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playswithbrass

To pay or not to pay?...

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Good day all  I'm  up here in Canada  reading the car show listings in a popular old car newspaper. Now I am not a show car guy(lawn chairs behind the car watching people look at my car) sometimes it is nice to have a destination when out for a drive  i.e.local car show in a 30 mile area. However it really winds me up when I have to pay to display my car at a car show and the spectator gets in for free.We are talking low key shows no prize money or trophys ,just a get together.Am I just getting old and cranky?

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That always seemed backwards to me as well. I've been to many shows over the years, including invitational concours. After towing to a distant locale, gas/food/lodging and all the rest, it seems a little tart to have to pay a fee as an entrant. Adding mud in the eye is the judge's breakfast. Hey wait! WE are the show! Where's our breakfast?

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Everyone knows people who own old cars are filthy rich so taking some of their money won’t hurt them a bit😀.  For me it was the beneficiary of the show that made the choice easier.  I agree charging the public seems correct to some degree for most charity shows.  Perhaps they hope the free admission will allow those attending to buy other items like food or drink that has a higher profit margin and will help the overall fundraising effort.

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If you are doing this hobby for the financial benefits, perhaps I could recommend a better way to dispose of those pesky $50 and $100 dollar bills, perhaps something that involves a toilet or a small backyard fire.

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Actually it’s not to do with any financial benefits. It just seems cockeyed to say you can pay $10 to display your car and create our show and everyone can come see for nothing. 

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Entry fees barely cover cost for putting on a show or providing a reasonable sum to a charity. How many shows do you think would be around if they charged admission to the public if no one came. Profit in some form (in the promoter’s pocket or a charity) is always a factor

 

To provide an answer to your original question- no you are not getting old you are old! 😀 sorry couldn’t resist. 

Dave S 

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I think it is just a logistical thing.  If there is an easy way to control the spectators access so that you can charge them and maintain a perimeter then a show may go that way.  Else,  in an open area they charge the car owners.   The money has to come from somewhere and it is just a question of which audience is easiest to extract it from.

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19 minutes ago, alsancle said:

I think it is just a logistical thing.  If there is an easy way to control the spectators access so that you can charge them and maintain a perimeter then a show may go that way.  Else,  in an open area they charge the car owners.   The money has to come from somewhere and it is just a question of which audience is easiest to extract it from.

Agreed, A.J..  Further, I am reluctant to pay a substantial sum to enter a car when the show/concours is wholly or partially a for-profit enterprise.  Funny how the latter never say what percentage of the net proceeds goes to charity.  "Reluctant" means I'm not saying "never have" or "never will," but doing so is an exception to my own policy.  I've judged for >30 years at benefit shows/concours, and headed the car side (administration, operations & logistics) of the late, great Silverado Concours for four years.  Silverado served as a dress rehearsal for Pebble (with 10 weeks to fix any judging gigs) and drew cars from all over the country. 

Edited by Grimy
added a word (see edit history)

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On the one side it does seem silly to pay to display your car. I understand. I like going to shows simply because it's a place to drive and I figure that if I can afford a toy car, well, I can afford the $10 or $20 it takes to hang out there for a while. In the grand scheme of things, it's not a lot and I don't feel like they're taking advantage of me by "using" my car as an attraction. The more, the merrier, I always say. Nobody's getting rich putting on car shows, I guarantee that. 

 

But on the other side, it takes work and time and a lot of effort to put on a car show and even though most are volunteer-run, there are still costs involved (printing, advertising, awards, supplies, music, facility fees, etc.). We have found that charging some nominal fee makes people far more likely to show up. If it were free, you'd commit to being there and then blow it off at the last minute, so a car show that's promoting "100 cars!" or something like that, ends up with 8 or 9 beaters instead--we've all been to that sad, pathetic show, right? We have seminars at our facility all winter and at first they were totally free. We'd only ask people to RSVP so we know how much coffee to make, how many donuts to buy, how many chairs to rent, etc. When it was free, we'd get 50 RSVPs and 10 guys ultimately show up on the day of the event--they have nothing invested, what do they care? However, when we charge $5, we get 50 RSVPs and 48 people showing up. Sometimes it's not a money thing or a taking advantage of suckers thing, it's just a human nature thing. We don't cover our costs even at $5/head, but we found it made people much more likely to show up so nothing gets wasted, including my time.

