doubt, the live show is an exciting experience! So many things to
think about, so many things to look at and so many people to meet! And
you’ve probably planned to attend this show for weeks, perhaps even
months, and now the day is finally here! It’s a lot to take in at
once, for sure. And though it’s easy to get caught up in the whirl of
things, keep your fellow attendees in mind. Remember that the live
show network functions best when gracious behavior is the rule. And
above all, always remember to have fun!
To be a shower who
others appreciate, practicing some courtesies is a good idea:
Unpacking at the Show:
This is a very hectic time for everyone, and it often seems more
of a scramble than anything else. So it’s important to understand
that certain behavior can go a long way to encourage a more
pleasant atmosphere during this busy time such as:
from socializing or introducing yourself to fellow showers,
artists or vendors during this time. Chances are that they’re so
busy trying to get their tables set up, that friendly
interactions can be distracting. Truly, people need to be busy
with the business at hand. Permit people the time and “space” to
fully set-up and become relaxed before approaching them. Once
they are situated, they’ll be in the proper frame of mind to
greet you and socialize. (The same courtesy applies when
people are packing up to leave the show as well.)
on time and be ready to go. Never arrive at the hall late and
demand everyone wait for you, particularly after the first
classes have been called.
Questions and Advice: When we come together and see each other’s
models in person, it’s natural to have thoughts and ideas
regarding all that we see, positive and negative. It cannot be
stated strongly enough that it’s important to keep negative
internal musings to yourself; only offer your comments if they are
positive and upbeat. Other courteous behavior should be practiced,
from critiquing or criticizing other shower’s models or work,
whether exhibited or not. “If you have nothing nice to say, say
nothing at all.” Unsolicited advice or criticism, whether
directed to the person or within earshot, is always impolite.
Rather, wait for someone to ask you for input first before
critique is asked, it should be offered in a polite, productive,
thoughtful and courteous manner. And be sure to offer solutions
to the problems you point out since it’s insensitive to offer no
practical fix for the problems you’ve identified. And always
find plenty of positive things to say about someone’s model,
too. And absolutely, “know your stuff” with authentic, useful
insights before you offer advice.
from mobbing entrants, judges or staff for critique, questions,
advice or general help. Rather, wait until they have a free
moment and a clear head to be fully able to address your issue.
And be sure to ask, “Is now a good time?” before launching into
your query. If the time isn’t right, then return to them when
they’ve indicated it will be convenient. It’s inappropriate to
behave as though your issues are the most important at the time.
Exhibitor Table: Each entrant is assigned a table as a storage
area for showing paraphernalia. The size allotted to you is
usually 8x10 feet, but can vary in size depending on the situation
of each show hall. You also get to use the space under your table
for storage. Although this is your own “personal space” in the
show hall, it’s important to remember the following:
to make your corner of the live show a happy and fun experience
for all around you.
Introduce yourself to all your neighbors.
your table, make an effort to create a friendly, approachable
demeanor, quick with a smile and introduction. Avoid appearing
grim, intimidating or brooding since this will put people off.
Yes, showing is exhausting and the day can run long, but a good
attitude goes a long way for everyone’s enjoyment.
Likewise, don’t be a Dreary Darling. If people ask you how
you’re doing, don’t drone on about your troubles or ills. This
is a good way to end up alone all day long. Rather, be friendly
and upbeat. Truly, a happier attitude somehow always makes
things more fun.
neighbor with his/her paraphernalia if it appears assistance is
to put little “Please Do Not Touch” signs on your table, if you
wish. Just don’t get carried away over this because you must
accept a certain level of risk when you bring your models to a
your own stuff in your own space. Avoid running over onto
another shower’s exhibitor table or cluttering up his/her side
of the aisle. Store items under your table or in your car, if
your table space in mind when you pack your models, so only
bring enough models that will fit your space. But if you bring
more than can fit, perhaps leave some under your table or even
in your car, and rotate them as needed.
your table and aisle organized and clean.
placing items on your table that could tumble, spill or fall
onto a neighbor’s space and property.
