BMDCA Rotational Specialty Survey

(There are 416 responses to this survey.)

Are you a member of the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America? Multiple Choice
    No Answer ( 1.2%)
    Yes 369  (88.7%)
    No 42 (10.1%)
Are you a member of a Regional Bernese Club? Multiple Choice
    No Answer ( 1.2%)
    Yes 317  (76.2%)
    No 94 (22.6%)
Which Regional Club do you belong to?
    Bernese Mountain Dog Club of the Rockies
    Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Nashoba Valley
    Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Southeastern Wisconsin
    Heart of Michigan Bernese Mountain Dog Club
    Potomac Valley Bernese Mountain Dog Club
    Sierra West Bernese Mountain Dog Club
    Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Greater Seattle
    Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Watchung
    Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Northern California
    Chattahoochee Valley Bernese Mountain Dog Club
    Grand Canyon State Bernese Mountain Dog Club
    Bernese Mountain Dog Club Of Southern California
    Kentuckiana Bernese Mountain Dog Club
    Inland NorthWest Bernese Mountain Dog Club
    North Coast Bernese Mtn Dog Club of Ohio, Inc.
    Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America members in Canada
    Blue Ridge Bernese Mountain Dog Club
    Lone Star Bernese Mountain Dog club
    3 Rivers Bernese Mountain Dog Club
    Bernese Mountain Dog Club of the Finger Lakes
    Mason Dixon Bernese Mountain Dog Club
    Bernese Mt Dog Club of Alaska 
    Heartland Bernese Mountain Dog Club
    Helderberg Bernese Mountain Dog Club
    Wasatch Bernese Mountain Dog Club
    San Francisco Bay Berners
    Bernese Mountain Dog Club of The Greater Twin Cities
    Pacific North West Bernese Mountain Dog Club
Would you prefer the BMDCA appoints a permanent specialty committee who plans and executes all of the BMDCA National Specialties? If so all specialties would be held in the same place. Multiple Choice
    No Answer 10  ( 2.4%)
    Yes - I prefer a permanent location & committee. 
    ( 7.7%)
    No - I prefer that the specialty rotates around the country and has a rotating show committee.  374  (89.9%)
If you answered yes to the above question, please explain why.
  • I think a committee to do the specialties but I don't think it should be in the same spot every year.
  • 1) I think this event is getting too big for regional clubs to do without burning out members. I think this event has also become too big to let amateurs handle. 2) This might be the only way that those who are most interested would take responsibility for this job. 3) Planning would be much simpler for the committee and those who want to attend. 4) Better planning makes for a smoother running event and the opportunity for growth from year to year. 
  • Actually, I would like a slight mix of these two. I think rotating the location is VERY important, so people can attend the Specialty occasionally who may not want to travel across the country at other times. I therefore think you need a local planning/hoist committee, as well, because it takes huge amounts of volunteer personnel to pull these things off. But I also wonder if some advice/support/help from the National office, on a permanent basis, might not make the job of the local committee easier? This National staff could deal with judges and some of the other things that are recurring and not related to the site itself. So I vote for a rotating location, a local host committee, and a larger National oversight role.
  • As a former member of the Arabian Horse Assoc., I was witness first hand to the advantage of having two alternating sites, Albuquerque and Louisville. It was easy to plan ahead to each Nationals, and each site was convenient to someone. I moved to Atlanta after the Berner specialty, but was dismayed to find the club had become inactive, primarily due to the strain of putting on such a huge event. It's very difficult to find people willing to take on the time-consuming responsibility of planning and executing a National Specialty. Also, many clubs have few members and/or are very spread out. The advantage of a permanent committee would be that they could use experience gleaned from the previous events. Most of us would be facing the daunting task as neophytes, leaving open the probability of mistakes and much complaining by participants. Perhaps an assistant could be named each year, to each of the positions, who would then "train" and be ready to assume the chair the following year. Thus, hopefully, no " burn-out".
  • Because it would be easier to plan from year to year for both the participants as well as the staff of planners. It also would give the club a good opportunity to get a consistently good place to show.
  • Because we live on the East Coast, attending the Specialty is something that we would only be able to do every 2-3 years. If it were in a CENTRAL permanent location it would be easier to attend more regularly.
  • By moving to various parts of the country it enables more people to be able to come, not just the same people near one location.
  • Consistency. The specialties are huge. They too much work for a small club. 
  • Developing the skills necessary to host a Specialty is a very complex and time-consuming process. The BMDCA should select a central site & develop a team to manage the specialty at that location. 
  • First.....I have attended only 2 Nationals, 93 and 96. The reason was because they were easy to get to. If the National was centrally located, people from all over the Nation could attend. The Purina grounds would be the prime location.....just about everyone could get there from anywhere in the country either by flying or driving. When the show is held in the eastern part of the county, it is not easy for western people to make reservations without long delays at airports. Big STRESS on the dogs. If you drive back east (as us westerners say) then you have to take about 2 weeks off from work.....and this is not good if family is involved, and someone wants to take a vacation to somewhere else. Personally, I'd like to see a permenent location, with a set month, April or May. It would sure save a great deal of hassle and stress on the local clubs trying to host the national. Each club tries to outdo the previous club, and it has gotten to be just a little out of hand in the money dept.....It does not need to be like that at all. Lets get a centrally located point. The PURINA GROUNDS were SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED to host Nationals, are CENTERALLY LOCATED and are all set up for it, including airports, parking, hotels, rooms, education, etc...... Sincerely Judy Arneson-Johnson Chief Ring Steward 2001 National Speciality, Spokane, WA
  • Go to St. Louis the Purina location. Mistakes are made when you have new people do it every year, same people would become more efficient. They could put the premium list on their computer and not miss things like veteran dog/bitch class divisions! Chairs were fighting all through the specialty, judges knew, rings stewards knew, chairs stayed away from them! One person who can follow rules, not a tribe! Schedule Sat & Sun. dinners only. Schedule one speaker only. Always have the novice breed standard class! 
  • Good show sites are increasingly hard to find. For those who can only attend in a RV it has become very restrictive and these folks are unable to participate. There is one site in the country that I know of that offers everything a National Spec.needs for all functions, and classes can be held indoors or out depending on weather. Outdoors is lovely but a national spec. is too important to be spoiled by inclement weather. This site is 600 acres designed for the use of animals be it farm animals or canines. It was once described in "Dog News" by a well known handler, who works many different Nat'l. Spec. as probably the best site in the country for Nat'l. Specialties. It is closer to a large airport than many of out nat'l.s have been. They take care of all RV reservations and parking so the club would not have that job to do. That site is the Fairgrounds in Perry, Ga. Clubs around the country could each have their task to perform. A permanent show committee would be less apt to have problems since they would be familiar with the whole operation.It is just so hard for different clubs to take on the job of running a National, esp. now that many have their own regional specialties. They almost have to abandon all their own goals for at least two years to work on the Nat'l. and is ,really,unfair. It was different when there were no regional specialties. Just my opinion.
  • I believe that having a "permanent" location would be more beneficial to all show goers. It is becoming increasingly difficult to locate sites that accommodate dogs and all the activities that our specialties entail
  • I did not answer Yes but am filling this in anyway. One alternative would be to have 3 or 4 "permanent" rotating sites - one West Coast site, one Rocky Mt. site, one Midwest and one East coast - and rotate year to year. However, overall I like it best the way it has been in the past, with new show sites each year. But, it might cut down on some of the work, to repeat the sites.
  • I don't know. A permanent location presents a problem for all those people far from the site year after year. But rotation requires new people to learn how to do it each year, and many of the clubs don't have enough of a membership base to do it. I know the Watchung club doesn't have the ability to pull together to do it...
