Excerpted from the AKC Show Manual 2017

AKC listed Show Committees
their Responsibilities

Show Chair


Knowledge of the AKC’s Rules Applying to Dog Shows and the Junior Showmanship Regulations (if applicable).

Knowledge of the AKC’s policy concerning Emergency Procedures at Events (Disaster and Emergency Plan).

Experience in planning events, gained by serving on various committees. Ability to apply basic business management practices:

• Set priorities
• Make decisions
• Delegate authority
• Conduct committee meetings
• Compile records

Must be a member of the show giving club.
Ability to meet deadlines.
Ability to deal with people.
Ability to work within the financial guidelines established by the club, and to evaluate contracts and agreements as necessary.


Overall responsibility for proper planning, conducting and reporting the results of the show.

Ensure that the event application, judges panel, and other necessary documents are submitted to the AKC by their deadlines.

Ensure that the premium list material is submitted to the show secretary/superintendent by the deadline.

Assign all committee chairs, who are responsible for their own areas.

Assign a Committee Secretary.

Act as the facility/site liaison for the club. Establish and maintain communications with the person responsible for lease of the site.

  • Site must be available before and after the actual event hours. Knowledge of facility use before and after the event is an important consideration.
  • Requirements for insurance, contract, advance deposits, limitations to site usage, additional rental space, etc. must be determined.
  • Extent of owner/management involvement in the event should be established prior to leasing, particularly with regard to required usage of the site’s personnel or concessions.
  • Any potential problems that might result from the event should be discussed beforehand, allowing the owner/manager to take adequate steps to alleviate them. Periodic reconfirmation should be made, even after club(s) have reached agreement with facility owner/management. Constant communication can help avoid any oversights by the site owner/management.

Determine legal requirements, such as obtaining permits that may be required. Check with local authorities. Agencies that issue permits include, but are not limited to, the local township, health, fire and police departments.

Consider federal, state and local taxes to avoid any possible penalties imposed for failure to follow such requirements.

Contract superintendent or show secretary.

Contract official photographer.

Act as liaison to companion/cluster clubs and specialty clubs.

For all committees responsible for money collection (i.e., Parking, Catalog Sales, etc.), arrange for appropriate starting funds.

Review the AKC procedures detailed in Dealing with Misconduct with all members of the Event Committee, in advance of the event. A guideline is included on pp. 13- 26 – 13-27.

May chair (an)other committee(s). (Because, obviously, the Show Chair does not have enough to do…)

Day of the Event

Arrive at least 2 hours before the start of judging. Walk the grounds to be certain that everything is in order.

See that a properly completed and signed copy of the Disaster and Emergency Plan form is available at the event. Copies should also be supplied to all Committee Chairs.

See that the following are available:

  • Rules Applying to Dog Shows
  • Rules Applying to Registration and Discipline
  • Dealing with Misconduct
  • Procedural Checklist• The Complete Dog Book or a set of all breed standards• Show Manual• Rules, Policies and Guidelines for Conformation Dog Show Judges

Also provide the following when applicable: 

  • Conformation Junior Showmanship Regulations, Guidelines for Judging Juniors in Conformation, Juniors in Performance Event
  • Obedience Regulations, Obedience Judges Guidelines, The Steward in Obedience
  • Rally Regulations, Rally Judges Guidelines, The Steward in Rally

See to the colors and national anthem before the start of judging.

Meet with the AKC representative, if present, first thing the morning of the show.

Check with all committee chairs to ensure that everything has been completed.

For all committees responsible for money collection (i.e., Parking, Catalog Sales, etc.), arrange for money pickups during the day.

Check in workers and assign tasks.

Check in judges.

See that the ring schedule is maintained.

Address any disputes that may arise.

After the Event

Check with the AKC Representative, Superintendent or Show Secretary, and judges for suggestions.

Check event grounds after clean up to be sure everything is in order.

Confirm that all hired personnel have been paid.

Assistant Show Chair


Assist Show Chair in all areas. Assume responsibility in the Show Chair’s absence. Chair (an) other committee(s).

Obedience Chair/ Rally Chair

One of the strongest attractions for spectators at a dog show is the obedience/rally trial; people enjoy watching dogs perform these exercises.

When an obedience/rally trial is held in conjunction with a point show, an obedience/rally chair must be established. The appointment may be made by the club’s board of directors, or by the Event Committee.

For complete details see the AKC Obedience/Rally Trial Manual.


Must be a member of the trial giving club.

Experience exhibiting or stewarding in Obedience/Rally trials and familiarity with the AKC’s Obedience Regulations and Rally Regulations.

