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Thread: What koi shows really need......

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hewhoisatpeace View Post
    ........To me, there's no reason to buy and maintain a Mercedes if the roads suck. Gotta fix the roads first.
    I guess I won't be needing a Mog.......

    (I couldn't resist!)

  2. #12
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    Mercedes-Benz Unimog Named Off-Roader Of The Year 2009 By Off Road ...
    emercedesbenz.com


  3. #13
    Jumbo jnorth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Appliance Guy View Post
    Jim, I feel that the show scene needs to be looked at to fit today's climate. The economy is down. The dollar is weak. The koi community his aging and there are more leaving than coming in. In short, the whole dynamic of the koi hobby and koi shows has changed. Look at the technology change. Man, it's a different world than what it was twenty years ago. Yet we still have the same koi show format. What was done in the past worked, but this is no longer true. At this point I'd explore every opportunity to gain momentum and much needed funds. We need to reconsider a change in format. IMO the show scene can do better that what we have. Don't get me wrong, I'm at the shows, everyone here should know that I love the shows.

    One of the issues is that we are relying on a volunteer network. Expecting volunteers to run a business is going to end in disappointment. And for those that don't think that the koi show is a business they are wrong. Licenses, insurance, banking, tax paperwork, vendors, sponsors, rentals, rented venue- sure sounds like a business to me!
    So whats your plan? All I need for my show are more volunteers but lets hear your ideas.
    Koi-Unit
    My personal koi page Updated 7/8/07
    ZNA Potomac Koi Club

  4. #14
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    More attractions could always help, especially if it's a Breeder or judge coming from Japan. Most koi show have the same things going on year after year with familiar hobbiest showing. If you have a breeder from Japan coming and selling tosai or doing judging it will attract more hobbiest to come just to meet the breeder or see what he is offering from Japan. With more hobbiest showing up the better the chance the club can attract members. Here in Houston we don't have a koi show, but every year whe Dainichi comes to town and brings tosai to see we have like a gathering of hobbiest show up. Even without advertising and only by word of mouth, hobbiest seems to flock by from all over the states just to meet Shigeru.

  5. #15
    Jumbo jnorth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hewhoisatpeace View Post
    Mike, can we help vendors here to recognize that the shows are how to expand their customer bases? What do we need to change in the format to become more welcoming to vendor support? I think that the time to act is now, before we lose any more ground. Sure, changes will not be instantly successful. Perseverance can pay large dividends, though.

    How much is the success of this hobby worth to you? To any of us? We spend a lot of money on our own ponds and fish, but perhaps we should first consider securing shows as lasting ways to expand the hobby before we consider getting the next exciting new thing. Is buying and carefully raising high quality koi reward enough if the shows fail?
    .
    Vendors are professionals....they should know a shows potential at getting new business already. Whats the hobby worth to them? If the hobby went away tomorrow I'm still paying my mortgage...are they? Don't get me wrong I love vendors but the relationship between a club and vendor should be just that...a relationship. However, what changes are you suggesting? Again I'm just looking for more volunteers but any discussion about making shows better is worth having .
    Koi-Unit
    My personal koi page Updated 7/8/07
    ZNA Potomac Koi Club

  6. #16
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnorth View Post
    So whats your plan? All I need for my show are more volunteers but lets hear your ideas.
    Sure Jim- I'd be happy to share some thoughts. Two questions- one about my ideas, the other why your club has a shortage of volunteers.

    About a show format- I have a long answer and will share it with you soon. It's not a topic to be casual about and I want to present a platform that has been well thought of, not random thoughts off the cuff. But I would like to bounce some ideas off this forum and get some feedback. I won't leave ya hangin...

    About your club and show- Each show is unique so there are many guesses as to why your particular club has the shortage. But if there is a lack of volunteers- what does that tell you? What does it say about the club? Why is there a lack of volunteers? Is a lack of a pool to choose from? Is it an aged club and volunteers are too old to lug around tanks? Are some people pissed off and don't even want to help? Are you asking too much of them? What is the problem? To find a solution we first have to identify the problem. I can guess all you want, but I'd think you'd be able to pinpoint pretty quickly.

    Does the show offer tank discounts or banquet discounts for volunteering? Do volunteers get any reward other than being able to see the show...cuz one can see the show without having to volunteer. Is there a lack of interest? So many answers as to why... Maybe a combination of sorts... A few things are clear- 1) You are needing more volunteers. 2) Volunteers aren't getting their value out of volunteering (for whatever reason, each person may have a different reason). If folks felt like they got value for their efforts they will do whatever you want them to. Some value recognition. Some value reduced cost of tank rental. Some value education. So there are different reasons why someone would want to volunteer. I will be volunteering bowling this year at The Atlanta Show (I am honored.) I volunteer for the education and experience; and just to be part of an environment I like. But that's me. Free dinner? No interest. Cheaper tank? I can pay my own way- thanks. Recognition? Sure it's nice, but that's not what motivates me. So we all have different reasons why we do things and mostly when it comnes to koi it's not about money or savings. What if I felt like my efforts are no longer giving me value? I'd stop volunteering. And that's what happens. People fade away. It's natural. It's common in all hobbies and even greater in the koi hobby.

    Creating value. Make it worthwhile for each person TO WANT TO VOLUNTEER. Discover what motivates those people and tap into it. As much as the hobby is about koi- it's about people too. Tap into what motivates a person and utilize them for what skill set they bring. I'd hate the job of the computer work, but I love netting, bowling, measuring. I love helping others unbag and bag. I can even rinse tanks! (Although I shouldn't be lifting them- bad back...)