Sometimes showers will share an exhibitor table to cut costs. So
if you’ve decided to share a table, it’s important to be
respectful of your tablemate. If it’ll help, perhaps bring a
yardstick, ruler or measuring tape to divide the table
you’ve brought only a few models, while your neighbor has quite
a few, it’s a nice gesture to offer them some of your table
block an aisle, emergency exit or doorway for any reason. These
features need to be kept clear not just for your neighbors’
considerations, but for fire and safety issues, too.
hoard all the chairs for your table.
careful when moving around tables and through aisles, even in
your haste, since show halls are often crowded and cramped.
Always be mindful of people and property around you. Remember,
if you damage something, you may have to pay for it. If you do
bump someone's table, offer your apologies and stay a bit to
ensure all the models are safe, even if that means being late to
the show table.
Likewise, when moving around exhibitor and show tables, try to
give them a wide berth, to spare your fellow participants undue
and attentive to anyone who needs to get passed you or around
careful not to trip people in the aisle.
your sales items so as to avoid becoming a bothersome nuisance
to your neighbors with bad traffic patterns or crowding.
have brought snacks and treats for yourself throughout the day,
it’s good policy to bring extra to share with your neighbors.
And it’s always a nice gesture to have a bowl of treats on your
table for people to enjoy, like candy, nuts or cookies.
Classes: Trying to keep up with your classes is a challenge,
putting it mildly! Which means your strategies should be well
planned in advance to minimize crisis. But whether or not things
are running smoothly for you, never forget the following:
be helpful to your fellow showers, particularly newbies.
realistic with your entries and avoid “doing it all” (newbies
are advised to bring only ten to fifteen models to their first
show). Indeed, it’s a mistake to bring the maximum number of
entries allowed by the show because it usually ends up in a
detrimental frenzy with these unfortunate consequences:
only stress yourself out.
contribute to a delayed show, as classes have to be held up
miss out on all the admiring and learning that’s such a unique
opportunity at a live show.
miss out on the best thing a live show has to offer -- fun and
show requires show tags to identify entries in the ring, be sure
to have all your entries accurately pre-tagged the night before.
Do not hold up classes because your entries aren’t tagged, or
tagged incorrectly. Also, it’s best to attach the tags on the
furthest back hindleg, looped around the pastern, with the
required identification facing upwards, so the judge can easily
record the placing. However, do not allow the side of the tag
with your name to face up for the judge to see. Judges do not
like this because it leaves them open to accusations of bias.
attention to the announcer for your classes. It’s inappropriate
to hold up the show or continually ask the host, announcer,
judge or a neighbor about classes because you weren’t attentive.
particular attention to your entries in simultaneous classes,
and be sure to put each entry onto the correct show table.
attention to callbacks so you don’t delay the show. And accept
that if you miss the callback, your entry misses out on a
championship award. (Callbacks are when the first and second
placers of each class are called back to the show table to award
responsible and courteous in getting your entry to the show
table, walking calmly and carefully. Do not bully your way to
the show table for any reason.
Handy Tip: It’s a very good idea to create your own class
list and bring it to the show. This list should have the names,
numbers and entered classes for each of your entries, along with
a blank space for each for notations on placings or championship
qualifications. This way, when callbacks occur, you’ll have the
correct information at your fingertips and not delay the show or
put the wrong entry in the callback. Also, over time, these
lists offer solid data on which entries are your best showers
and which aren’t.
Show Table: Being around the show table demands great care and
thoughtfulness because it holds people’s cherished models and
expensive property. At all times, please practice these
possible, it’s polite to place your entry at least eight inches
from the others to allow each one to have the appropriate space
required for a fair evaluation.
large class, models can become crowded and bunched up on the
limited space of the show table. If the host is unable to split
the class or move part of the class onto another table, it’s a
nice gesture to move your models in such a way as to accommodate
other entries. And perhaps everyone can work together to
organize his/her own models along rows or in other layouts that
would best accommodate the cramped situation.
bully a spot on the show table for your entry. Conversely, it’s
a nice gesture to suggest better spots on the show table to
fellow showers if you believe the lighting or orientation would
better flatter their entries.