  • I enjoy having it different places because of the opportunity to see different parts of the country and because some years it might be in closer proximity to individual club members.
  • I feel that it would be easier to plan to attend and an experienced committee would get a routine where a new team would have to "re-invent the wheel" each time.
  • I like the rotating so that it is in a different place, but it is getting more difficult to do this and the Regional Specialities seem to be taking the place of this rotation. If it could be in a centrally located area (which is easy to access and not overly hot) then at least it would hopefully draw a varied crowd. It is going to be difficult to decide because the type of people and the reasons they come to a specialty are changing. But I think some type of change is definitely coming.
  • I really enjoy traveling to the various sites, and meeting with each new club that presents the Speciality; though I'm finding traveling a great distance difficult, as years go by. I feel it would be easier to plan to attend, if it was held in the same location each year. I would, kind of, not like the same people doing it each year; as when a new club(s), we do get new ideas from each individual. It’s really hard to decide what I'd like, though I reasonably, can't attend each year. It'll be interesting to see what everone thinks. To me it seems such a large project; I have all I can do to put on a Supported entry..........Kathy PS, I also filled in my opinion as to rotating clubs............
  • I really like going to different areas, seeing things I probably would not have seen (although really, how much sightseeing do you really do, besides the interstates?). But it is getting so difficult finding places to hold the specialties and you have to plan SO far ahead - are you going to have puppies for the futurity in the year 2002 - or is your veteran still going to be alive? It would be much more convenient (as far as I am concerned) to always know where the show is going to be, maybe get to see the things that you didn't see last year, etc.
  • I suggest changing the committee and location every 5 years. It would help me personally a lot more in the planning of the upcoming events in my life. ( The ones I do have control over)I also think having the event always at the same time would be great
  • I think a permanent comm. is not a bad idea. Why though does that mean it has to be in the same place? These should not be mutually inclusive events. The comm. should be given the opportunity and be encouraged to move the specialty around the country. To do otherwise would be collecting experience and expertise in holding a specialty but tying their hands in carrying it out. It seems to me the middle ground is actually the best.
  • I think it should rotate but have the National club do the show part, have the regional just do all the site planning ect. It would take alot of the problems and worry out of it if the BMDCA did the Schedule, Etc. Denise Dean
  • I think it would provide for uniformity. Committee members would hopefully know what they were doing, and people would not have to learn their job/position just a year or so before the Specialty and proceed by trial and error. The people could learn from their mistakes, and readily pass on learning experiences to those who might follow them, thus making for an ever improving specialty, with better organization, and a decreasing amount of problems year after year. I would hope any such location would be in the somewhat central part of the country, which might benefit more people. Though facilities might change from time to time (and rightfully should if the host facility does not take care of the participants) those attending would get to know the facility, surrounding areas, transportation centers, etc., and be more comfortable than going to a place cold each time. Wisconsin was my first specialty. Due to several events, some related to planning, some to facilities, and some due to lack of knowledge
  • I think that if the location were to be permanent that would exclude a number of dogs that couldn't afford to come to that location every year.. I think by rotating the location it gives us the opportunity to see dogs from all over and it is close to some people and further from others on different years.. If it were say in would benefit the Midwesterners yearly and cause hardships to the people that live in Florida and Washington state
  • I think we should look at how the American Boxer Club holds their ABC National Specialty. Same location, easier to plan. I think the location should be in the central part of the US, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Western Ohio, etc. so that we can attract both coasts. However, because of the population density on the East Coast I would think an eastern location would work. Western is much harder because of the mountainous regions for driving.
  • I wanted to answer yes, but the last sentence kills it.
  • If a permanent location is established, it should NOT be in Colorado!
  • If a permanent show site is centrally located we could attract the large number represented in WI. Perhaps members from 4 regions could represent the show committee and be elected 2 yrs. in advance to prepare. I like going to other parts of the US but not all areas are as easily accessible and the cost seems to get higher every year-sometimes eliminating the smaller breeders who cannot take a tax deduction as do the larger kennels.
  • Interesting Idea. I am a veterinarian and every year I attend national veterinary conferences. In general the smoothest running conferences with the largest turnout are those that have a fixed location. It is easy to plan which conference to attend and travel arrangements are streamlined. There is the potential for building a relationship with the hosting town/hotel/site when they know that the group will be returning every year. It also removes some politics about choosing who to host - this would conserve time and energy that will best be put toward having a GREAT specialty each year. Keep the themes different each year, but I'd love to know that, for example, the specialty is "always in early May in PA, or June in WI, or February in CA". Simplify the process, and strengthen the end result. Participants might also be more likely to treat the site with respect and consideration - as if it were "home" - given the fact that we'd want to be welcomed back again year after year.
  • It allows people to get to the Specialties near them, which is more cost effective for them. Also, regional clubs need to experience what is involved in putting a show together. However, it is my understanding that current BMDCA rules and requirements are very hard to meet and the financial burdens are large for a small club. Therefore the committee should take a look at how the BMDCA can better assist regional clubs in getting the task done rather than complicate it.
  • It is becoming increasingly difficult to find a site that can accommodate the range of activities that make the specialty -- well, special. I think that the "permanent" specialty committee should have terms of office such that there is transfer of learning and yet no need to reinvent the wheel. With this permanent location plan gradually the committee would see a reduction in workload over time. The committee should not be "owned" by any particular kennel and should be required to collect and act on post specialty survey evaluations. It is also possible that you could develop a hybrid of the two options -- an east coast site, a west coast site and a central site. These might be "permanent" but the specialty itself could "rotate" among the 3 sites to accommodate the geographic dispersion of members.
  • It is becoming more difficult and expensive to gather the resources necessary to present a National Specialty. The experience gained through presenting a specialty every year makes the task much easier. A central, permanent location is an advantage over selecting a location such as Spokane, which does not provide easy access for many BMDCA members.
  • It needs to be done by someone experienced and skilled unless someone else volunteers. It shouldn't be forced on anyone as an undertaking that large can be financially & emotionally deviating to members and their families if not prepared for this type of responsibility.
  • It would be great to have a permanent committee so that the specialty can be improved upon with experience. The location is not an issue for me I will go it I can get there - it would be nice to be able to depend an experienced committee to make the specialty the best it can be. The specialty should be a celebration of the breed not a disappointment.
  • It would be nice to have 2 or 3 permanent show sites and a committee from that area or even a committee of the BMDCA.
  • It's our family vacation--we like going to different places
  • Midwest - middle most spot for all travelers
  • My response would be a mixed one - a permanent committee, but a rotating location. The permanent committee could tie in with the local clubs for volunteers and support, but the major planning would be done by the same people who would know what needed to be done. Show sites in different parts of the country are used every year for all breed shows that are much bigger than our Specialty, so it would be a matter of picking sites that are already commonly used and making the appropriate arrangements. The show committee could delegate some of the "local" tasks to the nearest club - but this would avoid the current situation of starting over each Specialty with a totally new group that has no experience in planning this event. Fund raising is done on a continuing basis by the National Club - so fundraising for the Specialty could be a subpart of that. The Specialty committee could pick a site and a theme well in advance, and then ask for art work, logos, fundraising ideas from the entire club instead of just the folks at a local club.
  • How should rotating specialties be assigned? Multiple Choice

      No Answer 42  (10.1%)
      By dividing the country into regions & having planned rotations by region.  276  (66.3%)
      By having each BMDCA recognized club take a turn being host on a planned rotation.  61  (14.7%)
      By drawing names of BMDCA recognized clubs all clubs taking a turn.  ( 1.0%)
      By hoping that someone will volunteer and the speciatly will actually happen.  15  ( 3.6%)
      Other 18  ( 4.3%)
    How should rotating specialties be assigned? If you answered other, please elaborate.
