The Kennel Club guidance on restarting shows and Events

A safe and phased return to licensed events

Following the Government’s ‘roadmap’ announcements, The Kennel Club will not be extending its previous recommendation to cancel future licensed events but supports a safe and phased return to licensed events. New guidance for clubs and societies which might be considering holding licensed shows and other events as lockdown restrictions are eased across the UK has been issued.

In releasing this information, The Kennel Club is naturally mindful of the large loss of life caused by the pandemic over the past year and acknowledges that a certain proportion of people who normally attend Kennel Club events may feel apprehensive about when they should return. As always, the health and safety of all participants must remain a top priority.

Clubs and societies must of course follow Government and local restrictions and guidance at all times, and that these can and will vary depending on the Governments of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Societies should also take into account where their exhibitors and other attendees may wish to travel from, and note any difference in the government guidance for these areas.

The new guidance offers a step-by-step guide to pre-event planning, focusing on an essential financial risk assessment which societies are strongly advised to conduct so that an informed decision whether to go ahead with an event can be made.  A sample financial risk assessment document is available on The Kennel Club website at (scroll down the page to the ‘financial planning’ tab). This document can be used and adapted to suit each type of show or competition. 

Those considering organising a licensed event this year and even next year are strongly advised to prepare a financial risk assessment to determine whether their society’s finances are strong enough to absorb a late show cancellation should circumstances outside of the society’s control make it impossible for the event to go ahead.

As part of this exercise, it is The Kennel Club’s view that it is essential for societies to review their supplier contracts, including the venue contract to clearly understand the lead-in times for payments for each of these. The individual timelines can be added to the risk assessment to provide a clear picture of when the decision to go ahead with an event needs to be taken and the financial implications of a cancellation after this date.

The financial risk assessment will be a useful tool to help monitor expenditure against budget during the whole event planning process.

The Kennel Club recommends that clubs and societies follow the following steps when planning future events:

Step 1

  • Review all supplier contracts e.g. marquees, catering, toilets to identify key dates when payments are required.
  • Add dates and payments to the financial risk assessment.

Step 2

  • Review venue contract and contact venue to identify (a) when key payments are due (b) identify venue’s additional requirements for Covid security and show’s Covid risk assessment (c) identify any additional costs as a result, and (d) confirm requirements for venue capacity and assess this requirement for its effect on the event’s estimated income and expenditure.
  • Add dates and cost implications to the financial risk assessment.

Step 3

  • Contact local authority (usually the Environmental Health Office which manages compliance with local regulations). Establish what it expects to receive and when to allow for its consideration as to whether the event can go ahead. A standard letter about licensed events is available on The Kennel Club website.
  • Add any additional resulting expenditure to the Financial Risk Assessment.

Kathryn Mansfield, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The Kennel Club appreciates that many societies have been placed in very difficult circumstances over the past year or so and most have taken the decision to cancel events, sometimes more than once, due to the prevailing Government restrictions and the course the pandemic has taken.

“Now that all Governments are working cautiously to the opening up of society, The Kennel Club fully understands that some societies will naturally want to start planning for future licensed events while maintaining the health and safety of all attendees as a main priority.

“Societies are encouraged to make use of the financial risk assessment and guidance available on The Kennel Club website to help them make an informed decision about whether to proceed with plans for an event, and should also look to publish their Covid security measures as soon as possible, for the benefit of exhibitors, competitors and all other participants who will then also be able to make a more informed decision about their participation.”

Tony Allcock OBE, Kennel Club Chairman, added: “The past year has been the most turbulent one within living memory for the vast majority of people who take part in licensed Kennel Club events. Among the greatest frustration felt has no doubt been that of organisers who have sometimes faced the test of postponing an event only to find out later that the new chosen date is not viable either.

“This has resulted in having to book, re-book and cancel venues, as well as dealing with all the extra paperwork involved in rescheduling judging appointments and other arrangements. The Kennel Club definitely sympathises with everyone having to process the increased workload created by such a situation.

“I would urge event organisers to make good use of the guidance on The Kennel Club website, which is updated whenever possible. The safe and phased return to the hobby we all love is something we all look forward to more than ever and I personally cannot wait to greet as many of you in person as I can when that day finally arrives.”

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