Likewise, take great pains to be careful around the show table,
at all times. Do not bump or jostle it.
placing your entry onto the show table, be careful not to bump
or knock over any entries as you put it down. Be careful with
dangling jewelry that can inadvertently cause a tumble, such as
long necklaces or large bracelets.
entry is unstable or breakable, such as a ceramic model, you can
lay it down, showing off its “glamour side”, on a piece of soft,
cushioned material. But stay close to the show table while your
entry is being judged since the judge may ask you to pick up the
model to reveal the other side to make an accurate assessment of
it. Do not talk or comment while doing this and leave promptly
once you’re done.
block or obscure another entry on the show table, such as
putting your entry in front of another’s. Not only does this
makes it difficult for the judge to see the other shower’s
entry, but it’s also considered rude.
your entries grouped nicely together with the rest of the
entries on the show table. Be considerate of the judge and do
not place your model on the show table far from the rest of the
entries, such as at the far end of the table or on the other
Do not take
an inordinate amount of time preparing your model for the class.
This includes tacking up, adjusting tack, dusting, combing or
preparing any facet of your entry. This delays the show and is
discourteous to fellow attendees. Indeed, twenty minutes is far too
long for such things, and indicates better planning and preparation
for each class is required.
important that a shower provide documentation for odd or unfamiliar
colors, breed variations, and tack or performance set-ups. Please do
not expect or assume a judge or host to know everything! In fact, it
is not the judge’s responsibility to figure out what you are
entering. Judges expect documentation when it’s needed. Plus, it
will speak kindly of your entry if you demonstrate that you’ve taken
the time to verify it. And this documentation should be no more than
one side of an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper to lay beside or under your
entry, unobstructed. Do not place an entire book, binder, folder or
presentation on the table for documentation.
Do not show
the same model in more than one breed class, especially when the
rules require otherwise.
should not get in the way of fellow showers, judges, the host and
physically get in the way of the judge while he/she is judging; a
judge should never have to ask you to move out of the way.
Do not talk
to the judges while they are judging. Likewise, do not engage in
conversation around a show table while it’s being judge since this
can be distracting.
your entry from the show table when the judge has laid down the
awards and indicated showers may then pick up their entries.
forget about your model and leave it on the show table after the
class has been cleared for the next one because this delays the
If you have
a question about the class placings, ask the judge calmly,
respectfully and politely at the appropriate time. Be sure to thank
the judge, too, for the information. And, above all, regard it as a
learning opportunity, not as an opportunity to belittle or attack.
Other Courtesies: It’s important to practice these
additional considerations as well:
gracious, polite and friendly and exhibit good sportsmanship.
Do not drink
alcoholic beverages during the show and do not smoke in the
buildings or outside around doors that would allow smoke to waft
Do not ever
take, touch or pick up another person’s model or property without
permission, even if you know the owner or if the model is for sale
or if the model is presumed unbreakable. This is The Golden Rule
that must be practiced by everyone, at all times, to include
children of all ages. And remember, if you damage the model, you’ll
have to pay for it, and since most models are irreplaceable, you’ll
also make the owner very angry. No fun.
Do not ask
strangers or survey the Internet for answers to your questions about
a show because, more often than not, you’ll get incorrect
information that can complicate matters unnecessarily. Rather,
contact the host directly for answers.
Send in your
entry packets to the show early and do not wait until the last
minute, especially if you’re a newbie.
assume the show hall will be climate controlled. Instead, contact
the host in advance for this information and plan accordingly.
Keep in mind
that the host is usually so busy at the show, he/she may not be able
to easily or immediately answer your questions as they arise. So
it’s best to anticipate questions and present them to the host prior
to the show.
bulky backpacks, purses, boxes, etc. without being especially
careful with them. Many a model has been damaged from a thoughtless
smack from such items.
in the show hall. Do not run in the show hall, ever, even if you are
about to miss a class.
monopolize anything, such as prize tables, the attentions of the
host, judges or staff, a showring, etc.
who look lost, seem to have a question, are alone and need help
carrying items or need someone to watch over property while they
attend to a necessary task.
sincere, happy congratulations to those who placed well in the
class, even if you didn’t. Really, it’s an exciting experience to do
well, and that should always be highlighted with support.
that no show is perfect. Honestly, there will be glitches and
setbacks no matter how well run a show is. Yes, there is the
occasional poorly run show, too, but the truth is that everyone is
trying to make the best of things even though the best-laid plans
can go awry. So always be gracious, tolerant and understanding
rather than acting like a demanding, self-righteous or angry victim.
