I've attended countless car shows over the years. I've seen good, bad, and pathetic. So when I began organizing our Pontiac Shows I took a hybrid of ideas from all the GOOD shows and put them together and avoided the negatives.
Depending on where your venue is will dictate what you can do too. (burnouts, loud music etc)
IF you do judging and are part of a club looks like you aren't but for those who are: DO NOT include your cars in judging. I have seen this abused here, OFTEN. This goes for Sponsors too as they are always getting trophies for best judged cars even if their cars are NOT as nice as others, year in year out its a given. I have seen resentment over this and people will avoid a show like this in the future. When club members get awards this brings discord amongst the guests (even IF the members car is deserving, its the perception) you may not hear it but it goes on. WE, will have our club's cars shown together separate from the show field and let our guests judge our cars separate from our guests. The show is for OUR guests. You'd be surprised how receptive people are to this it seems more fair to them and it is and shows we are neutral and impartial.
Judging: Popular vote seems the best for local shows. IF you do have judges they better know what they are looking at. Modified classes? Be explicit in what constitutes a modification. Every show has different criteria... promote this BEFORE people register.
Awards; Be different, 99% give out trophies... we give out plaques with digitized pics of the winners cars but we are mixing it up this year and our guests will enjoy what we have in mind once we announce it.
Rain dates posted with day of show contact.
Notify authorities: See if they can post someone as a deterrent to any type illegal acts. Last thing you want is people doing burnouts in a public place with people around, all it takes is one person to ruin this. It can ruin an otherwise fantastic day... I can cite countless examples, you can find examples too on the other board.
Make sure you have liability insurance, if something goes arye.... its your a$$ on the line. GOTAA affords their chapters 3 million in liability insurance you may not have this luxury but you better make sure its not YOU that has to answer to another's boneheaded stunt.
Food / Music
Keep costs as low as possible. People can be fickle about paying too much.
Simple items in a goodie bag.. coupons for car washes... (When I win these I take my everyday cars to them in the dead of winter) Maybe some car detail items to win as door prizes.
50/50's are ILLEGAL in PA. MOST do it including Relay for life, workplace, helping hands, and other non profit groups but all it takes is one person to call the law and BAM you are in trouble. IF YOU decide to award money and prizes including Chinese auctions check with your local DA's office. In PA they oversee gaming and issue permits. 50/50 is a nice drawing but I was astounded to learn they are illegal and although the law turns a "deaf eye" to it if they get a complaint they are obligated to investigate DO NOT put yourself into a situation of running an illegal "gaming" operation.
PROMOTE.... Here we have a cruise news that lists monthly car cruises and shows THOUSANDS read it and word of mouth spreads it. You will find at least its like this here..... every weekend there is a show someplace it may be difficult to find a date that doesn't conflict with anothers... By you promoting something a little different for as low a cost as possible may bring guests in. The first year is a tough one.... that's the one you begin building an even better show for next year...
2008 we had 100 pontiac total for our All Pontiac show
2009 we had 100 PRE-REGISTERED! Rain killed us.. but to have 100 pre-registred ALL PONTIACS is a lot. We ended up moving it from the dealership to a park.... we have guests coming from a tri-state area..
There is an article in the March issue of the GTOAA legend I wrote on our show last year. We had to improvise cause of the weather and our Food Vendor going AWOL... we ended up throwing a party for EVERYONE guests alike we brought lunch and coffee.... be prepared for the unexpected.
We are expecting 130+ this year, all Pontiacs..... if you do it right they will come.