From the strategic location of the show venue - Palexpo - on the doorstep of the Geneva airport and the French border, to a daily gift for each exhibitor, to large breed rings with plenty of benching space, to critiques being sent electronically to the mobile devices or computers of the exhibitors not more than 5 minutes after judging of their dog is completed. Added to that a free large printed photograph of each Best of Breed, Group and BIS winner, professionally done by top photographers Kynoweb; CAC for every class winner, with the hope that they are able to complete their Swiss champion title over the weekend; CACIBS for all three shows; an international panel with judges from 18 different countries around the world and possibly many other features that I was not aware of, it’s easy to see why the show attracted an entry of 4371 entries over the three days from 31 different countries! It was clearly a show designed to stand out from the rest with the exhibitor firmly as a top priority. When asked why the Friday’s show started at 12.30pm instead of 9pm, Laurent Pichard said it was to help exhibitors to cut down costs by not needing to get a hotel room for the prior night. That’s the sort of levels this team goes to, to make sure the show becomes a must attend one on the calendar of every exhibitor.
To up the ante this year, the organisers did two new things. The first was to introduce the
Supreme BIS competition judged by Adrian Landarte (Uruguay) & Supreme Puppy competition judged by Gerson Ayala (Guatemala) which seemed to be extremely well received, especially as the BIS winners from the first and second day agreed to not enter the group and BIS competition on the corresponding days to ensure there were three separate winners to be chosen for the supreme competition. Truly great sportsmanship from the main winners to increase the excitement of the final competition. Added to this the partnership together with a large trade show in the adjoining hall saw over 30,000 members of the public come through daily and watch the dog show! I couldn’t think of a better way to showcase pedigree dogs to the public and it was nice to see families watching, talking with breeders and taking selfies with their favourite breed of pedigree dogs.
The second thing that the team did was to engage the services of the P1 DOGSHOW team to run the main ring to give it a very sophisticated world class feel and also to do live streaming of the finals via the P1 DOGSHOW and the Geneva Dog show and also shared on the OUR DOGS Facebook pages. The number of viewers each day was mind blowing with over 22,000 viewers following online! To
anyone that doubted the reach and capability of live stream and FB, these numbers may convince you otherwise! The reason for the live streaming was simple - to allow those who were unable to make it there to still be able to watch it and more importantly to give the show more exposure and publicity by letting those who have never been to this show the opportunity to see what was on offer and make plans next join next year’s event. I think this may possibly be the first non world dog show to engage the services of a professional team to run the main ring, provide live streaming, have the large display screens in the main ring as a backdrop, immediate results with names of the winning dogs, owners and country of origin displayed on the screens straight after the awards were handed out, etc. Basically the things we’ve become accustomed to seeing only at world dog shows. I guess having Linda there as a co-commentator did give it a world dog show feel for sure! But the success of this was in large due to the team effort of P1 Dogshow, Online Dog show entries and Kynoweb. The Geneva Dog Show has certainly set the bar at a very high level for any regular international dog show.
The weekend also saw the selection of the Swiss representative for the Eukanuba world challenge at Crufts 2019. Judges were selected by a random draw from amongst the all rounder judges on the panel and the three lucky judges whose names were pulled out were Lisbeth Mach, Ferdinando Asnaghi and yours truly. Six Swiss dogs had qualified and the eventual winner was the Black Russian Terrier
Ch Deneb-Keitos Nastas’ya, who scored the highest points from the three judges and in reserve place was the Great Dane.
Details of the main winners and the judges are listed under the photos attached with this article, but it was worth noting that two of the BIS winners had UK connections, with the Bouvier who ultimately clinched the Supreme BIS award being bred in the UK by Fiona Lambert, handled by Michael Craig and having flown over for this weekend of shows. In fact there were UK exhibitors aplenty at this show, ranking in the top 10 number of foreign exhibitors.
For me as a show organiser, the weekend greatly impressed me with the lengths the Geneva Dog Show team went to for the exhibitors and also the investment in using professional teams and technology to set themselves apart from the rest. Kudos to them for taking the risk and making the investment as it’s certainly paid off.
When asked what they had planned to make next year’s shows different, both Laurent and Barbara said that we’d have to watch this space as they have a few more tricks up their sleeves.
I for one can’t wait to find out!
3 days of international competition in the most famous show in Switzerland - see the live stream here!