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Silver State Challenge Exhibit Award

The Greater Reno Stamp & Cover Show wants to increase the diversity of exhibits while maintaining a "safe" environment for the exhibiting styles often found at local shows. Exhibits that have received vermeil or higher awards at a World Series of Philately show will compete in the Silver State Challenge.

Entering an exhibit in the Challenge will provide an opportunity for aspiring but less experienced exhibitors to examine nationally recognized exhibits.

If an exhibitor would like to conduct a mini-workshop on how the exhibit was prepared including theme development, selection and presentation of material, and helpful hints, please contact the exhibit chair. See more details on the Silver State Challenge concept in the article below from the July 2005 issue of The Philatelic Exhibitor.

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Championship Class:  A New Idea For Local Shows?

by Tim Bartshe

At the Greater Reno Stamp and Cover Show that was held the weekend in April, a novel idea was born.  The instigation of the idea was the question: what to do with the disparity of exhibits that can and should be shown at local and regional shows?  On the one hand there are literally thousands of nationally qualified exhibits that make the rounds in the WSP shows garnering Vermeil and Gold medals throughout the year.  At the other end of the spectrum are exhibits that are really meant to be more shared collections than exhibits, as well as people who are just starting out exhibiting.  As has been said by some, this is like floating a battleship in a bathtub, hardly fair from a competitive concept to the local exhibitors and hardly encouraging either.

A local/regional show will be hard pressed to grow in size and diversity if it is forced to rely only upon the local exhibitors to fill frames.  And yet, it is hardly fair to elicit outside exhibits from more experienced exhibitors to compete with the wide diversity of exhibiting styles and experiences found in most local shows.  What is the answer?  At the Reno show, there were five National Gold-medal exhibits on the floor posing for the chief judge, an experienced and qualified judge from the Northern California Council.  A decision was made amongst the jury to award a Court of Honor Gold to each and keep the higher show awards for the less experienced exhibitors.  At the time it seemed like the right answer, but upon further reflection it was somewhat unfair to those exhibitors who entered the show based upon the prospectus as qualified for all awards.  Still, most experienced exhibitors do not enter to win the grand but to support exhibiting in general.

Upon further examination, Australian Mike Rhodes, an experienced judge and exhibitor in his own right, hit upon a solution that is used in his country; a Championship Class.  In this scheme, exhibitors who had attained a certain level of achievement, read Gold medal, would compete amongst themselves for a special award solely for them while reserving the local/regional awards for those who had not the experience or possibly the desire for national competition.  In this fashion, multiple goals are achieved:

1.     The show gains numerous exhibits from outside the local sphere of influence that allows them to grow in size and stature, and providing an opportunity for local collectors to see high quality, unusual material.

2.     The local exhibiting population is not discouraged from competing against more experienced exhibitors thereby maintaining its distinct personality.

3.     The local membership can experience a mini-workshop in exhibiting by examining what a nationally recognized display is made of.

Reno Show Chairman Harvey Edwards is going to implement this format for next year's show, hoping to attract the "best of the best" while encouraging the fairly large membership of his collecting group.  I would highly encourage other shows to try this and see what might happen.  Certainly, there are shows who have no desire to get larger or do not have the frames for space, but for those who are wishing to improve the overall viewing and learning experience, this may be the answer you were looking for.

 The Philatelic Exhibitor, July 2005, page 1. (permission of the author)