Actually, if there are any problems, it’s a beautiful idea to offer
your help to iron them out.
Refrain from taking photos of models on an exhibitor’s table without
asking permission first because this is a shower’s “personal space”,
making it impolite to simply start snapping photos. However, it’s
generally alright to take photographs of the entries on the show
table under these conditions.
aren’t being judged
set-up is over
stand far back enough to avoid bumping the table
do not hold up judging with your photography
pointing your camera at people without permission, since many
people are quite camera shy
If you start
to feel overwhelmed or stressed out, please, step outside for a
moment for some fresh air or “down time”. This will put you back
into a happy state of mind, which benefits you and those around you.
inappropriate for showers to share the same models for different
divisions. For example, you showing a model in Open and your
companion showing the same model in Novice or Youth. For the same
reason, try to refrain from having someone else do most of your
class preparations or provide you with needed paraphernalia. It’s
important that you do the work, with your own models and stuff,
because our community values individual efforts, so to do otherwise
engenders ill will. No ribbon is worth this.
own show supplies and refrain from depending on others (though
it’s a good idea to bring extra items, just in case). Such
own show supplies and refrain from depending on others (though
it’s a good idea to bring extra items, just in case). Such
A pen, tape
and paper, for record keeping, taking peoples names and contact
information and for any required checklists or notes.
nametags since they tend to get mangled throughout the day.
for your exhibitor table since many tables are rough, sticky or
for your exhibitor table since many tables are rough, sticky or
A clean soft
cosmetic brush and clean soft cloth for dusting your entries. Dirty
entries can be penalized.
A repair kit
containing such items as Super Glue, touch-up paint and small
If you have
haired models, bring scissors, hair mousse or gel and a toothbrush.
It’s also a good idea to bring some appropriate glue and extra hair
in case you need to repair any damage at the last minute. Hair
that’s frizzy, messy and ungroomed, or with glue infused throughout,
can be penalized.
tags because you may need to replace a damaged or lost tag or
perhaps you may want to show that new model you just purchased at
in case you need to write down documentation or explanation for your
performance showing, you’ll need tweezers, sticky wax and small
cosmetic scissors for dealing with the tiny bits of tack and props.
the host, staff, volunteers and the judges before leaving. They
worked hard for you and it’s good to acknowledge them for it. And
say a pleasant good-bye to newly found friends and table neighbors,
Send a Thank
You note or email one to the host after the show. And it’s a nice
gesture to do the same for the judges you showed under, too.
absolutely never forget why you’re at the show in the first place --
to have fun! Truly, the reason for going should be camaraderie,
learning, admiring and having a great time. So if fun isn’t a
primary reason, then perhaps it’s time to reevaluate your priorities
for attending. Really, do not ever treat a live show as a “life or
death” situation, or behave in ways that distract from the real
purpose of attending. There is no ribbon, trophy or accomplishment
worth a rotten time, for you or anyone else.
assignment is hard work because judges are on their feet most of the
day and having to make some tough choices. It’s also important to
understand that judges have to work against the clock, since shows
that run too long are undesirable. So please remember that judges are
often very focused on their task at hand and trying to do their best
for you, so don’t interpret that as being aloof, impatient or
dismissive. Also take into account that a judge can act more reserved
to foster a professional distance, which encourages proper decorum and
A bit of
advice -- it’s very important to research judges and choose which show
you attend based on who was hired to judge your classes. The truth is
that judging alone can “make or break” the experience for you, so it’s
important to identify those judges who suit your sensibilities best,
and then patronize those shows that hire them.
behaviors of a good judge are:
knowledgeable of the information required to place the entries
credibly, being fluent in authentic, factual information and adept
in the application of this knowledge.
early at the show hall, is ready to judge, and is fully aware of
the division(s) he/she must judge.
professional, friendly, calm, confident and courteous.
and dressed in attire befitting the position.
clear-headed and doesn’t exhibit behavior that would cause someone
to doubt his/her ability to carry out the job responsibly.