  • 2nd choice- rotation among regional clubs
  • Actually feel that two or three permanent locations would be best and rotate the host club(s). This way it would be very easy to pass information on to the next sponsor club and we would be familiar with the facilities, personnel, etc.
  • All recognized regional clubs should be required to host a specialty. This should be a requirement for a regional club to be recognized i.e. endorsed by the BMDCA.
  • As a very active member of the Natl. Cage Bird Show, we did the regions (5 total) and rotate by region each yr., with clubs in the designated regions making bids. If no club from a certain region submits a presentation, it may go to certain region more than once in 5 years. We tend to seriously consider locations where the largest no. of entries and participants has been proven. Also, the facilities are seriously considered in the selection process. We have approached various hotel chains, and recd presentations from them about long term contracts (3-5 years, but rotating in various locations). This idea has had a pretty good response, as the chains know what is expected from them, and pricing of rooms and facilities is more uniform. I will be glad to elaborate more on our experiences with anyone that wants to talk with me, and will discuss with our KBMDC President, Gene Hamme, at our upcoming meeting.
  • Ask for a volunteer first, with the regional rotation plan as alternate if no one does. That way a region can have some say in what year they are going to do it. 
  • At each specialty, groups that want to host the specialty TWO years in the future can put on a demo/presentation as to why and how, etc. they are qualified and want to host a specialty. The board of the current specialty votes and chooses. That way they have 2 yr. to plan. (This is how zoo keeper and zoo docent conferences are done on a nationwide basis.) Generally, alternating east coast/west coast/etc. keeps everyone happy. 
  • BMDCA appoints a Specialty Committee that is responsible for these....Rotating site, permanent BMDCA Specialty Committee, regional clubs to fit in and offer support when they feel they can.
  • BMDCA recognized clubs in those regions could then volunteer/bid for hosting the show.
  • Distance and time my concern of attending a specialty. Of course, my passion would be to get to go to them all but I have a JOB. Put most of all my money into my dogs and still can't figure out how to balance my check book and have money to afford what I call selfish actions for myself. That is why I did not go to Delavan because I felt it would be just something I wanted, instead of being useful to my dogs. I have 3 and spend and spoil them loads. just my comments as knowing some of the places way...ahead might help spread the BMD love around. 
  • Divide the country into districts.. each with at least THREE regional clubs..with 21 clubs.. SEVEN regions. Rotate specialties between regions every SEVEN YEARS. ask that the THREE clubs.. assist one another in putting on the specialty.. allowing ONE of the THREE clubs in the district to CHAIR the Specialty on a rotating basis .. once every 21 years.. The "workers" if the three clubs should be able to handle the specialty details as they would have 7 years to prepare... and not (as the current situation usually sets up ) having to prepare to host a specialty in a region that is currently using manpower and/or resources.. involving some who may be putting on the current years show.. or just finished one last year.. 
  • Dividing into regions is a good idea, but I don't think any particular club should feel obligated to hold a specialty if that club doesn't feel they can do it well. I think starting to plan 2 years ahead is not to soon.
  • Form a rotation list (random numbering) & give each club the OPTION of hosting- if they choose not to host, then the option goes to the next club, etc.
  • Going by region you have a chance to get more club members involved.
  • Have one show on the eastern side of the US and then the next year on the West then the Central. This gives everyone a chance to go to a speciality.
  • I am a member of a regional St. Bernard Club and have been a member of the Saint Bernard Club of America. I have also helped w/ a St. National Speciality as our local club hosted it. We use a regional division and the rotation goes in the same order among the regions. Each club that is interested in a particular region takes video's and any other means to present their idea in a "bid" packet to the board. The board then meets and decides which club will in fact host the national. I am not sure of the lead time, but seems like 2 to 3 years between acceptance and the National. "Seed money" is given to the host club within 24 to 36 months of the national as well as technical advise. This money can be used to begin fundraisers for the National, it is returned to the Parent club after the National when all other monies are turned into the Parent club. The local club is responsible for all legwork committees etc for the national. However various committees can be formed from the entire membership of the St. Bernard Club of America. This helps relieve some of the strain on a local club. Trophies etc are usually a great example of this team work. as is raffles and health issues.
  • I can see a combination of dividing the country into regions for those clubs that are smaller and need to make it a combined effort and I can also see where some of the larger clubs can take their turn at hosting.
  • I feel the specialty coordinators should be reimbursed for more expenses including phone bills, etc. Most cannot afford to do this much work free. If we hire professional coordinators, their experience may well give us the funds to pay them by saving costs, etc.
  • I like the idea of drawing from the recognized clubs, with some being in the hat as consortiums. I would prefer that clubs volunteer, but it is becoming a problem. If a group volunteers, that should supercede a draw for that year. No club should be asked (forced) to host more often that 7 years, even as a consortium. It is a lot of stress on a club and doing it too often could tear a club apart.
  • I think dividing the country into regions is a good idea with a planned rotation by region. However, I think the clubs in that region should act like a consortium to hosting the National. Several Sites in the region should be approved in advanced so that the site is already established for hosting nationals
  • I think each part of USA should take responsibility of National. 
  • I think it is a great opportunity for the individual clubs to come together on a major 
  • I wish you could do what the Mals do. Every 8 years (apparently there is eight noted regions) a region is expected to put on a specialty. Actually anyone, any club or Mal fancier can Chair but it is understood that all Fanciers will assist and they do for the most part. Assigning a club would just be a nightmare. Hopefully this Spokane Specialty will give us some idea if a consortium of willing folks can pull it off without to much discontent. I am thinking out loud here....sort of, I caution this committee not to go overboard on setting up too many rules or governing guidelines. I say this because I still think the underlying feeling of those involved should be to host a enjoyable event, not conduct a business venture although, oh my gosh, I am stunned by the amount of money that moves around in this process. Let me say this though.......Thank you all for taking this on. You guys are great.
  • I would form a national specialty committee but have a rotating schedule with cooperation from regional clubs. I would also have the National foot the bill for the specialties with the regional clubs fund raising for the event all year long. Each club would donate on behalf of it's members (like a regional club dues). With a national club committee core there would be continuity and experience and a focus group. With it changing each year new clubs are less likely to take on such a project. There could be some standardization that would help greatly. But still a flavor of the area of the hosting regional club could be added. 
  • I would suggest a loose set of regions - Western [West of Salt Lake City]; Mid West [Denver to East of Chicago] and Eastern [Detroit to Atlantic Ocean]. Then take bids from these regions w/ National Club awarding the location in each region rotating in order.
  • I would think the climate and the facilities for our Berners should be the No. 1 factor. How this would be accomplished, I do not know. For instance, I live where it is hot so just because I live here, definitely would not recommend it. Also, I think it is nice to see our Berners in the mountains as that is where they come from originally.
  • If clubs would volunteer, I still think that is the best way. But I assume the whole reason for this survey is lack of clubs volunteering, in a timely manner. It seems to me that there are reasons for areas with larger clubs, or more central locations, hosting more specialties than the smaller clubs in remote regions. Or, have a "default" region assigned so that if you don't have another club that wants to do it, the default gets the job. I really think the flexibility we have had in the past, is a good thing - it’s alot of work and I think it helps that a club actually wants to do it... compared to being forced to do it. Which leads to another alternative - having a permanent show site UNLESS a club/region volunteers. For example, if a central, permanent show site is chosen but members from either coast are sick of always having to travel, they might be motivated to volunteer. Or, if members just got sick of the same site, they might be motivated to volunteer. Yet, no matter what, there would be a site available.
  • If some region has a club/clubs that feel it is too much to sponsor the event when it is their turn, perhaps there could be a way to combine the efforts of two or more clubs in that area to co-sponsor it.
