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Coordinating a decoy show - request for advice, tips?

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Coordinating a decoy show - request for advice, tips?
In discussion with a few other local collectors and carvers, we have decided to host a one day decoy show in September 2023. We are looking to highlight the decoys historically and contemporarily carved here in the Dunnville Ontario area. We have secured a venue and are working on next steps.

Our main plans and goals for the event:
  • Display locally carved decoys on loan showcasing some of the major historical and contemporary carvers
  • Vendors selling decoys or other hunting/outdoors related collectibles

For anyone involved in coordinating an event:
  • Do you have recommendations on how to attract vendors and/or attendees?
  • Any advice on developing vendor agreements
  • Any general advice on coordinating an event like this?

I have currently reached out to the local chamber of commerce/tourism board and the Canadian Decoy & Outdoor Collectibles Association, but we have a lot more to work on.

Thank you in advance!
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Re: Coordinating a decoy show - request for advice, tips? In reply to
Go to a few shows meet with dealers, collectors and vendors. Collectors will travel to find a few birds. Local DU, Waterfowl USA will have members interested. Start small. Decoy auction house for apprasials.
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Re: Coordinating a decoy show - request for advice, tips? In reply to
Mark....I hope that your show is a huge success. Keep us all posted here for sure of the exact dates and location. I'd like to try and make it up there if possible.

As far as attracting vendors...I would try to get at least one member to the ODCCA / Great Lakes Decoy Show in Ohio next March. There are always postcard sized advertisements of various upcoming shows to attract vendors and attendees. There is also the 1,000 Islands show in Clayton, NY and some others just south of Ontario.

Off topic here...what kind of fun is there to be had up in Ontario for a quick weekend road trip. I have to plan something up that way and test the border crossing at some point soon. I want go up with some sort of purpose though.

Steve












http://www.46north-nbcalls.com
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Re: Coordinating a decoy show - request for advice, tips? In reply to
Keep it as simple and focused as possible.

The more contests and activities the more volunteers that are needed, and these days volunteers are in short supply.

Funding can come from local and national organizations in various fields, outdoor, art, craft, folk art, regional history, etc.. Grants and other forms of help. Include as many folks as possible, not exclude. Not a easy task.

I wish you luck and look forward to your success.

my 2 cents











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: Coordinating a decoy show - request for advice, tips? In reply to
My input would be to think how decoy shows started.
A group of friendly people who loved decoys got together to show their collection , talk to others who had same interests and socialize. Then you have carvers who want to show their work and learn from other carvers.
Ken
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Re: Coordinating a decoy show - request for advice, tips? In reply to
Vince Pagliaroli wrote:
Keep it as simple and focused as possible.

The more contests and activities the more volunteers that are needed, and these days volunteers are in short supply.

Funding can come from local and national organizations in various fields, outdoor, art, craft, folk art, regional history, etc.. Grants and other forms of help. Include as many folks as possible, not exclude. Not a easy task.

I wish you luck and look forward to your success.

my 2 cents


I've never done a decoy show, but have helped organize all kinds of fishing events. Good advice from Vince. KISS.

By far the best fishing show I've ever been to was the "Super Boo" event that used to be held in a middle school gym in Fairfield, Maine on the Saturday before the Superbowl game.

It literally started with a handful of Maine bamboo rod makers who rented out the gym and invited their rod making friends to bring some rods to cast, and their fishing friends to come and cast some fine bamboo rods. A few things that made it work.

(1) The organizers included some very well known rod makers, so their group of contacts was large, and once they were in, others came to see their stuff. One key collector made the show. He was there every year with a collection of rods that was probably better than any museum in the country. I cannot believe some of the rods he let us case on the basketball court or out in the parking lot. Some of them would be worth more any vehicle I have ever owned. He was also one of the nicest and most knowledgeable people you could ever meet, so a big part of the show was showing up to see him every year.
(2) Good outreach to both the rod making community and to local anglers through TU and a couple of websites like DHBP.
(3) Location. Fairfield, ME was picked just because one of the organizers worked in the school system there, but turned to be perfect. Easy to get to from anywhere in the Northeast. An antiques mecca due to several local auction houses, which meant rod collectors and dealers had other business they could do while there. A great local fly shop to help promote the event to customers.
(4) Minimal fuss. A few door prize drawings. A few break out room presentations. The meat of the show was looking at and casting rods, and everyone in one room chatting and sharing rods.

"At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant."
— Aldo Leopold
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Re: Coordinating a decoy show - request for advice, tips? In reply to
Thank you all for the input. Co-chair and I met over the weekend and firmed up some direction. We intend to keep it small and will hopefully have an official announcement and flyer available for the New Year. We are fortunate the venue is County owned which keeps our overhead costs very low.

I have reserved a hotel room to attend the show in March at Strongsville and plan to attend the Canadian National Wildfowl Carving Championship in June. I'm sure we'll get some good ideas from visiting those shows.

Southern Ontario fun? Within an hour of the Niagara border crossing there are good salmon charters on Lake Ontario or walleye and perch charters on Erie. The Bruce Trail throughout Niagara offers good day hiking. Lots of good food and wineries in Beamsville and Niagara-on-the-lake. And if you haven't seen Niagara Falls it is impressive if crowds don't bother you.