 

And finally, if you don't like paying to show your car, you really don't have to go to shows where they're charging an entry fee. There are free cruise-ins that cost nothing all over the country. There's a free car show every night of the week near us, we choose one or two each week and go. It's free. We sit for a while, we talk a little, then we leave. Costs nothing but a gallon of gas to get there. It's odd to resent the public getting in free (because they really don't care--they're there because they're curious not because they simply MUST see your car) when you're paying to be there and they aren't. If it were the other way around, it would be a bunch of old guys sitting around in a parking lot all by themselves wondering why nobody's paying $10 to look at them.

 

Nobody owes you anything for showing up--the point is that YOU get something out of it. If you don't, why bother at all?

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Hello Peter.  You can come to Chatham Sat, May 26 for a free car show downtown, the BIA pays the expenses.  My local car club is the host so I will be there to do my part.  I do not show there because it is for hot rods and a few antiques but it is, so far anyway, no cost to show or to the public.  Bev and I will be going to Essex again this June 10th, $!0 to enter a car but the public pays as well because it has a museum and controlled entrance.  Free shows also at Erieau and Blenheim if you are looking for places to go in Ontario we would go with you.  All the best, Gary

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I remember when our car clubs were invited to put on shows at the shopping centers around San Diego. We usually got some free lunch or something along those lines. Now, we have to pay to show our cars, so I don't. I show it every day when I drive it and I don't have to pay. Why do I have to pay to PARK it? I know....there are trophy fees and such (I don't do trophies), but things have definitely changed.

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, playswithbrass said:

Good day all  I'm  up here in Canada  reading the car show listings in a popular old car newspaper. Now I am not a show car guy(lawn chairs behind the car watching people look at my car) sometimes it is nice to have a destination when out for a drive  i.e.local car show in a 30 mile area. However it really winds me up when I have to pay to display my car at a car show and the spectator gets in for free.We are talking low key shows no prize money or trophys ,just a get together.Am I just getting old and cranky?

 

Our club puts on an All-GM show every year.  We charge entrants to cover our costs.  We are lucky if we break even.  We have to pay for the site (which includes security), advertising, postage, trophies and awards, and a number of other costs.  We are fortunate to get insurance coverage from our national club, otherwise we'd incur that cost as well. In this world of $5 cups of coffee, paying $15 for a show is a nit. If you don't want to pay for it, don't go, but don't complain about it until you have actually tried to put on such a show. We invariably get one or two deadbeats every year who try to sneak in without paying.

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39 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

On the one side it does seem silly to pay to display your car. I understand. I like going to shows simply because it's a place to drive and I figure that if I can afford a toy car, well, I can afford the $10 or $20 it takes to hang out there for a while. In the grand scheme of things, it's not a lot and I don't feel like they're taking advantage of me by "using" my car as an attraction. The more, the merrier, I always say. Nobody's getting rich putting on car shows, I guarantee that. 

 

But on the other side, it takes work and time and a lot of effort to put on a car show and even though most are volunteer-run, there are still costs involved (printing, advertising, awards, supplies, music, facility fees, etc.). We have found that charging some nominal fee makes people far more likely to show up. If it were free, you'd commit to being there and then blow it off at the last minute, so a car show that's promoting "100 cars!" or something like that, ends up with 8 or 9 beaters instead--we've all been to that sad, pathetic show, right? We have seminars at our facility all winter and at first they were totally free. We'd only ask people to RSVP so we know how much coffee to make, how many donuts to buy, how many chairs to rent, etc. When it was free, we'd get 50 RSVPs and 10 guys ultimately show up on the day of the event--they have nothing invested, what do they care? However, when we charge $5, we get 50 RSVPs and 48 people showing up. Sometimes it's not a money thing or a taking advantage of suckers thing, it's just a human nature thing. We don't cover our costs even at $5/head, but we found it made people much more likely to show up so nothing gets wasted, including my time.

I certainly don't mind $10-$20, Matt, but I live in freakin' California.  The Danville car show on the streets is $100/car, free to the public because there's no way to control access;  the local businesses benefit from the traffic.  I haven't shown a car there.....yet, anyway. 

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The Macungie car show charges a nominal entry fee but they also give the entrants some kind of thank you gift. They ALSO charge an entry fee for spectators and the show is PACKED with spectators. $$$$$$.  Same with the Strausstown show. Packed every year. $$$$$$.  Most Concours shows act like they actually appreciate the entrants by providing a breakfast and a sit down lunch with No entry fee.

