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Using Car Shows as Charity Fundraisers - Part 2

The Venue

Another key decision you will need to make during the early stages of planning your show is where to host the event. You will need to be sure you have a parking lot or piece of land large enough to accommodate both the cars that will be displayed and the parked cars of the spectators/volunteers who will be attending. You may also need space for vendors and sponsor displays.

If your group doesn't own a parking lot or piece of land large enough to host a car show, you might have to get creative. Think about connections you may have. A member of your planning committee might know someone who owns a local business with a large lot. Another might be a member of a church that would allow you to use their parking lot on a Saturday morning. Or, consider talking to your local park board about the possibility of using a park's lot during off-peak seasons or hours.

If you have to request the use of a business or church lot, be prepared and professional. Have your sponsorship or promotion coordinator draft a letter about the concept of your event and what exactly you are requesting of the benefactor. You'll also need to present how you will promote their donation to your event, such as including their logo on your event T-shirt or brochure.


You'll also need to plan the logistics of the lot or the space where your show will be held. Where are you going to park cars? Where will spectators and attendees park? If you have vendors, where will they be located - especially if they need to be connected a power source? Is the event handicap accessible? What sort of sanitation options will be available? There's a lot to consider, and you'll want to have all of that arranged well in advance of the event.

It is extremely helpful to draw up a map of your lot, which will help you to better visualize the space that you have and where everything should go. If space is at a premium, you might need to set specific booth dimensions for vendors and sponsor displays. The more money donated or paid, the larger the space they can have. Once your map is finalized, distribute a copy to your volunteers so they know where everything will be at the event.

You will want to be sure that you set a specific time for setup and teardown. You need to be sure that, if applicable, your vendors are ready to go before the car owners arrive. This will make your show appear more professional and will also help avoid traffic jams with cars unloading display items and cars that are actually a part of the show. It might be difficult to know exactly when teardown can occur, especially if your awards ceremony is at the end of the day (they can tend to run short or long, depending on the crowd), but try to give your vendors some sort of time frame.

To help the event run more smoothly, it is also a wise idea to print brightly colored event shirts for your staff and volunteers so that they are easily identifiable in the crowd. You can tell spectators and car owners to direct questions to these individuals.