Shot-Show Decor & Set Up

Special section on the appearance of your card table: This author believes that it is imperative to cover the almost-certainly-folding-table that you will be using for your shot show. A cloth banquet table drape is highly effective and can even be personalized with the name of your shot show. Under no circumstances should you utilize the work surfaces of the feed store or pet shop that hosts your shot show. Having much less to do with sanitation, but having more to do with the perceived appearance of professionalism. It is too easy to assail the moral and ethical issues of immunizing “any and all animals” for “any and all diseases” without the lack of professionalism exhibited by immunizing pets on top of a bank of rabbit cages.

Shot shows can be sort of a cattle call for the kind of people who do not particularly respect the space of other people and may be overzealous in vying for their position in line sort of like the aggressive behavior around Black Friday or Kmart Bluelight Specials. It may be advisable to pick up some Q lines here is a link to those.

In the final analysis, nothing really matters except price.

However, you may cultivate some repeat business or a better reception at the next town, if your operation has a certain professional look. Setting up a personalized canopy and having higher than average quality tables for your shot show can enhance the appearance of professionalism. A folding stand stainless steel or aluminum table create the impression that you are concerned about germs and disease transmission, however most of the time the customer does not care. Proper lighting also creates an image of professionalism, and LED pin lighting under your canopy over the work surface is a neat effect. Custom signage can also improve the look of professionalism of your shot show.

Stainless steel coolers are also contributors to a more medical appearance.
The return on investment of running a high volume shot clinic using cheap vaccinations (the key) is so high that you will be able to pay off some of the best looking equipment on a single Saturday at a Feed store. And while a discriminating client will recognize that you are only running a shot show for the money, (and not as an exhibition of your veterinary skill or expertise), all of the trimmings may disguise this fact to the average consumer.

Philosophically I must make the following point: When you are eating in a dive restaurant, you barely ask for condiments. And you certainly don’t ask what’s in the food. As the restaurant becomes more and more refined, you come to expect more. If you make your low-cost shot show too professional looking, the customers will slow down and start to expect you to perform veterinary services that are time consuming and less profitable. Keep expectations low, be just professional enough to attract venue hosts but not so fancy that customers expect you to provide regular veterinary services. You are not running a shot show to refine your skills, challenge yourself, or bring your experience to bear. 


  • DrNickRivera
  • Dr. Nick runs a full service veterinary clinic in Encinitas, California and holds several shot shows in the surrounding counties. (But not his own city!) Dr. Nick is a pioneer in shot-show promotion and was among the first to use 1/2 dose antigen split between two patients to increase profitability.