Knowledge of the AKC’s policy concerning Emergency Procedures at Events (Disaster and Emergency Plan).


Responsible for overall for planning, presentation, and reporting of the obedience/rally portion of the show.

Have a copy, or know how to access the copy, of the Disaster and Emergency Plan that must be available at the event.

Be available in the area of the obedience/rally rings throughout the trial hours.

Work with the Event Committee in selecting and securing obedience/rally judges and stewards.

Coordinate the obedience/rally ring layouts.

Procure and properly place obedience equipment that complies with AKC regulations, including proper maintenance and setup of the obedience/rally equipment in the rings on the day of event. After the event, dismantle and check condition for future events.

Work with the Chief Steward in assigning stewards to the obedience/rally rings.

Secure, display, and make available for presentation the obedience/rally trophies.

Day of the Event

Check in workers and assign tasks.

Check rings, equipment, and judges’ materials and other requirements.

For obedience prizes to be awarded based on score, e.g. Highest Scoring Dog in the Regular Classes or the Highest Combined Score in Open and Utility, review the scores to determine the winner of the award. Be familiar with the rules for awarding obedience prizes.

Chief Steward

A club member or any other experienced individual may be appointed as Chief Steward, or a stewarding organization may be secured.


Have stewarding experience and be familiar with AKC rules and regulations, Dog Show Stewards, The Steward in Obedience, and/or The Steward in Rally.

Be well-versed in recruiting and scheduling stewards.


Recruit and assign competent stewards. Contact them well in advance.

Remind club members that when they work as stewards, they will usually be unavailable to work at other duties that day.

Inform stewards that they must not steward for any judge under whom they have an entry.

Make ring assignments in advance of the event.

Obtain copies of the judging program, parking passes and admission tickets from the superintendent or show secretary. Mail copies of judging program, parking passes and admission tickets to persons serving as stewards.

Day of the Event

Check in stewards and confirm their ring assignments.

See that all necessary equipment and the judge’s bag are located in each ring.

Confirm that each ring has a show catalog.

Obtain lunch tickets from hospitality chair and distribute them to all stewards.

Check rings periodically throughout the day to ensure stewards are doing their jobs properly.

Provide stewards for the groups and Best in Show. The Show Chair usually chooses these stewards.

Grounds/Equipment Chair


Ability to supervise people. Knowledge and understanding of:

• The AKC’s Disaster and Emergency Plan policy.

• Conformation and obedience/rally ring layouts.

• Traffic flow and crowd control (works closely with Parking Chair).

• Sanitary and comfort requirements.


Hire or select people to perform various physical tasks. Schedule workers.

Prepare and lay out grounds. Check the site for holes, high grass, mat requirements and overall ring conditions, etc.

Be familiar with the American with Disabilities Compliance Checklist, pp. 13-23 – 13-25.

Arrange access to the site for committee members, the superintendent, exhibitors, vendors or suppliers before the event hours.

Supervise setting up and dismantling of event equipment.

Secure public telephones or access to telephones, with locations and directional signs. (Temporary service should be provided where no service is available; many local-operating companies can arrange this type of service for you.)

Check that public address systems are operating and are located so those announcements reach all exhibitors. Speakers placed too close to individual rings may annoy dogs; speakers too far from ring tents may not be audible under the tent.

Maintain grounds and equipment and supervise clean up of the site during and after the event, including the parking and restroom areas. Ensure that a sufficient number of trash receptacles are distributed around the grounds. Supervise periodic cleaning of all public exercise pens, as well as trash and recycle receptacles.

Arrange transportation and/or storage of club materials or equipment that may be needed for the event, and obtain any additional equipment.

Arrange adequate potable water supply; it may be necessary to have water delivered to the site. Arrange for a supply of ice for emergency situations.

Plan for a judge’s table, chairs, and an examination table or judging ramp (if necessary) to be provided in each ring. See Judging Ramp Specifications, p. 13-47.

If chairs are provided for exhibitors, this should be stated in the premium list.

Determine limitations, if any, prohibiting crates, private exercise pens, use of flexi-leads and tables in ring tents, grooming areas, and aisles or at ringside. These club rules must be stated in the premium list (see p. 9-4).

Post directional arrows to show site the day before the event.

Order golf carts, if necessary.

Post signs for locating restrooms, telephones, water, etc. A simple map of the show layout should be available for club members and workers, so they may direct the exhibitors to parking, grooming, rings, restrooms, etc.

Secure sanitation facilities or access to sanitation facilities. Arrange for flowers or plants for rings and club or trophy table.