Meanwhile the AACA goes out of it's way to crow they will NEVER charge a spectator fee all while raising  dues and figuring ways to wring yet more money (parking and trailer fees) from the members. All while complaining they barely break even.

Go figure......................Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)
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Our local club puts on a show each spring.  Forty dollar entry fee and we had 160 cars two weeks ago.  Site rental is $1500, Insurance 

$400, Disk Jockey $250, door prizes $500 plus the grand prize this year was a plasma cutter at $400, First and second place trophies for each class were $400.  Add another $250 for miscellaneous expenses.  I realize that not all shows are as classy as ours but we have been drawing 150-200 entries for the past 15 years.  Car owners come back because they have a great time and get something for their entry fee. When they sign in each entrant receives a "Goody Bag" that may  contain oil, filters, cleaning supplies or car wax.   We always feel happy when we break even and do it for fun.  Without the entry fee there would be no show.  Just my TCW.  Bob Smits

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Grimy, $100 for a car show in a town square seems like a lot, but I haven't experienced that. $10, maybe $20 or $25 seems common; I'm sure I've paid more at some point, probably for a concours or national event, but I don't remember being unhappy or complaining about it or deciding to boycott events in the future because of it. However, for a streetside cruise-in type event, I'm surprised. But if I really wanted to be there, I guess I'd pay and not complain. I have a choice, I'm an adult.

 

This is an expensive hobby, regardless of the level at which you're participating. All things considered, if we can afford a garage full of toy cars, trucks and trailers to haul them around, the cost of meals and lodging to attend events, plus other incidentals, the few bucks it costs to be a member of a club or to participate in events really shouldn't be an issue worth complaining about. It's like the guys who buy $10,000 golf clubs but complain when the greens fees are $20. Keep it in perspective. For the cost of just ONE of the tires I put on my 1929 Cadillac, every car show entry fee that I will pay for the next three or four years would be covered. This is a hobby, hobbies cost money and what you're buying is fun in your chosen avocation. Hobbies are not a source of free lunches or gifts or public accolades. If we don't feel like the folks running the show are showering us with enough praise or freebies or food or being thankful enough, well, there are other places to go. Go park your car in a parking lot by yourself and talk to the people who drive by. Why are you even a member of clubs if the money matters more than the events and what you get out of participating? Quit, go home, and keep all your money--that $10 or $20 will buy a nice meal at McDonald's instead of an afternoon at a car show, so go live it up. I promise nobody will stop you.

 

Our local club puts together a Father's Day show where the entry fee is $25. We get 450 cars every single year and it sells out by mid-May with 10 or 20 people after that asking to be let in even though it's full. The venue also charges spectators an entry fee. Nobody complains. Everyone has a nice time. Great cars show up. People regard the awards we hand out as prestigious. I'm sure the venue is making a lot of cash off the event ($12/person x 4-6000 people). Do I care? No. Why should I? I'm having a nice day with my friends in our old cars. I feel like I get my $25 worth. In fact, it often costs me a few hundred bucks, since I bring four cars, I pay for lunch for my family, dinner for my family afterwards, refreshments during the day, etc. Still worth it.

 

This isn't about graft or corruption or show-runners taking advantage of the participants to get rich at their expense--the only people who think that are people who have never worked to put on a car show. Perhaps it would be better if everyone stopped putting on car shows altogether? Then you can do whatever you want without worrying about entry fees--keep all your money, keep your car in the garage, and then you'll finally be happy, right? Money, money, money. I'm sure THIS TIME it will buy the happiness you seek.

 

Why does the value of everything always come down to money rather than how an activity benefits you in other ways, regardless of cost? You couldn't pay me enough money to replace what I get out of this hobby. I'm very sad that more people don't feel that way. 

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I went to a cruise this morning at a local restaurant. They charge $5 admission which goes to help find a cure for Parkinson's Disease so I have no problem with that. The main reason I don't go to real car shows with judging and trophies is because they usually last 4-6 hours (or longer) and that's too long for me.... 

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It would be nice if the entrants got something, perhaps door prizes donated by local businesses. And I don't see why they don't have a collection box at the gate for spectators to put donations in. "All donations go to help (Name of local charity)".

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9 hours ago, playswithbrass said:

Good day all  I'm  up here in Canada  reading the car show listings in a popular old car newspaper. Now I am not a show car guy(lawn chairs behind the car watching people look at my car) sometimes it is nice to have a destination when out for a drive  i.e.local car show in a 30 mile area. However it really winds me up when I have to pay to display my car at a car show and the spectator gets in for free.We are talking low key shows no prize money or trophys ,just a get together.Am I just getting old and cranky?