serve as a judge if he/she isn’t knowledgeable enough to be
qualified. The post is an important one, and inadequacies quickly
become obvious -- and word gets around fast! So it’s good policy
that if you’re interested in judging, but have incomplete
knowledge of the requirements of an assignment, research them
before accepting the post. Also, it may be possible for judges-intraining
to “shadow” an experienced judge as a learning opportunity, so ask
the host and judge for permission beforehand.
accept assignments to divisions he/she doesn’t believe he/she is
qualified to judge. A good judge will also speak up to the host if
an inappropriate assignment has been made before the show, so the
host can make the corrections in time to advertise them.
coerce, influence, chide, belittle, pressure or otherwise demean
another judge’s decisions, during or after the placings have been
made. A good judge absolutely minds his/her business and shows
respect for fellow judges. Bad judges who do not practice this
should be reported to the host immediately.
pre-judge any class. This includes not standing around and
watching the entries and showers coming up to the table and
mentally pre-deciding who will win.
make a scene over an entry believed to be a “nightmare” for any
reason. This includes no pointing, giggling or other catty
behavior over any entry.
classes based only on personal tastes or whims. A good judge makes
placings based on authentic educated facts to form an opinion of
accuracy and correctness, not based on which one is “prettiest”,
most expensive, who did the piece or tack, who has the biggest
place a class based on politics or fear-driven decisions.
disregard an entry because the particulars are unfamiliar or
personally believed to be “unfashionable” or “unappealing”,
relating to such things as breed, expression, color (such as
unusual coloration, “plain” or “wild” coloration), phenotype (rare
or otherwise), styles of grooming (or lack thereof), style of the
that he/she may not know something and seek to look it up in the
on-hand reference materials before making the placings. Truly,
it’s far better to know factual details before pinning a class.
predictable and consistent, always basing placings on criteria the
judge is known to favor. It’s inappropriate to “bait and switch”
criteria because showers often tailor their entries according to
the known factors a judge uses to make placings. This consistency
should also apply through the years. However, it’s important to
consider a judge’s learning curve, so be sure not to confuse
changed criteria based on new data (good) with new criteria based
on frivolous whim (bad).
objective and discerning with each entry, inspecting each with the
same level of care and concern, even if the judge already suspects
the entry to be incorrect. The truth is that it’s important to
really inspect each entry, particularly in Custom and Artist Resin
divisions, since corrections may have been made that are only
evident upon close inspection. So a good judge remembers that each
shower has paid an entry fee and deserves an equal and fair
evaluation, at all times.
and waits for the entry to prove itself based on workmanship or
the accuracy of the set-up, and doesn’t automatically become
biased towards molds, colors, breeds, genders, artistic styles,
set-ups, tack, etc. In short, a good judge does not automatically
focused on the task at hand, directing all energies towards
getting the job done in a timely fashion to help the show end on
time. It’s inappropriate for a judge to be spending an inordinate
amount time doing anything else other than judging (except for
necessary lunch or bathroom breaks), such as simultaneously
showing in another division, socializing or making preparations,
such as packing up to leave.
of personal matters, such as breakfast, grooming, getting to the
hall and making phone calls, before or after the show. In short, a
good judge realizes that his/her primary job is to judge, and
shows respect for the showers’ time.
ignores or avoids questions when asked at an appropriate time.
behaves in a patronizing or belittling manner.
behave in a way that indicates to showers that he/she would rather
being doing something else. For example, does not complain about
an aching back or sore feet or grouse about being “stuck judging”
Is able to
explain placings with clear, precise and reasonable information,
based on fact rather than whim. For instance, "I liked it" or "It
screamed at me" are not acceptable reasons for choosing a winner.
However, in the rare case of a tiebreaker, such criteria can be
appropriate. Likewise, "I wasn't sure if that neck ‘thingy’ is
legal or not" is not an acceptable reason for not placing a model
becomes defensive, flustered, indignant or aggressive about having
to explain placings.
to the facts and not offer colorful, thoughtless or hurtful
remarks and will never insult or demean anyone’s models or
abilities, particularly when explaining a placing, which is
essentially critiquing someone's entry.
always act in a cool, polite and professional manner, always
“taking the high road” even if a person or situation gets