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motoeric
11-10-2011, 12:58 AM
As a competitor or a judge, I would really appreciate hearing what you want to see in a comps website.

What's important to you and what's not? What information should be on the front page of the site and what can be on subsequent pages?

Do you have any sites that you can point to that you particularly like?

Thanks!

Eric

Hub
11-10-2011, 05:55 AM
As a judge I like a site that makes it easy to put in an application if I want to. The best ones let you do it on line. The worst ones make you hunt for it.

In general, I like a sponsor's site that is clearly aimed toward the contestants and judges and frequently updated. I like to see how many teams are "in" and a list of them, too.

To these preferences I'd add the "usuals" like good directions to the venue, complete schedules, contact list, etc.

bbq.tom
11-10-2011, 06:19 AM
As a judge I like a site that makes it easy to put in an application if I want to. The best ones let you do it on line. The worst ones make you hunt for it.

In general, I like a sponsor's site that is clearly aimed toward the contestants and judges and frequently updated. I like to see how many teams are "in" and a list of them, too.

To these preferences I'd add the "usuals" like good directions to the venue, complete schedules, contact list, etc.

I TOTALLY agree with Hub on what he likes! Additionally, I'd like to add that not only a list of teams, but also a list of confirmed judges is always a good thing! Too many times a judge has no idea if they are confirmed or how many judges have applied until practically the day of the contest.
ALso, hotel contacts, prize breakdowns, and local interests are good too.

Fat Freddy
11-10-2011, 07:31 AM
I TOTALLY agree with Hub on what he likes! Additionally, I'd like to add that not only a list of teams, but also a list of confirmed judges is always a good thing! Too many times a judge has no idea if they are confirmed or how many judges have applied until practically the day of the contest.
ALso, hotel contacts, prize breakdowns, and local interests are good too.

I agree with bbq.tom on this completely. More than a couple of times in the past few years i have signed up to judge a contest and have never heard anything one way or the other. When i had gotten within a week I would send an email again usually with no response. But then I will get an email the day before or something. This has happened to me 4 times in the past 2 years. Once I was told the organizer never got my judging application and the other 3 I got notified only a day or two in advance.

So I would love to see on a website the name of confirmed certified judges signed up for a comp.

Divemaster
11-10-2011, 08:53 AM
As a judge I like a site that makes it easy to put in an application if I want to. The best ones let you do it on line. The worst ones make you hunt for it.

In general, I like a sponsor's site that is clearly aimed toward the contestants and judges and frequently updated. I like to see how many teams are "in" and a list of them, too.

To these preferences I'd add the "usuals" like good directions to the venue, complete schedules, contact list, etc.

While I agree with the above, the most important thing is that the site is frequently updated.

AZScott
11-10-2011, 08:54 AM
http://musicbrewsbbq.com/

This is the best website I've seen for a competition in our area. They really do a great job making sure just about everything you need to know is on it.

Rookie'48
11-10-2011, 11:02 AM
Easy to use on-line applications for cooks and judges.
E-mail addy's & phone numbers for the contact person for both cooks & judges.
Conformation of my judging application so that I know if I'm in or not.
A street address so that my Garmin can find "on the east side of City Park".
A list of close by motels or RV parks for us out of towners.
A map showing how to get to the comp / judging area.
Frequent updates on what's happening or e-mails from the organizers.
A listing of confirmed teams.
A listing of confirmed judges.

motoeric
11-10-2011, 11:39 AM
Thanks for all the replies.

For those that applaud the use of an online form to fill out for team and judge applications, do events that you've seen use this also have you mail them a hard copy with your signature that includes a waiver?

Thanks again,

Eric

bbq.tom
11-10-2011, 04:15 PM
For those that applaud the use of an online form to fill out for team and judge applications, do events that you've seen use this also have you mail them a hard copy with your signature that includes a waiver?

Most do NOT. Actually, and this may be rather surprising to most non-judges out there, but MOST applications do not require a waiver for judges. I'd say no more than about 15-20% of contests that I've sent in (on-line or mail) applications for judging have required waivers.

One more CRITICAL item that is needed (or at least nice) is a map of where the judging is to take place and parking for judges.

dmprantz
11-10-2011, 04:33 PM
do events that you've seen use this also have you mail them a hard copy with your signature that includes a waiver?

Just a quick note on this. I once worked on a fairly strict legal document website that had to get electronic signatures, so I researched it rather heavily at the time. Long story short, federal law states that an electronic signature (faxed document or checkbox stating "I sign") is required to be just as accepted as a paper signature. The big caveat that I recall is you have to have some way to reasonably verify that the person electronically "signing" the checkbox is who he says he is. I solved that issue by using an eMail verification system along with the electronic signature.