  • If we could have a permanent committee, rotate the specialty around the country and each year have part of the committee be from the area where the show will be held. I think that a specialty is such a large undertaking, that the local clubs need financial and manpower from outside to make a specialty special. Some of the regional clubs are small and financially unable to host a specialty.
  • If you are going to rotate then the specialty coordinator should do the premium list and all paper work for the AKC including contracts for the judges this way these items are put on the computer and nothing will be missed. She can be listed as the chair and the hosting chair can be the assist!
  • In an ideal world (IMO), each Regional club would volunteer to host a specialty -- in reality, that probably has almost no chance of happening. Therefore, the rotation idea seems to be and interesting idea to explore. 
  • Maybe several clubs in each region could join forces to put on the specialty. also, it's good to be in different parts of the country so different people can attend.
  • My Berner is a pet and I have had no contact with National Specialties & Shows.
  • My preference is that a host club or clubs volunteer to put on the specialty as this is a huge amount of work for people not interested or large enough to take on. I can see the problem in the future with clubs not feeling they can put one together and therefore not volunteering to host a specialty. So, in the case of no club volunteering then perhaps it is time to assign a region to put one on. The problem still comes back to telling volunteers they have to do a lot of work for no money when they do not want to do it. Let's face it, it's pretty hard to force volunteers to do things they don't want to and the specialty and the club ends up suffering for it.
  • My question to you is, are we (BMDCA) having trouble getting clubs to volunteer to hold specialty...What is not working?
  • My recommendations: 1. Allow local clubs to volunteer -- as today. 2. If no one volunteers by x date, a default permanent CENTRAL location would be used and run by the permanent committee. 3. If a local club volunteers, the permanent committee would assist with leg-work and in setting up, working the specialty, and cleaning up, if needed (especially important for small clubs). They could also provide guidance and "lessons learned" to the local club. (Hopefully, more clubs would volunteer to host if they had this assistance.)
  • Not all regional clubs are large enough to take on the responsibility of a specialty. The clubs need to learn to pool their resources for this undertaking. An even better idea would be to form a permanent show committee, have them be the Chair every year, with the regional club(s) taking care of the details under that committee's guidance, and providing the numerous volunteers necessary. It is an awesome task to most clubs, unless they happen to have an active member with a real flair for pulling this all together. If strong support was available from the BMDCA, more clubs would be willing to take on this responsibility.
  • If regions are formed for the purpose of rotating specialties what should be the basis for their formation? Multiple Choice

      No Answer 54  (13.0%)
      BMDCA Membership Numbers 18  ( 4.3%)
      BMDCA Regional Club membership numbers 49 (11.8%)
      Both BMDCA Membership Numbers & Regional Club Membership Numbers 179 (43.0%)
      Number of BMDCA recognized clubs per region.  67  (16.1%)
      Other 49  (11.8%)
    If regions are formed for the purpose of rotating specialties what should be the basis for their formation? If your answer is other, please elaborate.
  • 4 - 6 geographic regions East coast.....Eastern mid USA....Western mid USA.... West coast then what ever other region may be necessary
  • A simple division of the country by land area without regard to population.
  • All of the reasons listed should be considered, but also proximity to airports, perhaps also contacting show superintendents in certain regions to see what the BMD entries for that region are, as it may help predict what the participation from that immediate region might be. Again, with the NCBS we find our highest no of entries and participants comes when we hold our shows in major cities, with reasonably priced airfare and accommodations readily available, and if a certain region had to be selected, I would say it is the Midwest, as our shows in Chicago and Detroit have consistently drawn great numbers (although Buffalo also had a very good turnout as we drew from the Canadian exhibitors there as it was an easy trip for them.) Extremes of East and West tend to cut out one coast or the other participating. I have already talked to alot of people who already know they cannot, and will not, make the trip to Washington, as it is a 3 to 4 day travel time from pretty much anywhere from Kentucky east. Also, airfare to the area is very expensive, and still involves car rental and driving time, which may be prohibitive. These things should be a major consideration in site selection.
  • all regional clubs should participate either solely or in partnership with another regional club.
  • alphabetically
  • also to have it geographically distributed
  • areas of the states that would be accessible to different people each year 4 regions ne/nw/se/sw
  • areas such as northwest, northeast, mid Atlantic, etc.
  • as well as geographical
  • Base it on BMDCA and Regional Club Membership numbers, but first allow partnering and pairing at the clubs' discretion. Let us choose our own teams, or decide to go it alone before the drawing starts.
  • by areas of the country ie: NE SE Ncentral Scentral NW and SW and west(CA)
  • by geographic location. Distance is the deciding factor for me.
  • By geographic sections of the country - West, Midwest, East. Within those there should be considerations regarding North, South and 'mid'.
  • By time zones
  • Clubs can be large yet not have many national members, and some small clubs can have a high percentage of national members. I think it is important to keep the site rotating so that at least one region be able to easily attend. And, just because the region may have many members doesn't necessarily mean that they have the organizational and financial ability to hold it, AND have a venue that is acceptable. No one club should have to take full responsibility. With the nature of many specialty tasks, it is not necessary for the chair to be close, and the internet makes communication simple. Bottom line is that we should look at the area and venue, and then assign tasks once we find a good host site, not necessarily placing the full burden on local members.
  • Combination of number of regional clubs and number of regional club members.
  • Designate regions geographically
  • Divide country so people don't have to drive a long ways every year.
  • Divide into 10 to 12 geographic regions.
  • DIVIDE INTO 5 REGIONS - N,S,E,W, & Midwest 
  • Divide the country into three regions so the specialty rotates on a regular basis making it easier for people to attend. Much like it is now. 
  • Do a random numbering system ( lottery draw)
  • East, Middle and West should be the three regions. That way the event rotates from coast to coast and back to the middle of the country and we don't have to worry so much about drawing more lines. It will only lead to gerrymandering.
  • geographic
  • Geographic location, i.e. (New England, Southeast, Northwest, etc.) I feel that Alaska should either be included in the NW, or designated as a separate region.
  • Geographic regions
  • Geographic regions: I don't believe there is any broad geographic region which is underrepresented by regional clubs, and basing it on regional membership would seem to penalize heavily [Berner] populated areas like the East Coast.
  • geographical areas, northwest, southwest, central south, central north, etc & Canada
  • Geographically
  • geography; I cannot imagine any other sort of system; If it based on numbers of members or numbers of clubs, then there will be many, many regions on the east coast, west coast, and mid-west with a good part of the country being lumped into one region even if the clubs and members are over a thousand miles from each other. That would be too crazy. 
  • have regions based on geographic locations, where a regional club is generally located. In the past it was always East Coast, Mid-West, West Coast. We have more southern clubs now so can have Northeast, Northern Mid-West, West, Southeast, Southern middle of the country, Southwest, etc. With the ever-increasing problem of flying dogs this type of rotation will permit most attendees to bring dogs to most of the events.
  • How close each regional club is geographically, regional club member numbers, and whether the regional club could financially afford to host a National. 
  • I believe the regions should be divided in three zones geographically (i.e. West Coast, Central States, East Coast). Of course, thought should also be given to the number of clubs in those regions. Regions could be broken out further but I feel they should encompass as many member clubs as possible to eliminate the possibility that the Specialty stays in an area too long. If three regions are used, no one geographic location would be repeated sooner that every three years, thus ensuring that as many different people and dogs as possible are able to participate in a National Specialty. (I know that I would be very sad if it stayed anywhere permanently or even for 5 years. Five years is often the extent of a show life of our dogs and far too often the entire 
  • I think the more data you input the more definitive answer you will come up with.
  • I think very broad regions similar to the current informal system of east, midwest, west would offer more options geographically for each specialty and would include enough clubs for a variety of potential partnerships as specialty hosts.