    Another thing- sometimes all you have to do is ask! Folks will rarely volunteer, yet they will do something when asked. "Hey, Bob, listen...We're short handed with the unloading of tanks on Thursday, can I count on you to help?" "Sure, I hadn't planned on anything, but I can help out."

  7. #17
    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
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    I have always felt that koi shows should be handled by koi resellers rather than hobbyist.
    The reasons are very simple:
    1. The koi reseller can get sponsors to help fund the event
    2. The show acts as his promotional and advertising event
    3. The reseller knows who the serious hobbyist are and can invite those who bought very nice koi to see and join the show. Those who are not serious in koi keeping might then be enjoined to purchase better quality koi from the vendor in the future.
    4. The koi resellers can invite the japanese judges
    5. The vendor can ask for volunteers from hobbyist he knows in exchange for something aside money. (like a gift certificate)
    6. The vendor has the professional handling staff.
    7. The vendor can work with another vendor to mount a bigger show.
    8. The vendor can conduct a growout contest that coincides with the open koi show. Thereby some profits of the growout contest can help subsidize the cost of the show.
    9. The vendor can conduct a special auction during the show or have a koi for sale tank during the show.

    There are other selfish reasons I can think of that I believe koi shows should handled by vendors and not organized by a group of hobbyist.

  8. #18
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnorth View Post
    ...is more volunteers.
    I totally agree with you. A few years ago I judged the Holland National Koi Show. It was amazing to see the legends of volunteers. They worked setting up and tearing down the show site for something like 10 days. Volunteers were provided very cool monogramed uniforms and seemed to wear a different outfit for the 4-5 day that I saw them. There was a large special volunteer tent with tables and chairs stocked with all manner of snacks and drinks including beer for the volunteers to relax and refresh themselves as needed. They fed volunteers three catered meals each day. It was quite a shock to see how well their volunteers were provided for. It was even more amazing to find out that there was a long waiting list of people that wanted to volunteer because they only allowed 100 volunteers for their annual event. The Holland show would dwarf any show in America. They charged something like $25 admission per person and I think they had something like 24,000 visitors the year I was there. They also had a huge vendor area where some single vendor spaces were much larger than the average show entire vendor space in America. I forget the specifics of how many vendors but I believe there were about a 100 vendors and the fees were also very high something like $1,000 for the smaller spaces and many times more for the larger spaces. Oh yes, there were over 600 koi entered in something like 60 tanks each with its own filter and plumbing in case water changes might be needed. After the show was over the volunteers were taken to a restaurant and treated to a nice dinner. Volunteers were given raffle tickets and received a nice % of the raffle items. It was a great koi experience. I don't know the budget for this show but it is likely many multiples of all the combined budgets of all American shows..

    At our show in San Antonio we buy our volunteers lunch daily from Wednesday to Sunday which is not a small amount of our budget but still quite minimal enticement to work hard all day for many days. Many volunteers take time off work to help with the show which is not easy on them or their families, some are retired but that means they are older and less able to handle the heavy lifting. We count ourselves fortunate to have 8-10 volunteers on average for most of the show event. Sunday afternoon/evening teardown and clean up is the toughest effort with everyone tired and wanting to take their koi back home and crash. We try to hire additional help for tear down and some years we have several paid helpers and other years none. Payment to volunteers in reality is in education shared and fellowship enjoyed.

    We do our best and we take pride in our event and hopefully recruit some new members. Big payoffs are when some of the new members might volunteer to help with the show next year. Our # 1 priority is to return every koi at the end of the show in as good or better condition than when it arrived. #2 we want our shoe to be a combination of fun and education. #3 we enjoy having a friendly competition and seeing who has their koi in the best condition possible. #4 we have to be good at following a tight budget and insuring that there is enough income to keep the show going for the future.

    Koi shows and clubs are different and have different budgets. I have attended over 70 koi shows all across America and many places around the world. The big tent events are fun and impressive but there are trade offs. Smaller shows focused more on club member needs are special opportunities to focus on education and fellowship.

    Kind of reminds me of organized religion in some ways. There are the mega churches with huge facilities, lots of events and expectation of large donations from members at the other extreme there are small churches that rent or borrow meeting space rely on volunteers and are a much more intimate experience. One size does not fit everyone.
    Disclosure:These opinions are based on my experience and conversations with persons I consider accomplished koi keepers and do not reflect the viewpoint of any organization.

  9. #19
    Tategoi hewhoisatpeace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnorth View Post
    Vendors are professionals....they should know a shows potential at getting new business already. Whats the hobby worth to them? If the hobby went away tomorrow I'm still paying my mortgage...are they? Don't get me wrong I love vendors but the relationship between a club and vendor should be just that...a relationship. However, what changes are you suggesting? Again I'm just looking for more volunteers but any discussion about making shows better is worth having .
    The buck stops here. Jim, I've got some ideas and experiments I'm working on. Similarly to Tim, I am not quite ready to release those ideas yet. I don't have as much time as I've had in the past to work on ideas that provide no personal income, but I am still developing those ideas. Right now, I am just volunteering as much time as possible at as many shows as I can attend. That's not as many as I would like, but it will have to work for now.

    I encourage all to do all that they can to support koi shows, without them, the hobby won't grow. Make the buck stop with you.
    Will Schultze
    (931) 338-6174



  10. #20
    Daihonmei aquitori's Avatar
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    What koi shows really need........?

    Is a savior....Hahaahahahahaha

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