Day of the Event

Check in workers and assign tasks. A crew must maintain cleanliness in rings, aisles, restrooms, exercise areas, parking lots and all of the areas throughout the day. Allow enough coverage so that workers may take breaks.

Be sure the unloading area is ready to receive the flow of traffic. Particularly important at indoor sites is that each bay in the loading dock is available, as this is often where the facility parks television/cable trucks, ambulances, cleaning apparatus, etc. Each open bay increases the speed at which exhibitors can unload and move their vehicle out for the next one.

See that all rings, markers, banners and signs have been properly placed. See that exercise pens are properly set up with clean-up tools. Check on restrooms or sanitation facilities.

Be accessible by walkie-talkie or other means throughout the event hours.

Supervise proper clean-up of the show site after the event.

Parking Chair


Previous service on the Parking Committee or experience parking vehicles. Unflappable nature, great deal of patience.
Understanding of exhibitors’ expectations and time demands.

Knowledge of the local area. In case of emergency, coordinate with Show Chair, Safety Chair, and other Committee Chairs as necessary to help provide local authorities or emergency response personnel and vehicles with clear ingress and egress, crowd control, etc.


Plan, supervise and select staff for all parking and unloading. Unloading and parking operations should be quick and efficient.

Plan parking for the handicapped, Event Committee members, judges, stewards, concessionaires, emergency vehicles, RV’s and overnight parking. Be familiar with the American with Disabilities Compliance Checklist, pp. 13-23 – 13-25.

Mark off parking and no-parking areas (with tape, rope, signs, etc.). Maintain emergency lanes. Ensure that exhibitors park in designated area(s).

Arrange for tow trucks or tractors in case of bad weather.

Include information on campgrounds, rest areas, etc. in premium list and judging program. Visit prospective locations before listing them in any mailings sent to exhibitors.

Manage overnight parking. If no overnight parking is provided at the event site, indicate where vehicles may park for the night.

Have someone at site the afternoon before the show to park vehicles. This will prevent problems the day of the event.

Process advance parking reservations, collecting fees, assigning spaces, and returning parking confirmations.

Designate someone to collect parking fees. Parking fees must be turned over to the Treasurer for proper disposition. If proceeds from parking are being donated, indicate this in the premium list and judging program and on a sign posted at the gate.

Day of the Event

Check in workers and assign tasks. Allow enough coverage so that workers may take breaks.

Collect fees at the gate (if applicable). Consider handing out plastic trash bags to all exhibitors upon entry.

Check that all parking areas, emergency lanes, and traffic flow are being maintained.

Concessions (Vendor) Chair Qualifications

Previous experience working with concessions. Creativity in securing and setting up concession areas.


Secure vendors and concessions (food, dog supplies, dog food, etc.) for the event. Plan to have food concessions open as early as possible the morning of the event (about two hours before the start of judging) for exhibitors who stay overnight and/or who arrive early.

Work with Show Chair and Show Committee to set vendor rates.

Work closely with Grounds/Equipment Chair to ensure that concession/vendor space does not encroach upon grooming/ring space.

Prepare proposed layout and assign space for each concession/vendor; coordinate with the Grounds/Equipment Chair to ensure that vendors/concessions fit in with the overall plan for the event.

Lay out, measure, and mark individual concession areas. Rope off areas, post signs, or use paint to mark concession space.

Send contracts and collect fees for concession space. As these are usually private contracts between vendors and clubs, clubs may specify particular terms such as “no sale of pinch collars.” Send concessionaires a confirmation and a map of the area showing their reserved space.

Day of the Event

Check concession area and vendors.
Check that vendors’ generators are at least 50 feet away from ring(s).

Advertising and Catalog Chair

A successful ad campaign can enhance your club’s revenues from your show/trial catalog.


Able to motivate others.
Able to sell ads to potential advertisers. Creative.
Able to meet deadlines.


Coordinate club members in both acquiring paid advertisements for the catalog and assisting with catalog sales. Suggest that ads be solicited from organizations or individuals to which they have given their business throughout the years.

All advertising arrangements should be in writing.

Canvass potential advertisers, usually via a mailing, who may wish to place an ad in the club’s catalog. Potential advertisers may include:

• Dog supply companies
• Dog food companies
• Boarding facilities
• Grooming facilities
• The bank where the club maintains an account
• Local merchants
• Restaurants
• Motels and hotels

• Local humane societies
• Other AKC clubs that may wish to advertise their future events
• Any other businesses that club members patronize during the year

Act as coordinator between the advertisers and the printer or superintendent/show secretary.

