Thursday, March 21, 2013

Follow-up to AKC NAC Experience

One thing that I keep coming back to in my reflection on the trip is how smoothly the event ran. Check-in was a little bobbly, but at the front of the line we really didn't feel the 'pain' some other teams felt. The remainder of the event ran smoothly from an exhibitor perspective.

On Friday morning, one of the rings wasn't ready - there was an issue with the footing - which was a safety issue. Instead of debating or trying to fix it, the warm-up round got moved from ring one to ring two, and time to beat was moved from ring two to ring six. Overnight rings one and two were re-grated and fixed. The footing the rest of the weekend was perfect in those two rings.

Exhibitors were not required nor expected to volunteer for this event. Exhibitors could course-build, but even arriving at 6am all three mornings all the course-building was complete when we arrived. The course building elves were clearly busy overnight. I saw the AKC reps that we're accustomed to seeing at local trials really digging in to course build, script, gate steward - those AKC folks worked very hard to make this event run smoothly.

That leads into the army of volunteers who were not there to show their dogs - but showed up to work (like dogs) all four (or five) days. Seriously - I don't know where AKC found all of these people - but there was an army of upbeat workers staffing six full rings of agility from 7am straight on through 7pm. There was a small tote-board near the show office that mentioned what jobs needed to be filled, but by the time I was unconflicted workers were all in place. What did these workers get for giving up their weekends? I think they got t-shirts and raffle tickets (for a kick-ass worker raffle).

A great deal of planning goes into these events and it shows. Thank you AKC for putting on such an awesome event and hats off to the volunteers that worked so hard so that I (and others) could spend a fun weekend playing with our dogs.

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