you might find practice events called run through's, show n go, or fun matches. I highly recommend them. We completely bombed our first run thru...but ended on a good note and managed to do okay in our first trial.
I am planning to try beginner novice with my boy. There is a trial in May, but that same kennel club is doing show n go's in March and April. I am going to take him to the March one and see how he does. If he does ok and there is still room in the trial I will enter him. If he isn't ready or the trial fills then I will try again over the summer.