The extinguishing of the Olympic flame recently signalled the end of the 30th Modern Olympic Games, which will be remembered for a long time by a lot of people in many respects. The British surpassed themselves, so to speak, with the organisation and running of the games. They proved just how important careful and detailed preparation is for every event. And this is no different for canine events, although even our biggest events can nowhere near match the participation and response levels of the Olympics, of course. You have to wonder why even little known sports can lure so many viewers to the TV screens while our major events, which undoubtedly exist, are mostly well and truly ignored by the TV stations. This topic was dealt with to some extent during the scientific symposium held last year, at which ways were demonstrated in which this aspect can be improved. It is now up to us to analyse and improve this situation. The likely answer to this question is “action”. Nowadays, this requirement would appear to be best met by the Agility discipline, which can usually also attract large numbers of spectators.

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Hans W. Müller
FCI President
5 Questions for a Show: interview with Hélène Denis and Anne-Marie Class

When was the first edition of the show held and how dit it develop?

Advertisement for the first show in Paris in 1881 - the show that can be considered as the first French championship show

The first show organised by the Société Centrale Canine took place in 1881 in the Tuileries. 1863, more than 20 years earlier, already saw nearly 1,000 dogs taking part. When we say that France has a long tradition of dog sport, this is no exaggeration.

Are you happy about this year’s edition?

I think - by all accounts - we can say so. The only think that could have been better would have been to have had more visitors.

How “international” can this event be considered (judges, exhibitors, etc.)?

The panel consisted of 85 judges, 25 of whom (i.e. 30%) came from abroad.
Exhibitors came mainly from France, but also from Belgium (4.27%), Germany (2.8%), the Netherlands (1.32%), Switzerland (1.25%), Italy (1.06%), Spain (0.95%), the United Kingdom (0.48%), Luxembourg, Russia, Poland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Norway, Serbia, Finland, Slovenia, Sweden, Austria - a total of 21 countries.

First page of the 1881 show catalogue

What is your strategy (if any) to attract more exhibitors, public and media attention?

There are two strategies:

  • Here we obviously have the traditional channels: the trade press, with whom we maintain a very good relationship. We make stands available to them and exchange information before and after the event.
  • A visual aid: a poster was designed showing a very French representative - the small Berger des Pyrénées or Pyrenean Sheepdog, the SCC's current mascot.
  • We also relied greatly on modern communication techniques. Entry forms were twice e-mailed to the potential 38,000 exhibitors listed in our database.
  • A special web-page was also set up on the Lorraine Kennel Club's website, containing all information needed to take part.
  • Moreover, the event was advertised on Facebook.


  • In the week before the show, a front-page advertisement appeared every day in the main regional newspaper Le Républicain Lorrain.
  • On-site press conferences were held and press kits were sent out to more than 50 regional media companies.
  • We had a partnership with the City of Metz for holding a children's drawing competition and for having city dignitaries award the prizes in the main ring on Sunday. The city authorities also helped us out with advertising boards and an article appeared in the city newspaper. The City's Cleaning Department was also present, having its own stand at the show.
  • We were also featured on local radio, with ads being broadcast and with a contest for free entry tickets.
  • Internet: We were featured on several websites - the Lorraine Kennel Club website, the web version of the Républicain Lorrain newspaper, and the City of Metz website.
  • There were articles in various newspapers.
  • We were interviewed by the local television channel MIRABELLE.

In addition, the SCC's public relations department sent out press kits to the media - whether specialised in animals or general-interest.

Did you have to take into consideration specific circumstances (social, economic, country-specific, etc.) when preparing and organising this big event?

We need to say that we had bad luck when it was announced (in October 2011) that the Tour de France would be coming through Metz on the Friday and Saturday of the championship show.
Other than the fact that traffic in the city got very congested, public interest for this very popular event (the Tour de France had not been through Metz for the last 12 years) detracted potential visitors' attention from our event.
In addition to these problems, we also had difficulties finding accommodation for all judges and volunteers, and for exhibitors, especially on the Friday.