A typical show layout may look something like this or this, where the grey area represents the walk ways between rows of tables and the heavy black represents doors.
With all venues I have had my shows, I have been allowed to create my own show layout, usually subject to review by the venue and/or fire marshal. Some venues may have set layouts that may be the basis for your show's layouts.
Some of the things that need to be taken into consideration when laying out a show hall include:
Most of these criteria mean that flexibility is needed when putting together the layout.
Remember to ask your entrants to provide any special needs or requests well in advance so you can accommodate the requests as much as possible.
When looking at a venue, getting the measurements and physical layout of the room is needed. Setting up a scale "drawing" will allow a good opportunity for working with the layout to try different things to ensure the proper space and knowing the maximum number of showers that can be accommodated in the layout.
Most venues require a basic layout for approval some time before the actual show date. Check with your venue contact as to when, what and how. Some venues will set up the show hall for you based on the layout, so being specific as to what goes where in the setup is important.
Of highest priority are safety considerations. This includes keeping emergency exits clear and clear access to fire extinguishers. The local fire marshal may have requirements as to minimum aisle width which the venue should provide you.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (allowing access to any disabled persons) means that access needs to be accommodated especially for those that may be in wheelchairs or motorized scooters. In addition, there may be showers experiencing "temporary" accessibility needs due to injury.
This comes down to providing wide aisles, uncluttered from "overflow" show accoutrements (boxes, bins). Persons of large stature may also appreciate wide aisles.
There may be other special access that need to be accommodated, which may be venue specific, this may include something like access to storage room off the show hall during a show by another group.
It's easy to remember to have show tables and space for showers and vendors. But there are other space users that may need to be accommodated.
If having a public address announcer, a podium or table may be needed.
There's usually a need for space to layout awards for the day.
The show holder usually needs a space to interact with the showers for updates to show information. If a computer is used, power and/or internet access may be required.
There's often space needed to display any raffle items available and/or any items to be auctioned off.
There may be a desire for a special table to have the champions judged off.
The general concern with traffic flow is of showers going from their shower table to the show rings.
Traffic flow can also include the need for some control and organization for any meal distribution, as well as any positioning of any podium and display board with information that needs to be seen throughout the show hall.
In addition, buffer space around the show tables is needed so allow the judges to do their work and not be interrupted by any shower traffic.
For vendors, often the most important thing is location.
Some vendors may need a wall to set up against. Vendors may need access to power, phone/internet so may be limited to specific sections of the show hall where those features are available.
Setting up vendors in an area that can be well monitored for security purposes is also a plus.
In addition, vendors want to be positioned so that they have easy access for the showers and folks wandering by their location.
Most venues have heat and/or air conditioning to allow showers a comfortable event. Some people are very sensitive to temperature so may prefer a warmer or cooler area of the room.
The lighting of the room may differ based on the architecture. If there is uneven lighting, putting the show tables in the best lit area is the preference.
Assigning show rings the proper number of tables and position is important.
If you are expecting a small number of participants in a division, the show tables in that division may be fewer in number (and smaller in area used) than a very popular division.
To help prevent folks running into the tables set aside for china (or other fragile breakables) showing and potentially causing some damage:
To decrease traffic, and to accommodate large show strings, having showers positioned close to the show rings/tables they participate in is appreciated.
So if there is a novice division, those showers may all be assigned tables near the novice show ring.
For those who have a large numbers of china horses, being near the china ring is important.
If possible, folks may request to sit together at a show.
There may be a parent who needs to sit next to a child.
There may be a shower who has a friend as a helper.
With enough space and notice, it is easy to accommodate such requests.
Genesis | Timeline | Philanthropy | Venue | Show Date | Class List | Judges | Theme | Awards | Raffle, auction | Vendors | Promotion | Hall layout up | Sponsorships | Finances | Program | Sportsmanship | Countdown | Running the Show | Aftermath
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