular marque, as well as some that are more for fun. For example, you could have a “best beater” contest.
Marketing and Security
With the show venue and sponsors secured, it’s time to promote. You’ll need a paper or digital campaign, or both, to let people know you’re holding a show. It should inform them of the following:
- The time, date and location of the show
- Judging categories
- How to enter their car
- What events and vendors they’ll get to enjoy by attending the event
To make sure nothing gets too out of control with a big crowd, consider hiring a private security business. The cost of such a service is quite small when you compare it to a potential lawsuit. Additionally, the presence of a security team will make parents feel safer about bringing their children and lend the entire event some peace-of-mind.
It’s nearly show time! A few final touches will make the show perfect. A center stage with a PA system is important to allow communication to the entire show and will let you play music to keep the mood lively. Crank up to the tunes, put some burgers on the grill and kick the tires. Your show is off and rolling!