Receive the ads and submit them to the printer prior to the deadline. The format of the ad is usually specified; the actual setup is prepared by the printer.

Return all advertising materials such as photos, cuts, etc. to the advertiser. Ensure that all advertisers receive a copy of their catalog ad.

Send thank you notes to advertisers. Manage catalog sales.

Bill all advertisers and collect all moneys due; may be coordinated with the club treasurer. If billing is done after the event, a copy of the ad should be attached to the invoice.

If the club is hosting a specialty or supported entry, a revenue-sharing arrangement may be worked out with the specialty club.

Day of the Event

Bring cash boxes or containers for keeping money from sales. Secure cash from the Treasurer for making change.

Confirm that the correct number of catalogs was delivered. Reserve and secure catalogs to be held for club business, e.g., copies for judges, stewards, members, advertisers, etc.

Set up areas for catalog sales.

Check in workers and assign tasks. Allow enough coverage so that workers may take breaks.

Trophy Chair Qualifications

Willing to solicit trophy donations.

Able to meet deadlines.


Secure and display trophies.

Ensure that all trophies are listed correctly in the premium list. Be aware of all deadlines for the submission of material to the printer.

Work within budget supplied by club.

Acquire trophies for the event. Secure perpetual trophies; ensure that they are cleaned and engraved. Trophies may be donated, or contributions may be made toward a general fund. Decide on the type of trophies to be donated. Purchase Best in Show, Group and High in Trial trophies if they are to be offered. All trophy offerings and pledges for contributions to the trophy fund should be confirmed in writing.

Note that trophies in honor of dogs may only be offered in memory of deceased dogs, and trophies in honor of people may only be offered in memory of a deceased person or a person who is no longer an active breeder or exhibitor. 12 Three-time win trophies are only permissible for placements specified in the Rules Applying to Dog Shows,13 and may not be offered for Sweepstakes or Futurities. A three-time win trophy may be withdrawn prior to retirement if the show-giving club can obtain a written clearance from all winners. 14

Include accurate descriptions of all trophies in the premium list.15 If the prize being donated is not properly described in the premium list, it can only be awarded at the show with the permission of the Event Committee and the reason for the exception included in the show report.16 Prior to the printing of the premium list, carefully proofread all trophy listings.

Bill and collect for trophy donations; may be coordinated with the club Treasurer. If the donor of a trophy published in the premium list fails to furnish the trophy, the club is responsible and must provide a trophy of equal or greater value.17 If you are depending on others to bring their pledged items the day of the event, it is wise to have a few extra trophies available. If the extras are unused, they can be used at any future events.

Prepare a final report of income and expenditures for trophies.

After the event, inventory the unclaimed trophies. Submit the inventory report to the Show Chair.

Day of the Event

Check in workers and assign tasks. Allow enough coverage so that workers may take breaks.

Confirm that all trophies listed in the premium list are on hand, or that a replacement is available.

Set up the trophy table.

If trophies are being presented in the ring, they must be distributed to the appropriate rings or put in the judge’s bag. If trophy cards are given, the Chair should ensure that the cards have been distributed to the appropriate stewards/rings. Exhibitors claiming a trophy should be asked to sign the trophy card upon receipt of trophy.

Designate trophy presenters for Groups and Best in Show.

Publicity Chair


Familiar with local media.
Able to meet deadlines.
Advertising and/or public relations experience is helpful.


Develop a budget.
Create, secure and distribute publicity concerning the event.

Obtain free publicity. Contact local radio and television stations that have a policy of announcing special events.

• Local cable television stations may be willing to present all or part of the show and/or pre-show information.

  • There are “community bulletin board” web sites that provide non-profits with free or reduced-cost web pages and internet access. Individual club members or other clubs may also have their own web pages or social media sites where a notice can be posted.
  • Radio stations – see the example Letter for Radio Coverage, p. 13-62.
  • A combination of press announcements, 8×10 photos, follow-up calls, complimentary tickets and personal letters are effective in obtaining favorable media responses. Be available to greet members of the press when they arrive and to extend your club’s hospitality. See the example Press Release for Print Media, p. 13-63.
  • Local free publications and company bulletin boards are another source of publicity .
  • Some facilities have monthly newsletters that can feature your event.Obtain paid publicity. The club may want to advertise in the AKC Weekly Wins, in catalogs of events held by other clubs in the area, and in local newspapers. Be aware of newspaper deadlines.Contact the town authorities where the event is being held to obtain permission for displaying banners advertising the event. Club members should encourage local merchants to display signs or posters advertising the event. Flyers should be distributed at local events before the club’s event.Provide discount coupons for the club’s event to the local merchants, veterinarians, groomers, pet food stores, kennels, etc. Display cardboard posters in their places of business.Use the Economic Benefit of Dog Shows brochure to emphasize the importance of the event to the community.