  • Location....just like an EXPO or World's Fair
  • National club members that don't participate in a region club shouldn't have much say; if you aren't willing to work, then you cannot complain.
  • No other way is fair. It takes alot of people to do a show. If you do it by clubs, and they don't have enough members, it's not going to be fun for ANYONE.
  • Nos., interest and enthusiasm. We all know it takes only a few active, conscientious workers and most clubs only have a small portion of their club actually work. You can't make people establish a club or work--only create incentives for them to want to do so.
  • Not sure how many members it takes to put on a specialty but I think a few committed members would be more productive than a lot of members that don't want to put one on.
  • Assuming rotating specialties are assigned by region, we would then need to determine how the specialty would be managed within the region. Select one of the following options that you think would be best. Multiple Choice

      No Answer 47 (11.3%)
      Each recognized regional club in the region must take their turn on a rotating basis.  23 ( 5.5%)
      A consortium of clubs in that region would host the specialty with a joint effort.  145 (34.9%)
      Each region should agree to their own method and report this agreement to the BMDCA.  128  (30.8%)
      Each region should have a permanent specialty committee consisting of BMDCA members in that region.  46 (11.1%)
      Other 27  ( 6.5%)
    Assuming rotating specialties are assigned by region, we would then need to determine how the specialty would be managed within the region. If you answered other to the above question, please elaborate.
  • 2 things it should be a consortium of the regional clubs but with a permanent committee selected (by the BMDCA of members in that region)
  • A club, or a consortium of clubs could put on a specialty. An either-or situation.
  • A consortium could be the model and the group can make their own decision on who does what. That way the stronger group or individuals could still take charge. No reason to stipulate the extent of each clubs contribution.
  • A permanent national BMDCA committee would be responsible for basic specialty needs, i.e. hotel negotiations, superintendent, AKC approval, etc. Get a "pro" convention coordinator to get best deals. A local consortium of clubs would add local flavor and uniqueness.
  • and National members that aren't in the regional clubs should also help
  • and not even all those tasks need be limited to the consortium club members.
  • At this time, I think you'll need to stay fluid and see if setting future guidelines are needed.
  • Basically, I don't think the Regional Committee idea will work.
  • Certain regions will certainly have more active members as well as resources to draw from. I would like to see a combination of the above answer as well as rotating the main responsibility within the regional clubs in that particular area. The "host" club could be guided by the regional specialty committee. One concern with multiple regional clubs hosting a specialty is that the work usually ends up being done by a majority from one club and then the issue of finances being shared equally becomes an issue. I would like to see a committee - whether it be the BMDCA or a regional committee - be more supportive in guiding the host club when planning and running the specialty.
  • Each CLUB in that region would be given the OPTION to host...
  • Each region should take the specialty on a rotating basis, and they could combine efforts if necessary in the less populated areas. This assumes that BMDCA will still help out with certain expenses.
  • Hopefully, someone has developed a time line manual that would be helpful to anyone planning the specialty. A National officer could be assigned to oversee and assist the rotating region in coordinating the details. A National officer should be assisting the hosting club to assure expenses stay in line and/or a budget is established.
  • I chose this answer because I believe it the most just and fair, but am not opposed to member clubs forming consortiums to maximize available resources and produce a better end product. However, the forming of a consortium should not change the fact that each member club must take their turn; if a consortium is formed from three member clubs, each of the three will still come up in rotation and it will be up to the club(s) to decide how best to plan and execute the event. National should adopt a new charter stating that each recognized member club will be held responsible for hosting a National Specialty as part of the club’s acceptance by the BMDCA. Existing clubs that have never hosted a Specialty (like our club) should be first on the list to host an upcoming event. Newly ratified clubs in the future should be put in rotation after a probationary period set by National. If a club(s) want to still volunteer to host one, that should be allowed and be encouraged. 
  • I feel that it would be difficult to have many people over a wide area manage a specialty...each club has some cohesiveness that sometimes makes it easier to work together...Putting on a show is a massive undertaking!
  • I have a hybrid answer - of choices 3 and 4 above - I think each region should have a permanent specialty committee, and also each region should decide on how they are going to handle the responsibility. I think having a permanent regional committee, no matter how the rotation is handled, would be helpful - something to provide continuity.
  • I like two options - that a consortium of the clubs would host the specialty jointly, but also that they should be given the option to decide what works best for them and report that to the BMD
  • I suppose this is the ideal - as it spreads the burden around as much as possible
  • I think a consortium would be confusing. Let individual clubs take charge with guidance from the BMDCA
  • If all the clubs were roughly the same size, I think a joint committee would work well. Then each club can take their turn, with the assistance of the other clubs. However, some regions may work better if two or more clubs joined together to host the specialty. I guess I'd prefer that each region decide on their own, with guidance (and approval) from the BMDCA.
  • If the club is too small to undertake a National they should have the option to co-chair with another neighboring club.
  • It is too early to be sure if joint sponsorships can work, although I have several second hand comments that there are problems with co-chair arrangements. Therefor, until proven, I would like one regional club in charge, with one or more other clubs providing support. The other clubs should include an advisory club that has held a national in the last few years. I think this advisory club is important these days since the specialty has grown so large that many new factors are now important.
  • Let groups of interested individuals form and host specialties
  • Let the clubs in that region decide which one is to host it and since it is a rotation clubs should have an opportunity to host again. Look at facilities, member numbers and organization for this.
  • no comment
  • Not sure that having regions will be much benefit. Normally, the club that is closest to the specialty site will end up doing most of the work.
  • There has been some concern expressed about availablity of sites. Which of the following statements best fits your opinion on the subject? Multiple Choice

      No Answer 37  ( 8.9%)
      One site and all specialties held there. 6 ( 1.4%)
      A permanent site selected in each region.  13  ( 3.1%)
      Sites can be reused if needed, but not a mandatory permanent site.  350 (84.1%)
      Different sites selected by that particular year's host, sites cannot be used twice.  10 ( 2.4%)
    Please add any additional comments here.
  • - unless the facilities clearly warrant such a selection
  • A permanent site might make the Nationals on the east coast all the time and make a hardship for westerns. I think the Nat'l club should help with more of the cost of putting on the nationals.
  • 1) I think it is very important to rotate the specialty around the country. 2) There is always a problem when hard and fast rules are implemented. Therefore, to the extent that it is possible to rely on common sense, I think the regions hosting the specialty should be allowed to vary the "rules" to the extent necessary to insure that they are able to pull off the event. These are increasingly massive events, and I know that within each region some clubs will/may have their own petty grievances with other clubs. I think that when the regions are broken up into collective areas, it will be necessary to insure that the clubs within each region are compatible and will be able to work together to insure a well run specialty.
  • A national specialty committee could exist but the site could rotate between regions.
  • A permanent site has it's benefits (stability and consistency), but I feel that by rotating the site, it would allow more flexibility in the planning and would allow people who would never be able to travel across country an opportunity to attend the Specialty when it came to their region. It would also help to keep the Nationals on a national level, rather than becoming a glorified Regional Specialty.
  • A permanent site may not be possible, we have lost many a site after a specialty including the Marriott here in Kansas City and the YMCA in Colorado.
