Do make sure that the judges know where they are to meet you. Please provide a contact telephone number.
Make sure car parking facilities are available for your judges.
Do offer the judges comfort facilities on their arrival (remember they may have just driven 70 or 80 miles). If the judges visit in the morning then a drink of tea or coffee would be most welcome.
Consider the use of a 5-minute video or presentation/speech during coffee or at the start of the visit to illustrate winter work or pre-visit activities (don’t however, turn it into a full length feature film)! The judges will wish to discuss your portfolio at this time and an additional 10 minutes maximum has been allocated for this purpose.
Take each section of the judging form and try to ensure the judges see at least one of the areas mentioned. Repetition and concentration on any one section will not gain you extra marks no matter how good it is.
Prepare an itinerary and map to give the judges on arrival, which clearly highlights the judging route.
Do check the route out on the day of judging.
When preparing the judging schedule, bear in mind that, if you can cover the route alone in an hour, on the day of judging it could take at least one and a half to two hours. If you are using vehicles, valuable time can be lost if you frequently ask the judging party to get in and out to look at specific areas which can’t be viewed from the vehicle. You will also need to bear in mind that the judges will also stop to take notes and photographs so, for the benefit of your entry please allow for this, if you don’t, you may find that you only make it half way round when the clock stops. However, extra time can be allowed for any unforeseen circumstances or press activity - this will be at the judges’ discretion.
Ensure that there is a ‘photo-opportunity’ for the media/press etc. The judges will be happy to answer questions and be photographed but try to keep this to one location if you can.
If transport is required make the necessary arrangements well in advance. Vehicles should have good visibility. Make sure you know who will travel with whom and whether more than one vehicle will be needed.
Do remember the judges do like to meet some of the people involved with your entry into the ‘In Bloom’ Competition, please make sure they know you are coming and how long you will be spending with them.
The judges will expect to be accompanied through the tour by a maximum of four people, each of whom should be competent to answer questions so, decide in advance who your four representatives will be.
If you are planning a reception for the judges after the visit to meet with the people involved or prize winners of your competitions, then please advise the judges beforehand to enable them to plan their day. Their schedule is very tight but if they know what is planned beforehand then they will be very pleased to spend some time with you.
Do remember if you are judged in the afternoon that the judges will probably have judged that morning. If the judges require more time they will say so.
Do provide the judges with a portfolio showing what has been done during the previous twelve months, e.g. bulb planting etc. and/or any activities that have taken place at schools The portfolio will be used by the judges as an aide memoir
Be prepared to give the judges a few minutes on their own.