YES - exhibit and bring your medals to a wider audience.
Why? - because it is a key driver in stimulating discussion and widening participation in the hobby.
New standards now apply in the judging criteria - see guidelines below.
Read the experience of a first time exhibitor in 2010 who went on to achieve Gold in 2011.
Go on - be brave - give them an airing and share with others the items that you have been the custodian of for so long - experience the interest, enjoyment and new information gleaned from fellow collectors just like yourself. Enjoy your collection in a different way!
MY EXPERIENCE OF BEING A FIRST TIME EXHIBITOR
by Mike Atkinson
First hand experience from a First Time Exhibitor Mike Atkinson
The aim of the Convention Exhibition is to encourage as many members as possible to exhibit in order to present their knowledge and share the results of their research with other members.
To enable members to present their exhibits in the way that is most appropriate to their chosen subject there are four exhibition classes:
Single Subject Class
The scope and judging criteria for each class is detailed below.
Scope of the Exhibition Classes
Open Class - This is the broadest category of competition and covers all aspects of the field of orders, decoration and medals, with the exception of those areas covered by the Single Subject and Research Classes.
Single Subject Class - This class is for medal(s), order(s) or decoration(s) awarded to one person. The class covers the award of a single medal or a group of medals to one person.
Research Class - The Research Class enables exhibitors who have undertaken significant research where, because of its nature (whether in terms of scale, depth or detail) does not lend itself to the telling of a story, or to artistic displays. This class gives members who undertake this type of research the opportunity to share their research skills and interests. Due to the special nature of this class, the judging criteria are different from the other two.
Non-Competitive Class -This class is for collections or archives of material that do not easily lend themselves to exhibition in the competitive classes outlined above. Exhibition in this class does not prohibit members from exhibiting the same, or similar, material in the competitive classes in the future. Likewise, material that has been previously exhibited in the competitive classes may be re-shown in the same, or in an up-dated form in the Non-Competitive Class. This class is also suitable for those members who do not wish to be judged but, who never-the-less, wish to participate in the exhibition and share their knowledge with other members.
If there is any doubt over which category an exhibit should be shown in, the judges are happy to provide non-binding guidance.
Competitive Classes - Judging Criteria
Open and Single Subject Classes:
In these classes, the judges are looking for evidence of the nature and depth of research undertaken and the presentation of the research in a clear, attractive and informative format. Judging for the Open and Single Subject Classes are based on the same criteria. The breakdown of points for the Open and Single Subject Classes is as follows:
Research and Documentation - 50 points
Supporting documentation, accurate, comprehensive, appropriate, difficulty of finding information, number of sources used.
Presentation/Visual Impact - 30 points
Imaginative, innovative, layout, use of supporting material.
Educational Value - 20 points
Importance and impact of event(s)/items(s) displayed or special nature of content.
The Research Class sets out to demonstrate detailed research and to show appropriate, supporting documentation.Visual impact is less relevant and hence using the same marking schedule as the other two classes is not appropriate.The Research Class is heavily weighted towards the quality and depth of research. The value of the research and its subsequent availability to the wider research community is also important.A brief résumé of the sources consulted (similar to the bibliography in a book) would be a significant aid to the judges.
Research and Documentation - 70 points
Depth and scale of work undertaken
Diversity & difficulty of obtaining source material
Difficulty of finding information
Level of detail and accuracy of work
Educational value - 20 points
Importance and impact of event(s)/item(s) displayed or special nature of content
Value and availability of research to the research community
Presentation - 10 points
Layout and accessibility
In the Open, Single Subject and Research Classes, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded for those exhibits that, in the opinion of the judging panel, achieve the required standards. Exhibits in the Non-Competitive Class, are not judged and are not eligible for the award of medals or other prizes.
The Best in Show cup and Best First Time Exhibitor award (The Henry Pownall Memorial Cup) will be presented irrespective of the number of medals awarded.
1. Each exhibitor will be allocated one table of 4 or 6 feet. A table covering will be provided.
2. The display must be the property of the exhibitor and any item borrowed to complete the display must be clearly indicated.
3. Although professional display techniques (mounting, lettering, cases, supports, etc.,) may be used, the judges will view favourably a high degree of personal effort.
4. All copies, replicas, replacements, specimens or any altered or questionable items must be clearly indicated. Failure to comply with this ruling may result in disqualification.
5. Any competitive display extending beyond the table length will not be judged as a valid competitive exhibit, save for those Exhibitors using OMRS supplied hire cases where two cases laid "end to end" on a 6 foot table may, due to their manufacture, overlap the table ends by approximately 1". Other larger displays using non-OMRS supplied cases or other display materials may be exhibited on a non-competitive basis.
6. The Convention organisers are unable to provide any aids to display, including electrical devices. Nor can it guarantee the availability of power points.
7. Leaning space and power points are provided on a "first come, first served basis", i.e. when a formal booking and payment have been received.
8. The judges generally prefer privacy when judging and you will not be required to be present to answer questions whilst they are assessing your exhibit. The judges' decision is final.
9. Any complaints by Exhibitors should be made to the General Secretary as soon as possible on the day of the Convention, so that they can be considered before the results of the judging are announced.
The judges, based on past experience, offer the following guidance:
1) Judges want the exhibition to be an enjoyable but challenging experience.
2) In competitive classes, particularly the Open and Single Subject classes, give your exhibit a theme and use the materials to tell 'the story' and stick to it. An exhibit that informs and educates will score more highly and will be of more benefit to other members than one that is a collected mass of related materials, but without a clear under-pinning theme.
3) The judges put aside the 'value' of the items on display when judging the exhibit. While the orders, decorations and medals on display will be at the heart of an exhibit, it is the research, and the story that this tells and how it is presented that is key to a successful display.
4) Given that you may not be present when your exhibit is judged, please make sure that it is obvious which research sources you have used. A brief résumé of the sources consulted (similar to the bibliography in a book) would be a significant aid to the judges.
Exhibitors will be able to enter the Convention Hall at 08.00 hours to set up their displays and may be accompanied by one additional helper. Although the Society has arranged reasonable security in the Convention area, it is not responsible for any loss or damage that may occur during the Convention. All exhibitors are advised therefore to make their own security and insurance arrangements.
All exhibitors, competitive and non-competitive, are respectfully asked not to dismantle their exhibits before the end of the day to allow their displays to be fully enjoyed by other members.
We wish you an enjoyable and successful Convention.