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How to Plan a Car Show Extravaganza and Fundraiser
by: Tonza Borden

A car show “extravaganza” is a fantastic opportunity to bring a community or special interest group together – for more than one cause. Planning your car show event is not an easy task but the process can be simplified and efficient. The most important steps to planning your extravaganza are as follows:

The Organizers

You can be the sole show organizer or it can be a joint venture with another group. Whichever way you decide to go, there is a lot of face-to-face coordination involved. Also, it may be inconvenient to get everybody to together at a meeting on the same day. But you will need to make sure that everybody knows what’s going on and be reminded of their role and responsibilities. You’re probably wondering how to accomplish that because coordinating people is a major feat itself. Here’s where Atlanta Antique Car Club comes in with those hard-to-find resources. We recommend staying in contact with helloWorld – Video e-Mail. It is easy, affordable and so much better than phoning.

The Event

Plan a car show with a fun and festive atmosphere for the whole family. Plan a luxury and performance car and bike event dedicated to the automobile industry – featuring the best possible cars, motorcycles, limousines, customs, and art cars available because this is the “attraction”. Varying your selection of automobiles and automotive products is what will give your show the extravagant factor and take it over the top.

The Venue

Location, location, location. This is where your show will go down in history. Because of the nature of your event, selecting a venue that is unique is very important. It must have an acceptable floor plan to accommodate a large crowd, registration, bathrooms, many exhibitors and vendors, and ample parking spaces for visitors and show car trailers.

The Theme

Classic cars, food and old music are the right formula for an old-school theme and goodtime. Dressing in period clothing can add nostalgia and interest, too. And, when the 50’s music starts, your visitors will be taking a trip down memory lane. Check out this 50s party in a box to get your creative juices flowing.

The Attraction

If this is your main event of the year, it should be a festive “extravaganza” representing a vintage and classic car lifestyle. Whether it is one day or held over a few days, it should have a dramatic theme to set the stage for beautiful motorcars and beautiful people. Your car show should be the hottest ticket in town – not the most boring. So pull out all of the stops and go for it!

The Multi-Task Team Building

The people behind your car show are a very important component – especially the creative team. Here’s a tip that will pay dividends. Keep all of your volunteers happy because they comprise the logistical teams to perform the multi-tasks, at no cost. That being said, the creative team is responsible for planning the theme and working with the committees to get it done, under budget and on time.

The Vendors or Us

Buying, cooking and selling foodstuff has its advantages. On the other hand, your event may be so huge that you won’t have enough hands to flip burgers quick enough. Inviting vendors is a good thing as long as they:

  • Carry insurance
  • Be liable and on-time
  • Be very professional

The Fundraising

Make your car show extravaganza make money – without spending a lot. How? Use your church parking lot or a donated venue. Be your own vendor by cooking and selling food and beverage – that’s donated or bought at discount prices. What you spend upfront will make a big difference on your bottom line. Sell tickets for a raffle, special attraction, etc. Charge a small fee for parking lot spaces for swap meet vendors. Or, collect donated sale items from your members for 100% profit. Ask for donated folding tables as well as monetary donations (if you are a nonprofit organization). Write and publish FREE public service announcements to announce your event – giving them at least two weeks lead-time. Tell everyone to tell everyone. Get the word out for FREE.

The Sponsors

Sponsors are companies who wish to be associated with your car show and visitors. A great car show is an event that sponsors would like to be associated with so keep that in mind when building your sponsor relationships.

The Exhibitors

You will want to round off your show with sponsors, food vendors, swap meet vendors, disc jockey, musicians, bands, bike performances, etc. Because when it’s all said and done, it’s all about having a good time so give your visitors variety, thrill and excitement. When they’re happy, they tend to buy from exhibitors.

The Visitors

Vintage and classic car show visitors are unique. They are in a class by themselves. They are a special group of people who live the old-school car lifestyle. They are car collectors, enthusiasts and wannabes – with buying power. They are a group who recognize and respect universal status symbols and the finer things that money can buy. That being said, your car show visitors deserve the very best show you can provide.

The Media

Last but not least, you will want to invite the media to make them your partner for all of your car show extravaganzas. As I’ve stated, you must encourage volunteers to tell everyone but telling the media is your best bet. A public service announcement will cover a greater audience and territory than you will be able to do by word of mouth. Another form of ‘media’ is flyers, banners, your web site where people can visit your site for information about upcoming events. In fact, you should be advertising your car club, group, organization at all times and I.D.IT!PLATES is a great way to drive traffic to your web.

Planning and implementing a car show won’t be easy but if it was it probably wouldn’t be a car show “extravaganza”. Use this outline to get started with your first car show. Having a plan will help you to stay focused and efficient – while keeping it simple. After the show, you will want to see pictures that tell the story about your success. So ask all volunteers to bring a camera to snap lots of pictures of event activities and car enthusiast having fun. Please don’t forget to share your pictures with Atlanta Antique Car Club's photo gallery - for the entire world to see.

About The Author

Tonza Borden is the developer and administrator of She is a successful home-based communications specialist. Collecting antique automobilia is her hobby. Learning all about vintage automobiles is her passion. Visit or contact for written permission to reproduce for noncommercial use ©”How To Plan A Car Show Extravaganza and Fundraiser “ giving credit to the author.


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