Putting on a successful show takes a lot of organization. We've found that breaking up the work in to teams and then having a team lead helps us be successful. Members are encouraged to sign up to be on a team - or multiple teams as long as they don't overlap. Below is a description of the responsibilities of the team leads.
These are the times when volunteers are needed:
- Saturday Setup: 8 AM – NOON
- Sunday Breakdown/Strike: 5 PM – 7 PM
- Hosts (Reception Lobby, Exhibit Area): Saturday, NOON – 5 PM
- Hosts (Reception Lobby, Exhibit Area): Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM
- Kitchen (Kitchen & Dining Room Setup): Saturday/Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM
- Plant Sale (Sale Table, Sale Area): Saturday, NOON – 5 PM
- Plant Sale (Sale Table, Sale Area): Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM
Time slots are 2 hours in length. Our show opens at 11AM on Sunday but some teams will need you to be there around 10AM to help with setup before the show opens.
- Show Chair – Charlene Fischer
- Plant Sales – Suresh 'Mo' Mohan
- Food & Hospitality – Diane Churchill and Alison Williams
- Tree Display Cards Coordinator - Charlene Fisher
- Show Signage Coordinators - open
- Publicity – Mark O’Brien
- Sign-up Lists – Charlene Fischer
- Backdrop Pickup / Return to Shed – Charlene Fischer, Mark O’Brien, John Mekisich and Richard Phillips
- Show Lighting Team – Charlene Fischer, Mark O’Brien, John Mekisich and Richard Phillips
- Saturday Setup – Charlene Fischer, Chris Weigen, Jerry Carpenter
- Club Show Stands – Sean Morris
- Tree Display Card Placement – Rita Curbow
- Sound - Dave Curbow
- Benefit Drawing / Door Prizes – John Mekisich and Charlene Fischer
- Business Gift Card Donations - John Mekisich
Below you'll find descriptions of the duties for each of these teams and the Chairs (team leads) that do the organization work for that team.
Show Chair and Assistant Show Chair
We have found it is valuable to have two people co-chair the show. The two chairs really work together and interface with the Lucie Stern Community Center on the business aspects of the show. They arrange for demonstrations for Saturday and Sunday and ensure the materials and appropriate lighting and sound systems are available for the demonstrations. During the show the co-chairs coordinate the display room setup and assign teams to work on various aspects such as lighting, large tokonoma, table setup, backdrop assembly, and tablecloth layout. The co-chairs work together to handle tree placement on Saturday and help answer questions and provide guidance to the other sub teams working in the show room, in the demo room, in plant sales, in the kitchen, at the reception table, setting up signs, and at the raffle table.
Plant Sale Chair
Before the show you'll be responsible for purchasing inexpensive trees, plastic pots, wire and soil mix for potting parties. Arrange work parties where members prune, wire, style, and repot these trees as "instant" bonsai. Arrange for "plant-sitters" and transportation of these trees to Lucie Stern Community Center on Friday night before show. During the show you'll be responsible for setting up tables and arranging sale trees on Friday night; supervise operation and sale of trees during show. Arrange to have two or more club members assist you with tree pricing and sales.
Food and Hospitality Chair
Coordinate the dining room and kitchen. Purchase necessary table covers, plates, napkins, silverware, cups, etc. Check needed supplies for coffee, Saran wrap, aluminum foil, etc. Handle dining table decorations. Schedule enough members to clean up tables and counters each day.
Tree Display Cards Coordinator
Create display card for each tree displayed in show. Members must provide info prior to show date. For each of your trees, please provide the following information:
- Common name
- Botanical name (if you don't know, the coordinator will look it up for you)
- “Trained Since” Year
- Display Area Size Needed (indicate either shohin, half-table, or full-table)
- History of the tree - a short paragraph (optional)
- Your First name (optional)
Normally your first name will also be on the card but can be left off if you prefer. Cards are not prepared in advance for a shohin display and instead a diagram of the layout and trees is prepared the day of the show.
Show Signage Coordinators
Normally this requires two people to set up the Kusamura banner and signs on Friday night and Saturday and take things down on Sunday. The banner and signs are located in the club shed. This year we have access to the “Bonsai Show” banners owned by Sei Boku Bonsai Kai for use at our April show. So the coordinators will handle this task too and this may mean that more than two people are needed for this task.
Show Hospitality Coordinator
Recruits members to work the show room and the reception area on both days of the show. Makes sure that members have the necessary materials needed for the reception area such as sign-in books, pens, club leaflets, donation jar, etc. Last year we didn’t have enough volunteers in this area and it resulted in just a few people having to cover the entire afternoon in some cases. A coordinator would make sure that this area was aptly covered throughout the show.
Handles all pre-show publicity, such as newspapers, contacting other nearby bonsai clubs to let the public know about our show. The work of this role happens mostly in January to March. There are several publications that will run a free notice about our Annual Show, while others require a modest payment. The free publications often have lead times of several months - thus the need to wrap up the work early.
Also creates and distributes show flyers for distribution to club members a couple of months before the show. Mail fliers to other local bonsai clubs for distribution to their membrers. Recruit club members to distribute fliers to local garden centers, garden clubs.
Benefit Drawings Coordinator
Arrange for helpers to sell tickets for drawings of door prizes and demo trees. Provide tickets and determine selling prices. Plan to visibly tag all awarded trees for safe carry-out by lucky winners.
Friday Night Setup
Our tables have been ordered and will be delivered on Friday afternoon. Setup starts at 5:00 PM with the Lighting Team doing their work overhead and then the tables and backdrops are assembled. About 6:00 pm we will place the tablecloths and do any ironing or cleanup we need to do before Saturday.
The Lucie Stern venue has some dark areas so it is difficult to see our bonsai at their best room. To overcome this problem we install additional lighting. This team requires 2 or more people to climb tall ladders, secure the lighting fixtures in place and run the necessary electrical extensions. Setup usually takes about an hour. Backdrop and table setup will happen after this task is completed.
Starts around 8:30 am and helps people stage their stands, trees, accents for placement in the show. A team will actually display the trees for you.
Sunday Cleanup Supervision
Schedule and post list of members for clean up duties of hall after show on Sunday. Tasks include disassembly of the show backdrops, dust mopping the floors in main show room, mopping kitchen, vacuuming dining room and demo room. Cleanup starts at 5:00 PM.
We use a Public Address system to make sure everyone can hear what's said during demonstrations. Setup must be done not long before the demo, and the equipment stored after the demo. This team requires 1-2 people working 30-minutes before and after the demo. During the demo someone must also monitor the system to adjust volume levels enable / disable microphones, etc.