Orchid Shows

The 27 AOS judging centers throughout the US and Canada provide ribbon judging and AOS judging at AOS affiliated society shows both locally and also stretching into South and Central America, the Dominican Republic and even as far as South Africa.

Orchid shows can be held at any size venue, both indoors or outdoors. Typically, there are Orchid vendors invited to both sell plants, but also to showcase their best plants in displays at the show. Orchid societies also create displays, allowing their members to contribute plants that are then properly arranged to show off their very best attributes. These displays can be as small as a niche, or a tabletop, or a small floor display, or at large shows they can be quite vast covering large areas. These displays give the visitors to the show the opportunity to see so many beautiful blooming orchids, some which could be quite rare or unusual, enticing the orchidists to add them to their Orchid Wishlist.

Orchid Shows are a great way to engage with the general public. Judges work with the society volunteer clerks, who get to see and hear all the reasons that one plant or flower is more deserving than the others while ribbon judging. AOS judging is another great benefit of the show. Plants are nominated for review by the judges, who with their vast knowledge of Orchid species and hybrids, evaluate the nominations to see if they are worthy of an AOS award. Interested parties are always welcome to observe AOS judging, and experience all the research that goes into the decision to grant an award.

If you are looking to attend an Orchid Show, or perhaps even participate in one, check out the show calendar and search for a show near you. You might even plan a vacation around a far-off Orchid Show, where they will surely have different and exciting new Orchids for you to enjoy.

If you are an affiliated society looking to host a show:

The Judging Center Chair can provide guidance on the process to request judging at local orchid shows. If a society is not yet an AOS affiliate, but is interested in affiliation, they may qualify for an outreach judging. During an outreach judging, a group of judges would travel to attend the society member meeting and conduct an AOS judging while explaining the process. Judging is much more than awards, with a great emphasis on education.

For the judging information required on the Show Application, please refer to Section 5.6.1 of the AOS Handbook on Judging. Contact the local judging center chair for a current list of AOS judges. Once complete, please forward a copy of the application to the judging center chair for their approval. The form should be sent by the affiliate or the AOS Judging Center Chair to the AOS office at theaos@aos.org while including the other on copy. The office will reply to the email when the event has been approved.

Here are a few important reminders to make the process smooth:

  • Complete submissions should be sent at least four months in advance of the show date.
  • Please make sure affiliate membership is current for both the society and the AOS rep before submitting.
  • The easiest way to pay the show fee and reserve a show trophy (for shows with display judging) is online.
  • Processing could be delayed if the office needs to reach out to follow up.

Once the office processes the request, the submitter will receive a detailed communication from them with status and any next steps. Information about the show from the form will be used to create announcements in the events section of the website and in the classified section of Orchids magazine. Events are published after requirements have been met and fees paid. Affiliates receive a 50% discount on color ads in the magazine if they decide to pursue additional advertising.

Request AOS judging for a show and Pay Show Fees online.