  • A plan such as I have selected will require that regional clubs work together. It appeared that Heartland and SE Wisconsin did very well at combining their efforts this year. I hope that all the work behind the scenes went as well as the final result that I saw at Lake Lawn. If there are clubs whose members are not as easy going as our dogs and who can not exhibit the teamwork we strive for in the obedience and draft rings, then problems are bound to occur. If that happens, I would hope that there would be a facilitator at the National level who could remind them to emulate their dog's attitudes and work ethic. That National "specialty advisor" or "specialty counselor" could help groups by providing a workbook of sorts of what needs to be done with a time-table. If each group made notes of things that worked or didn't work for them and why, there would be no need for folks to re-invent the wheel in planning each specialty. I wouldn't want to see such a thing used as a crutch or automatic model each year because I like the regional flavor that each group brings to our specialties; but some guidance would be very helpful for folks who have never planned an event of this magnitude. Cost is also a factor high in the minds of clubs. Many can not afford to support a National Specialty. That is why I like the idea of geographic regions whose clubs work together. Computers and e-mail can make this a much easier task than it used to be. Thank you for this forum for our input.
  • Again...BID IT OUT...there are cities who would find a place for us with the amount of money our people spend. We would probably be good for about $250,000 to any local economy
  • Although I like the idea of a permanent specialty committee in each region, I think the clubs would do better to choose their own method of determining their specialty committee in order to ensure cooperation of clubs.
  • Always an added benefit of going to the specialty is seeing different parts of the U.S. I enjoy going to different places each year. There are some sites I would not mind returning to, but for the most part, I would like different sites each y
  • ANY person who jeopardizes the use of a specialty site by trashing a hotel room should have their name well publicized in as many different venues as possible, and be banned forever from participating in another Specialty. This behavior is the most callous disregard for the club, other dog owners, and reflects poorly on the breed and the club. It will also tend to make it impossible to have any sort of permanent site selection more than any other single cause.
  • As I mentioned - two or three sites as permanent locations with rotating club sponsorship.
  • At last count, there are over 150 breeds recognized by AKC, many of which have regional/national clubs who host regional/national specialties. If we haven't done so already, I believe it would be prudent to send this questionnaire (or one similar) to find out about their practices. Afterall, why reinvent the wheel? Best regards and good luck! Phil and Susan Henderson Yorba Linda,
  • BMDCA should consider contracting professional assistance just to find sights large enough with easy access for our specialty show. For example I live in NYS. I have no idea of a location large enough & will to hold a BMD specialty show. 
  • BMDCA should provide a Specialty Advisor/Coordinator as a resource for those members organizing and running the National Specialty.
  • Club partnerships will likely be the best way to get more of the smaller regional clubs involved in running a specialty they would not dream of tackling on their own, but we should not exclude the larger clubs from hosting on their own if they so desire. More and more we are also seeing individuals from different regions volunteering for specific tasks. This should also be welcomed and encouraged. Many specialty tasks can be planned long distance, such as trophies, auctions, raffles, speakers, etc
  • Considering the BMDCA parent organization on the whole does very little for regional clubs, it seems a bit presumptuous to sound inferential that regional clubs will be "selected" (Implying indirectly...forced?) without their consent in a rotation plan to host, or help host a National Specialty.
  • Different sites add to the fun of a specialty. If you find a site that is perfect for a specialty then don't restrict the use to one time. That will only make the following years more difficult. Planning for a large event like this from far away could be very difficult so I think the host club should be able to have it close to their home for the purpose of better planning. If not, all must expect and accept details to fall thru the cracks.
  • Do to family and work obligations as well as travel limitations (problems with flying dogs) it may not be possible to travel widely to Specialties. Rotating them throughout the country would give more people the opportunity to attend a Specialty when it is in their area of the country. Although "core" membership may not change much from year to year, general membership comes and goes and assigning a Specialty Committee may stress "core" membership more than necessary. Putting on a Specialty is almost a full time job and you may be hard pressed to find members willing to take on that responsibility. On the other hand, as a member of a local all breed club and it's show committee, I understand better than many the ins and outs of putting on a show. Our local club tends to use the same people for the committee heads every year as they are familiar with the needs and requirements of the show and are thereby better able to fulfill the positions completely and efficiently. I don't feel you can assign a responsibility as large as a Specialty to a club and hope they come through with a successfull show. Clubs need to be interested and willing to place all of this work into a show. Is there a Specialty Show "Guide" that outlines for each Specialty giving club the proceedures for giving a Specialty, include necessary time lines? Most people do not understand how far in advance things need to be done to fulfill AKC requirements and to be able to get things to the Superintendent so they are mailed in a timely manner. Does each successive club add comments and suggestions for the next club. I worked on setting up and printing the 2000 Specialty Planning Booklet. As I am in the printing business I was well versed in getting the printing set up and done. However, less experience people could possibly use a sound guideline, complete with previous clubs trials, successes and failures. Having an on-line spot where each successive club could go to down-load the information may make getting this information easy. And each Specialty giving club could go to the site after their show and post comments, concerns, etc in the form of a post show report, perhaps in a questionaire format. I hope I haven't been too verbose. Thank you for permitting me the forum to express my opinion. Marian Fenlon
  • Encourage the show committee to use a new site. (Rotation within the region, if possible)
  • Everyone should have the opportunity to go to a national specialty. Having them held in various cities across the country makes this more possible then having them at the same location each year. 
  • Finding a show site will always be the most difficult task no matter what region it is in. At some time in the future we will probably have to accept a site that will not fit all of our needs and be spread out in different locations. As the number of entries continues to increase so will the difficulty of finding a large enough location for us all.
  • Finding a site within a specific region that suitably accommodates the number of people and dogs is becoming much more difficult to acquire. The National Specialty has become more a family vacation and therefore it is thought that accommodations must be made for varying forms of entertainment and sightseeing. While this is very nice, isn't the real purpose of the Specialty to meet with other Berner folks, look at dogs and talk dogs? 
  • Going to different sites and areas is part of the fun of going to a specialty, especially for families where the specialty is a vacation...also, some part of the nation are more convenient than others, for everyone...I liked the rotation across the country.
  • Good sites are literally few and far between. Many hotels/resorts don't want to host a weeklong convention of 300+ large furry dogs and their people. This is one reason why the Specialty should be hosted by a region, with different clubs cooperating in putting it on: there may not be a suitable site in each Club's local area.
  • Have several regional specialties each year; smaller, simpler more manageable shows with fewer activities at each. Concentrate on activities that the dog was bred for, not what the owners were bred for--like spending money and shopping. Each year the current single specialty tries to outdo the previous one. 
  • Have the Specialty end on Saturday not Sunday.
  • Have you contacted other National Clubs and asked how they do their specialties? I am sure they would help and tell us what works for them and what doesn't. But I do think the specialty should be in all parts of the country so that everyone gets a chance to see the best we have to offer.
  • Having the Specialty held in various areas of the US allows more opportunities for individuals to attend. Sometimes the distances are too far and expenses to get there too high.
  • host to select site. I dissagree that they cannot be used twice. If they worked well once, they should be able to use the site again
  • Hosting a national specialty is a LOT of work. (I know, I helped with two of them.). The BMDCA should not dictate procedures to the regional clubs and should not force any club to do it. If a club does not have the manpower and/or the interest, enthusiasm, and willingness to take this task on, and hosting a specialty is not supported by the majority of the members of that club, it could conceivably destroy, or at least severely weaken, that club. The health of the regional clubs is more important than having a specialty each year!
  • I also think a permanent site per region is an option. I do not like options 1 or 4 - only one permanent site, or saying that sites cannot be re-used. I can see some practical reasons for re-using sites (although this might diminish the "vacation aspect"). So, I feel the above option is the most flexible.
  • I am exceedingly grateful to all the folks who have worked to put on the Nationals I have attended.
  • I believe if a site is good, then it should be re-used. 
  • I believe regional is the best option. I work with a group now that rotates their meetings east, middle and western regions. It works well and gives everyone a meeting close to home. I think especially since we are talking about people possibly always having to fly a dog to enter events you would alienate part of the club if you chose 1 permanent location. Some would never get to show their veterans for sure.