 

I did it for many years; doing, organizing, and attending car shows and asking car owners to pay to enter.  All the while the spectators, got in free.  Oh yes a lot of businesses would ask us to arrange a show or cruise to draw people into the business, I do get that.

 

Now to be honest some people are just naturally vain; and want other people to "see what they have"; but for the most part the majority or car owners just like to be around other car owners. 

 

Don't even get me started on the judging!  Some person comes around to judge my car; and that person has never restored anything, let alone an automobile, with the myriad of separate systems that are involved in making a car work. And then the lucky owner (maybe not the most deserving) gets to flaunt the trophy around.  Some judges are excellent, and know a wealth of automotive knowledge.

 

I still feel the old saying, "Drive it and Enjoy it", is the best policy.   

 

OK: I checked my spelling,  nzcarnerd. My excuse, I was watching a NASCAR while typing tonight.  thank you  

Edited by intimeold
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3 minutes ago, intimeold said:

 

I did it for many years; doing, organizing, and attending car shows and asking car owners to pay to enter.  All the while the spectators, got in free.  Oh yes a lot of businesses would ask us to arrange a show or cruise to draw people into the business, I do get that.

 

Now to be honest some people are just naturally vane; and want other people to "see what they have"; but for the most part the majority or car owners just like to be around other car owners. 

 

Don't even get me started on the judging!  Some person comes around to judge my car; and that person has never restored anything, let alone an automobile, with the myriad of separate systems that are involved in making a car work. And then the lucky owner (maybe not the most deserving) gets to flaunt the trophy around.  Some judges are excellent, and know a wealth of automotive knowledge.

 

I still feel the old saying, "Drive it and Enjoy it", is the best policy.      

 

Vain - a vane is what you check the wind direction with.

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Always looked at the entry fee as for a good parking place but have never paid over $25 and most I go to are free. Makes a nice day out.

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Variety of East Tennessee,. a children's charity, holds a cars & coffee fundraiser twice each year in Knoxville.  There are no admission fees whatsoever.  Sponsors donate nice stuff for a silent auction.  Waffle House provides free waffles and coffee to everyone.  Donations are welcome and appreciated.  There are always 500+ cars and the charity manages to raise a fair amount of money.  No pressure, no fees; just fellowship and a chance to help the area's children.

 

That's the way to run a car show.  

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7 hours ago, playswithbrass said:

Good day all  I'm  up here in Canada  reading the car show listings in a popular old car newspaper. Now I am not a show car guy(lawn chairs behind the car watching people look at my car) sometimes it is nice to have a destination when out for a drive  i.e.local car show in a 30 mile area. However it really winds me up when I have to pay to display my car at a car show and the spectator gets in for free.We are talking low key shows no prize money or trophys ,just a get together.Am I just getting old and cranky?

 

I am exactly the same. I am not a big fan of sitting in a lawn chair behind my car. When I go to a show, I go to look at the other cars. Without cars, you have no show. So why should I have to pay to show my car when I can leave my car in the parking lot and get in for free to look at the other cars? No, $20 will not bankrupt me, but there are plenty of cruise nites and shows I can go to for free. It is a little more understandable if they are providing trophies or lunch. And I have heard how many times, well if it is for a charity or a good cause, you should stop whining and just pay it. Well why don't the spectators need to donate to the charity? And if I am going to donate to a charity, I would prefer it be one of my choice, not the show's. So I will only pay if spectators have to pay, or I get some sort of benefit from it. Otherwise, I can just find another show that won't charge. Plus, it seems the more they charge, what is in the show is not of interest to me, i.e. rods, customs, rat rods, etc.

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I am showing two of mine right now, all around the world. And all it is costing me is the beer that I am drinking, and about three minutes to post this.:D

hudsons 008.JPG

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I am a member of the Historic Fredericksburg  Region AACA. We put on an AAA show in downtown Fredericksburg, VA  every year. Coming soon, June 2 this year. We do not charge spectators, since it is held right downtown on tree lined Caroline street, with shops and eating establishments all along the street. A great venue. We do charge admission, since we do trophies and pay fees associated with a downtown show. We could not afford to put on the show if we did not charge the car owners.

 

I understand  the judging issues mentioned by intimeold. It takes a lot of judges to do a decent job to judge 200 cars in just a few hours.

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