Emergency Response Coordinator (Safety Chair)


Be familiar with the AKC’s policy concerning Emergency Procedures at Events (Disaster and Emergency Plan).

Knowledge of the local area. In case of emergency, coordinate with Show Chair, Parking Chair, and other Committee Chairs as necessary to help provide local authorities or emergency response personnel and vehicles with clear ingress and egress, crowd control, etc.


Ensure that the event complies with local ordinances. Any questions on the current AKC policy should be referred to the Event Operations Department.

Work with club to develop written procedures covering different emergency situations.

At group and all-breed conformation events, clubs are required to have a qualified emergency medical technician (CPR certified) in attendance from one hour prior to the start of judging until completion of all judging.18

Day of the Event

Have at least one properly completed copy of the Disaster and Emergency Plan form readily accessible.19

Have multiple copies of emergency telephone numbers, directions to the emergency facilities, the hours that the facilities operate, and information on alternate facilities.

Make sure there is at least one working cellular telephone available during show hours.20

Check in workers and assign tasks. Allow enough coverage so that workers may take breaks.

Set up a location for emergency vehicles and for the veterinarian (if on the grounds).

If the event will be held in warm weather, distribute flyers and dashboard notices about Dogs in Unventilated Vehicles. See the examples on pp. 13-64 – 13-66.

Distribute crate identification labels if the club wishes to provide or sell them. See Crate Identification Labels, pp. 13-67 – 13-68.

Hospitality Chair


Organized, personable, and accessible.
Previous experience on hospitality committees.
Experience in planning and organizing meals or other social functions. Experience making travel arrangements.


Plan meals, transportation arrangements, hotel accommodations, etc. for judges.

  • Visit the prospective host hotel/motel to ensure that its quality is up to standard.
  • Send letters to the judges confirming transportation and lodging.
  • Make arrangements for pre-event dinner, if any, and breakfast and lunch the
    day of the event. Inform all judges of those plans.Send the judges a fact sheet with pertinent local information, such as:

    • Information about the host hotel and restaurants in the immediate vicinity of the hotel.
    • The usual weather conditions anticipated.
    • Detailed travel directions and information on parking.
    • Special local attractions (historical sites, scenic parks, factory outlets, etc.).
    • A detailed map of the area.

Visit the hotel(s) you will recommend to the exhibitors/spectators to ensure that they are up to standard and that they are willing to accept dogs.

Set up special rates with the hotel(s).

Notify the hotel of times needed for airport transportation (if available).

Mail admission and parking passes to judges.

Day of the Event

Organize the breakfast for the judges at the hotel or the event site. Provide coffee and tea at the event in the morning.

Arrange transportation of judges to the event, planning for them to arrive at least a half-hour before judging is scheduled to begin.

Coordinate committee members to visit the rings periodically to check the needs of the judges and stewards. Flowers and food on judges’ tables may attract bees at outdoor events.

• Coolers for cold drinks and bottled water, and a thermos for hot drinks, may be placed in the rings.

• Hospitality packets may be placed in each ring, e.g., towelettes, paper towels, hard candy, etc.

Organize a luncheon for the judges, stewards, club members, and other invited guests. Invited guests may include the AKC Executive Field Representative, photographer, superintendent, show secretary, EMT personnel, etc. Lunch tickets should be given out the day of the event.

Arrange transportation of judges back to the hotel, airport, or to the next event if you are sharing judges with another club.

Distribute lunch tickets.

Coordinate with the Treasurer to distribute expense sheets to the judges.

After the Event

Send thank-you cards to the judges.



It is helpful to supply an expense sheet to the judges the night before or morning of the event, requesting that they complete and return it to the Treasurer by lunch. Coordinate distributing these sheets to the judges with the hospitality chair. This will allow ample time to issue the checks and have them ready as the judges prepare to leave the event. The form could be sent with assignment confirmations or may be included in any welcome materials left at the hotel.


Day of the Event

Set up an “office” at the site to pay appropriate bills approved by Show Chair.

Supply cash advances and change for catalog sales, gate receipts, and any unexpected costs.

Coordinate a cash pick-up schedule with the Show Chair.

After the Event

Complete a financial report of the event, developed with the assistance of the event committee chairs.

Distribute designated donations to the beneficiary(s), if applicable.

Begin budget cycle for next event by reviewing budgets established for completed event, adjusting figures as needed.