RatsPacNW Rat Fanciers Club


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Tips for Hosting a Rat Show


  1. Select Date for what works best for your group.
    Verify that you have judges and other volunteers available
  2. Find venue and cost.
    If you expect or want to have the public attend, plan on enough space for people to walk, sit, stand, etc.
    Will there be vendors selling rat supplies, rats, trinkets, etc? How about displays?
    Some venues will require insurance. Find out if they require a Certificate of Insurance. 
    RatsPacNW carries liability insurance and is also incorporated in the State of Washington.
  3. Figure out costs:
    • Flyers, posters, score sheets & other printing
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Table sanitizer for judges
    • Paper towels
    • Restroom supplies if needed
    • Snack table foods, water and sodas
    • Change
    • Pens
    • Hand calculators
    • Clip Board
    • Arrange for Tables.  These may be included with your venue or you may need to rent them. 
      Expect to use tables for sellers, exhibitors, judges table, check-in, food, hold ribbons, other (raffle, silent auction, art, etc)
    • Chairs for crowd, judges and exhibitors
    • Ribbons / prizes
    • Sound system
    • White board, easels and dry erase marks for class announcements
  4. Determine what entry fees to charge to help cover costs.

    • A typical RatsPacNW show rat entry is $3.50 for adult non-members & $3.00 per rat for members.
    • Charge for table space for vendors or people selling rats.
    • Typically charge is $7.50 per 1/2 of an 6' table for a member and $10.00 for a non-member

      If you promote the event to others you can charge a door admission.
      Keep in mind what you are offering the public. Don't charge too much for just a show, you want them to come to the next one.
      If there are other things going on such as  talks, presentations, crafts, displays, and other things to get the public involved
      then more can be charged.

Setting it all up

  1. Promote the date to the rat community well in advance so rats can be registered with a pre-show quarantine in effect.
    The quarantine is a minimum of three weeks out from the show.  The entry form should be available at least two weeks out from this deadline.
    An online entry can be used along with a mail-in / email form.
  2. 30 days out, get out Press Releases to ALL local newspaper, TV stations, etc. Expect to get a call or two
  3. Collect supplies
  4. Download and collect entry forms, place all entries on Excel or another database.  Add to the database any mail-in entries.
    Now is the time to set your classes.
    1. Make sure all rats entered have been assigned a number.
      I like using a "K" in back of a kitten number; a "P" in back of a pet and "FSK" for for sale kitten
      This makes it easy to see where they belong at a glance and helps with sorting.
    2. Double check all entries for correctness and make corrections before continuing. 
      Solid rats should not be listed with markings, unstandard should not be listed within a standardized category, etc
      Kittens in correct class
      Names, colors, types in each category are identical to make sorting correct
    3. Keep a master list of entries sorted by exhibitor, use this to sort from
    4. Sort, copy and paste into two new "sheets" all the Adult Rats; and on another sheet the Kittens.  Don't forget to name your sheets.
    5. Sort first by "Category" (Solids; Marked; or Pet Classes); second by "Variety" (dumbo, standard, etc); third by "Section"
      Name the new sheets for the class that will be listed on it.  Adjustments may need to be made to columns, etc. 
      Delete unnecessary columns on the new sheets.
    6. After sorting your main Adult or Kitten sheet, copy and paste each Variety onto a new sheet and name it for it's type
              ie:  Mstandard (for marked standard); Mdumbo (marked dumbo); Srex/vel (solid rex / velveteens) etc.
    7. On each Variety sheet you can divvy the rats into sections by sorting on markings, colors, shading, etc. 
      Typically five rats are good for one section.  Add empty rows between sections so the show secretary can verify classes easier.
      Add a "Score" column at the end and borders lines to your rows before printing.  You may need to adjust column width and page margins.
      These printed sheets are used by your show secretary to keep records and are necessary for the show.
      There should be one sheet for every represented variety in both the Marked & Solid classes.
      Occasionally two varieties may be combined on a sheet if there are not at least 2-3 rats being show.
    8. Prepare printed forms for each exhibitors. You will need two copies, one for the exhibitor and another for check-in to verify payment.
      The copy for the exhibitor should have their rat's numbers so they can correctly prepare the show score sheets.
      Sort your main exhibitor sheet and copy and paste each individual to their own sheet or I like to use Word. 
      Add accounting information so fees can be determined easily at check in plus table fees if any. 

Circle:   Member        

$2.00 x _________


$2.50 x ____________



Table space

Table Space



                                                                                                                       Total due $_____________________

Also add to this page, unless they mailed in a form:
"NOTICE:  I am aware that even though all animals will be health checked, that I am showing at my own risk.  My rats have been quarantined for a minimum of three weeks.  I hereby release and hold harmless any and all persons connected with this show, grounds, or premises of any and all responsibility, liability, illness, or damage to animals, equipment or myself. If I have children with me, I will not allow them to climb in or on equipment or vehicles.

Sign: ___________________________________

 If under 18 Parent sign____________________________________


6.  If you are having a larger show, it makes it much easier for all involved to print labels for the score sheets. 
     Using the exhibitor list from above, copy and paste each exhibitors entries onto a new sheet.  Delete any rows not necessary for the label.
     You'll need to "merge" this file into Word or another label making processor. 

Day of event~
Set-up of venue:
    Check-in area in a separate from show area
    Set up tables think about best light for judges, seating for audience and then exhibitors tables.
    Think about drafts, keep rats away from those.
    For larger shows, think about pre-assigning table space for vendors & exhibitors. This way you have control over who goes were.
    You don't want a popular vendor or rattery having people block doorways or walkways.
    Set out trash cans
    Prepare food / snack table
    Prepare raffle table
    Set up ribbons, judges tables, set out clipboards with classes in order for each table
    Hang signs for show order

Rat check-in & Registration
    It's preferable to have one or two people checking rats and one doing the paperwork and collecting fees.
    Hand each exhibitor their copy of their entries, printed labels and one score sheet for each rat entered in a standard class.

The show.  Try to keep it on time.  Get your judges at the tables and call classes up.  While one class is ending, make a call for a pet class and ask those for the next standards class to get ready.

Have fun.



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