Before starting the process of entering an International Exhibition, read the following to get a better idea of how international exhibitions work and how best to be prepare for them.
Each international exhibition establishes its own terms and conditions and is generally presented as a separate document, which must contain a special seal to indicate that it is recognized by PSA. This document should include fees, image sizes and format, numbers of sections (per PSA division), judging schedule, scores reporting and catalog distribution. The method of submitting your images will be stated. For digital entries, the most often used means is on-line submissions. Otherwise it may be on CD/DVD through postal mail, which is the same for prints. As for the payment of fees, there may be a few when postal mail is required. However many exhibitions prefer PayPal payments. Please note that a PayPal account is not required, only a credit card.
PSA provides recognition for many of the international exhibitions on a division by division basis. This allows exhibitors who are PSA members to apply for stars within the appropriate division. (An acceptance received in one division can never be used when applying for stars in another division.) Although the requirements for star-ratings are all the same, each division's web page contains information to assist you in making your applications for their stars and galaxy ratings. Each exhibition that receives recognition sends a copy of its acceptance results to PSA, however all individual exhibitors must maintain records of their own results.
Before entering an exhibition, determine its closing date and what is required to submit an entry. One simple way of doing this is to consult the Exhibitions listing found near the back of each PSA Journal or on the PSA website. Exhibition information is organized by division. Within each division listing, the exhibitions are arranged chronologically, beginning with the one that will close soonest. (Note: Be aware that the same exhibition may be listed in multiple divisions.)
Each exhibition listing includes the number of times an entry will be judged. Most exhibitions are judged only once, indicated as "1 Judging." Listings that include the word "Circuit" in the exhibition name indicate that the entry will be judged multiple times.
There is also information stating how many sections are available for entry, which includes the titles of those sections. Generally, the section names indicate the subject matter that may entered in them. Most often, there are three or four other items of information that are of special interest - the exhibition coordinator's Email address, the Exhibition web address as well as whether online entry and PayPal will be accepted.
Once you have made a selection, the following steps will enable you to reach the exhibition without the necessity of having to type in address yourself.
Upon reaching the exhibition web site, make sure it contains a PSA logo; this indicates PSA recognition. It is also important to find information concerning fees and their method of payments as well as allowable image sizes and the means of submitting them. Pay close attention to all the rules and Conditions of Entry. Failure to follow these instructions could lead to problems and even cause your entry to be disqualified.
In many cases, image titles are entered on the left and a browse button allows navigation to the folder on your computer containing the image corresponding to the title. (Note: it is not necessary for image file name to be the same as image title.) This is one area that must be paid close attention to in the Conditions of Entry. Some exhibitions may require a name for electronic image files in a certain way and the process may reject entries if the files are not properly named. Fortunately, most exhibitions using online entries omit special file naming requirements because the entry program will automatically rename the file to meet the exhibitions requirements. The entry programs will not change image titles.
Once complete, scroll down to the bottom of the window and find the "Submit" button. After clicking on it, an opportunity may appear to make your fee payment via PayPal, if that is allowable. Note: there is no need to have a PayPal account to use the service. However, it is necessary to have a credit card.
After images have been judged and scores have been received, it is important to maintain records of acceptances and titles. To best do this, create a separate spreadsheet (which may be part of the same file) for each division. Then record the exhibition year, the exhibition name, section (use open if there is only one section) and the image title.
It may also be helpful to review the information on the PSA web site regarding the applications for stars provided by the directors of each division.