  • I believe that the excitement of a national show is the different sites. The show should be rotated geographically with a host club combining with other area clubs. The site itself should be chosen by the host club. If the site was used before and it was an excellent site, use it again, if not, find a new one. 
  • I did not attend this year’s specialty. The location was hard to get to and the shortage of rooms a factor. 
  • I don't mind reusing sites within regions but I would like to see rotating regions so everyone can feasibly get to one national or another. I also think it is important to rotate the regions so we get to see the variations and representations of what's taking place in our breed.
  • I don't show my Berner at this point, but am very likely to so sometime in the future with a Berner that I own. Having a specialty close to where I live would help in my eventually showing a Berner of mine.
  • I favor a standing National Specialty Committee, under the direction of the Specialty Coordinator(s, that includes the Show Chairs and Assistant Chairs of the previous three years specialties, as well as knowledgeable and resourceful individuals chosen by the Coordinator(s)These individuals Would be available via the website or directly and would serve as a major resource for each new Show Committee. If a National Specialty committee would actually take over Specialty management, the pool of talent and knowledge would rapidly shrink; Responsibility builds pride in accomplishment. I believe Specialties should be assigned on a regional basis according to membership numbers. If more than one club is present in a region a consortium of the clubs should plan the Specialty, but ONE CLUB should have the primary administrative responsibility and authority. 
  • I feel flexibility will help. Such as allowing consortiums and individual clubs, site usage as can be attained with multiple usage, providing we don't loose any more nice sites. I find it hard to go to Specialties in the east but am glad to have them in closer, from the center of the country to the west. So I feel we should have the same opportunity to go to as many specialties as we can as those in the east. Though a permanent site would give stability, it wouldn't provide variety and interest (for more than the first couple of years) and though it would be advantageous to some, it would be disadvantageous to others all the time. A permanent committee would be harder to maintain-even with rotations so no one gets burned out, it would be easiest for those close and would limit the wider range of volunteers available. These are my opinions and thoughts and why I answered the way I did.
  • I feel our national specialty should not be held indoors in the middle of a city, in a high rise surrounded by cement. Our dogs are too large and the numbers too great for this type of facility. Rhode Island was great and so was Wisconsin. 
  • I feel very strongly that the specialty be held in different regions every year. I realize how difficult it is to host a specialty but if it rotates and every one know the rotation preparations and plans can be made well ahead of time.
  • I have been to the last five specialties and I am part of the committee working on 2001. Each Specialty has been great in its own way, but I can see how a new group struggles to do something that group has never done before. Many large national organizations have permanent committees that plan the regular meetings and events. I think a permanent committee would be a great way to take the learning curve out of the picture, but then rotate the site to let everyone have equal access. If there is an area of the country without sufficient volunteer support to help the permanent committee, then that area can be skipped until membership support in the region has increased. 
  • I have heard of situations in the past where we have had great sites and because of policy violations regarding dogs in members' rooms, we have been unable to return to these sites. I hope this issue has been strongly addressed and will not impact future sites.
  • I have only been to 2 national specialties (1999 & 2000), but I think the organizing clubs did an excellent job selecting a site and organizing the activities. I would hate to see policy changes made which would take away each host group's initiative and creativity. That's one of the things that make the national specialty special.
  • I just don't think this one can be answered. As beautiful as it is in Western WA, we don't have one really good site to use,,,,,,we may some day but for now, nothing, hence we head to the East side of the state. I also don't think we can set one site as the option may only be available one time. Thinking out loud again, maybe someone (the next club or region to do a specialty) needs to really simplify what the specialty is. I think Arizona did that and I heard it was a wonderful time. That's a pretty board statement but I think you know what I mean.
  • I know that national specialties are a huge amount of work for any regional club. However, I think they need to be rotated around the country to make it easier to everyone to show, and especially to attend!
  • I like the idea of a permanent Specialty committee in each region. It is hard to re-invent the wheel each time a region's turn is up. It would be nice to have a base to start from. I think it would make a lot less work all the way around and a less daunting task for newcomers. 
  • I like the rotation of the Specialties. Different people get to attend thus different dogs. Also, different vendors get to attend.
  • I realize this has been an increasing concern, especially since the increase of BMD's, however, I would hope that clubs continue to volunteer, and make it their decision. It won't be as successful if clubs are demanded to hold specialties. 
  • I really enjoy traveling to different parts of the country to attend specialties. My husband and I use it as vacation time. I would hate to see it become "just another show". Each section of the country has so much to offer, but I also know that some specialties will be just too far to travel.
  • I strongly feel that there should be a standing committee that oversees the Specialty Chair(s), I realize this is in place..but support is lacking....and that information should be in print on how a National is run...from the minor groundskeeping to the more complex issue of fund raising. I think many smaller clubs are concerned with the great amount of money being used and fear the fundraising. Also if there is not BMDCA support, with funds and backup of decisions, why on earth would any club want to host? The National speaks of bank accounts and CD's, yet gives no incentives to the smaller clubs for hosting such a large scale event....there had better be a plan to support small clubs if that plan succeeds (forcing each club to take a National...or we will be fleeing like rats off a sinking ship. Thanks for reading!!
  • I think asking for input is a SUPER idea.
  • I think it is getting to the point where it is difficult for clubs to find hotel sites which will accommodate a Specialty show (however desirable it is) and need to start considering sites such as fairgrounds and convention centers which have held AKC shows with perhaps more than hotel which are in proximity to each 
  • I think it needs to be by Region on a rotation basis but after that, you have to hope that the clubs within that Region will volunteer to do the specialty or that several clubs will get together to sponsor it cooperatively. I think the sponsoring club(s) have to want to do the specialty or the quality of our specialty will go to pot. There has to be enthusiasm on the club's part and not feel likes it's being shoved down their throat. But, of course, if it's done on a rotating basis, the region will know years ahead that it is their turn and will perhaps put some thought into it. I was involved with gardening organizations for many years and our annual specialty was by region - it worked very well. It was a lot of work for the sponsoring region as they had to prepare tour gardens which took several years in advance. I think another option which might soften this idea is leaving the option available for a region to pass if they didn't feel they could put on a quality specialty. Just my thoughts. Good l
  • I think its best if one yr the national is held in the west coast area/region and the next the east coast area/region.
  • I think one of the biggest problem with hosting the Speciality is the site availability in areas. Most large hotels with grass areas will not permit dogs. I have seen other National Clubs hold their shows in parking lots at the host hotels. I truly hope that Berners will never need to do that. They need to be on grass. Land is getting sparse and hotels are letting the doggie world intrude on the lawns they work so hard to keep nice. The Specialties have become too large. We are fortunate that our wonderful breed does so many activities but it is also a curse. This means the club needs more people to take on the responsibility of these activities and committees. Most of the time the reason for forming different clubs in the same basic region is because of personality clashes. If clubs can not stay formed because of personalities how would 2 or 3 clubs be able to work together for a Specialty. Most clubs (not just dog clubs) have a core of people (usually 5 - 10 depending on # of membership
  • I think that by moving the specialty around the country we are giving everyone a better chance to attend at least a few specialties every few years. Myself, I have not been able to make the east coast specialties , but was able to go to the ca, az and colo. specialties, and will be able to go next year to Spokane. By moving the specialty around we have a better variety of entries from different parts of the country. It is also exciting to travel to a different place each time, even if I cant always get there. 
  • I think we should try to encourage more regional specialties. as clubs gain confidence and member experience at regional specialties they maybe more likely to take on the nationals. Better direction from the BMDCA specialty coordinators would be greatly appreciated. Going through this as a consortium has been mind boggling. It is like guess the right answer until you are wrong game. I would also like to see the specialty guideline book fine tuned and made user friendly. Have more than just one person on the BMDCA specialty coordinator position. Have a committee of committee heads for each required or consistent part of the specialty. Then recruit help from the local group. Hire some one to do research on site locations around the country. Make a master list for all to be able to access. Then clubs won't be so overwhelmed by the size of the task.
