Just over a year ago, I mentioned an idea for a regional bonsai show. It’s time for an update!
For starters, Eric Shrader and I have decided to move the event to next year. We’re aiming for the first or second weekend in November, 2022. The main reason for this is to give exhibitors more time to prepare their trees for the show. It also allows us to avoid conflict with the U.S. National Exhibition which will be held this fall in Rochester, New York.
We’ve also selected a name for the event: The Pacific Bonsai Expo! The idea is to identify the location of the event without providing any limits on who we expect to participate.
For those who missed the previous post, here’s a rundown of the plan:
- The event will be held in the San Francisco Bay Area
- The event is open to everyone; out of state submissions are welcome
- Jurors will determine which trees are accepted for display
- We’re aiming to display 75+ trees
- There will be a large vendor area
- The event will feature traditional and non-traditional displays
Over the coming months, Eric and I will refine our ideas for the event ahead of the submission period this coming fall and winter. Here are some of the things we’re working on.
We’re evaluating different approaches to judging so we can recognize outstanding entries in different categories. To ensure broad participation in the judging process, we’re considering inviting each bonsai club in Northern California to nominate a judge to participate in a panel. There are a lot of ways to fill a panel, so please let us know if you have any suggestions.
Western white pine displayed by Eric Schrader at the 2019 Bay Area Bonsai Associates Exhibit
One way to encourage participation is to allow sponsors to directly support exhibit awards. Under this model, bonsai vendors, local businesses, or individuals can select awards to sponsor and determine the award levels. If someone wants to encourage non-traditional displays, they can sponsor an award for the Best Non-Traditional Bonsai Display in hopes of attracting submissions to the category.
Juniper displayed by Sean Smith at the 2014 U.S. National Exhibition
Recognizing Bonsai Clubs
As bonsai organizations provide support to enthusiasts and professionals around the world, we’d like to create opportunities for them to participate in the event. This might include noting club affiliations on exhibit displays, encouraging clubs to sponsor exhibitor fees for accepted submissions, and allowing submissions for group displays. Clubs may also contribute by coordinating volunteer activities at the event in areas like docent tours, security, or special events.
Ginkgo displayed at the 2012 Bay Island Bonsai Exhibit
If you’re curious to learn more about the event, check out the recent episode of the Bonsai Wire Podcast in which Andrew Robson interviews Eric Schrader and I about our plans, including info about the a venue we’re excited about on the San Francisco Bay. Listen at:
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