  • I was a swim coach for many years in Alaska and I answered this questionnaire in the same way that our championship swim meets were hosted around the state. We were divided into regional areas and were governed by a State board of directors with annual meetings much like we are with the BMDCA. This system worked very well in the state and helped each region and also maintained the best quality meet for Alaska's athletes.
  • I worked with a national non-profit who had a professional convention team in the national office who worked with volunteers onsite. For the most part it worked well as long as the volunteers understood the division of duties. The local clubs volunteered and brought the event to their region as a service to members in that area. The advantage was that the event maintained a level of professionalism that we wanted to present. I think that would be a concern for BMDCA as well. The Club could consider hiring a part-time convention coordinator. It's a lot of work for no pay, but there are some nice free benefits in the industry that might be tempting.
  • I would choose a permanent site be selected, however, that would not make it easy for people to go who live on the opposite side of the country. I feel that if the specialty was held in a permanent part of the country, we would lose attendance. The same people would attend year after year, the same vendors would be there year after year. It is fun to go to the specialty in different parts of the country because new people attend and new vendors are always there.
  • I would not prefer a mandatory site (especially since you can't anyways!). The biggest reason is that who would make the decision on the final site and there is always a division of the country that would feel left out (ie: if always in west, then easterners feel left out and vice versa)
  • Ideally the regional committee would assist in locating and working with the sites available. Contacting other breed clubs for recommendations is a must. Having been active with the 1998 National Specialty I know how important it is to have an excellent repoir with the host site. The hotel used was knowledgeable about dog shows and handled our event with expertise and professionalism that is rarely found.
  • If a site works and the majority of the membership is satisfied with it, by all means, if they will have us back, we should go back. Each time a facility hosts an event like this, they learn from it and can do a better job the next time!
  • If everything was set up ahead of time, Clubs would have a year or two til they knew they'd be hosting the Specialty, and could really make some nice plans. Rotating the Specialty from one side of the Country to the other, affords different people the opportunity to attend the Specialty. I can't even begin to imagine the amount of hard work that goes in to organizing and pulling off a hat's off to all who contribute. Hopefully when it comes out this way in two years, I can do my share. Thank You. 
  • If the decision is made to select a permanent site, I would hope that it would be centrally located - the Purina site in St. Louis would seem the obvious choice. While I don't think that is the best solution, if it comes down to it, that is supposed to be a great site, and obviously shouldn't be a problem re. permanence.
  • If there has been a wonderful location which in my opinion means climate, site, etc. I think it would be nice to have it there again. I definitely do not think they should be held in a hot climate. Our dogs are from Switzerland originally and it is just more fun and also more relaxing to be where it is cool; not hot. I would never want one held in my area just to keep me from driving so far; let's think of our dogs.
  • I'm a new BMD owner, and have not yet joined a regional club, as I am still checking out my options. I think that each region should have a permanent specialty committee and that in each region, that committee should agree to their own method and report this to BMDCA.
  • I'm not the one out there soliciting for a host for the upcoming Specialties, but do we have to do this by assignment? What happens if a club says "we just can't" and begs off for 2 years? Could they be allowed to find their own replacement? How about putting together a list of required events that they must host? Please leave us some leeway to make our own alliances and decisions within this: Location, Duties, Participants, Duration, Supporting Activities, etc.
  • IMO, we cannot lock ourselves into one site - given the fact that several sites I have looked at recently have had bad experiences with dog shows.
  • Interesting ideas. Your survey is a bit biased. "Have a club volunteer and HOPE (emphasis mine) the specialty happens"? You cannot force clubs to host the Specialty. Some clubs are small and others are spread out over large geographic areas. If you select a permanent location, will BMDCA be the club to put on the show and leave the regional clubs out of it? Or will the regional club in that area put on the specialty year after year? What about when some of the smaller regional clubs get big enough and organized enough to put on a Specialty? Will they just lose out? The NCA has a rotating specialty. Regional clubs volunteer several years in advance. It allows the Specialty to showcase dogs from that region, which perhaps wouldn't make it across country if the show were in a different location. There hasn't been a problem with clubs not offering to host the specialty. The problem seems to be finding suitable show sites. The slapping of the wrist of a BMDCA member that caused BMDCA to lose a wonderful show site a few years ago doesn't help the show site situation at all. BMDCA should also be looking at examples from other breeds with similar registration numbers and a similar number of regional clubs and members. The majority of BMDCA members and regional club members have attended one or no specialties and if they went to one show, probably went to the one in their area. Rotating specialties offer people from different regions of the country to see a large number of dogs, it allows dogs from that region to be showcased and it offers showgoers a different experience every year.
  • It is to the breed's advantage to move the specialty around. To assume that only one area is competent to host an event such is this is a poor reflection of the remainder of the club as a whole. A hosting package that would guide the new committee vs having them re-invent the wheel each year would be most helpful. Participation by both new and "old" would allow for growth in the club and prevent the will of a few to overshadow the whole, an "old boys club" so to speak.
  • It works for other breed clubs.
  • Its easy to say that's how we do it, BUT in years past, it was assumed that specialties would rotate across the country. I still think that should happen - each BMDCA club member deserves the right to be able to attend a specialty in their area. Not everyone has the means or time available to travel across the country to attend the national. It should be a available to all club members - and not just the privileged. The national should be a forum for education and by not making this available to ALL members we have taken away the core foundation of the club - TO EDUCATE. Also to consider is that not all members are willing to travel with their dogs by air. Each of us has a special bond with our dogs and want to "share" our dogs with like enthusiasts. This forum MUST be kept available to ALL.
  • Members need to be more considerate of the sites, so that the sites will be available if needed again. I can’t believe the number of adults who seem unable to "follow the rules". These people need to stop spoiling it for everyone else.
  • Minnesota has at least 3 sites vying for the show, all of which normally host all-breed shows so that they already know what they are getting into. Although the local "club" has no members interested in doing this, there is a consortium of Berner owners ready and willing to put on a Specialty.
  • My answer to the first question is based on there being a permanent place for the Specialty, and a varied committee. I don't think there should always be exactly the same people doing the specialty each year. And I think you need to make sure that the committee has a variety of people on it. i.e breeders, pet owners; that have varying, conformation, obedience, draft etc.
  • My husband and I really enjoy the National Specialty. Along with all the wonderful dogs, people, and events, we use it as an excuse to see different parts of the country. Exploring new areas is part of the fun of the specialty. It would be a shame if that weren’t the case anymore.
  • My opinion on this issue shouldn't hold much weight since I have neither shown my dogs nor attended a national specialty. However, if one were held in the Salt Lake City vicinity, I would probably attend (but not show). Thanks -- 
  • No matter what is decided there will many unhappy MTN dog owners, If the game is not in my yard I will not play.
  • None of the site selections offers that you have listed. Region to region Nationals give everyone a chance to go to a National without traveling across country. Also sets a pattern as to what geographic location the shows will be in. as every 4th. year it will be in a region close to at east coast and going to west coast assuming that there are 4 regions, then beginning with the pattern again. This also gives a region the knowledge of "someone needs to bid on this." The Board should have the right to appoint if no one bids in a region to be able to hold the regional pattern. I for one am fed up with the Bernese Nationals price tag......This is a showing of the breed not a $$$$$$ eater, so even though I have nominated my litter I may or may not ever go to another one. I have attended one Bernese National and was VERY put off by the "extra" events. I want to go to a National to look at dogs and talk with other breeders, not go on hay trips..