The bigger issue I've found is credit card payments, as it's difficult to get a merchant account for such a short period of time. I found third party processors who would do it, but it was costly. I'm thinking a PayPal Business, Amazon Payments, or Google Checkout account is the way to go. All charge slightly higher than the "standard" credit rate, but don't require monthly fees. Some give discounts for not-for-profits.

dmp

motoeric
11-10-2011, 05:03 PM
Thanks guys! Good information.

I'm working on a site for WilliePallooza here on Long Island and I'm trying to make it as participant friendly as possible.

I'm sure that your input will help everyone who has to create or have created a comp website.

Eric

SmokinGuitarPlayer
11-10-2011, 09:26 PM
I would like to see what CITY AND STATE the contest is in on the website somewhere obvious!
FB/SGP

HarleyGirl14226
11-11-2011, 02:35 PM
Making sure the information provided on your site is CONSISTENT.
For example: Don't have your check in times listed as 10am - 5pm in one section of the site, and then another show them as noon to 6pm somewhere else...
Or worse, have two different lists of your ancillary or grilling categories and the competitor is left to try and guess which ones are correct!

A site map showing where the comp. sites and judging tent will be is a nice plus, especially in relation to where all of porta-pots, water, electric and parking will be...

Just my two cents...

gmholler
11-11-2011, 03:31 PM
I've done websites for various contests around here, and while I personally like seeing a list of judges and/or teams coming to a particular contest on a website, I don't usually do that (mainly because none of the contests have requested it). See, when my oldest played traveling team soccer and I did the team website, one of the moms came to me and asked (very nicely, mind you) that I *not* include her daughter's picture on the site and if she was in any, please black that out, and furthermore, don't list her name anywhere - she said that her ex-husband had taken to going to their daughter's games (he knew the schedule from the website), which "creeped her daughter out" and her daughter was now afraid that her Dad would try to kidnap her at a game, if her Mom wasn't there (and often all the parents weren't, like when the team played out of town).

I wondered about this as time passed and I did various websites which listed various people's names and/or their pictures, and I was about to come to the conclusion that in the current day and age, what with Facebook and Twitter and all, what I had been dealing with was an isolated case and I shouldn't let it control my actions...but then, at the university where I work (doing "computer and web stuff"), a student mentioned that while it was convenient for the instructors to have class rosters online, even with the measures we have in place where only the class instructor can see that class' roster online, he was afraid of "the wrong person" seeing the rosters and being able to figure out where he was all day, and that made him feel like he was being "stalked"! Now, we added a few security measures and after a talk with the university's computer security officer the student was put at ease, but I still have to wonder if by putting judge or team names online for a particular contest, am I inadvertently subjecting those names to someone's malicious intent?

Lynn H.

motoeric
11-11-2011, 09:39 PM
Thanks Lynne. That's food for thought (no pun intended). I guess that team names would be safe for competitors and I'd have to allow an opt out for judges to be listed.

Eric

swamprb
11-12-2011, 05:37 PM
I guess we here in PNWBA Land and from what I've seen from the California BBQ Assn. a lot of questions get run through the forums because the Organizers of said events seem to be slow in responding to questions and updating their websites or prefer to Twitter or Facebook their info. Not everyone is into that social scene.

For instance: Some KCBS sanctioned events around here have had no experience in running a BBQ competition and don't know how the game is played around here. A lot of times the dates conflict with PNWBA cooks and people will go for the money or try to chase a bung. And sometimes that does not work out in either organizations (or teams) favor. PNWBA events have a Judges Roll Call and a Teams Roll Call and if there are questions they usually get answered very quickly.

KCBS events in the Northwest on the other hand usually get noticed or announced through the PNWBA forum by one of a hand full of diehard traveling BBQ cooks that live for the comp., or the organizers that realize that they are not the only game in town. I believe there were at least 3 KCBS events with 10K in prize money that could not draw the teams to make them State Qualifiers in WA & ID and the two in WA shot themselves in the foot for not being forthcoming with info until it was too late and ended up begging for teams through the PNWBA forum or becoming "your Friend" on Facebook!

The cooks and CBJ's here are not PNWBA vs. KCBS or vice versa, we just want to cook, have trained CBJ's, a guaranteed prize pot with payouts and amenities when and where we can do our thing, and be able to PLAN to cook your event. If you want to wait until the last minute to finally get off your a$$ and update your website and respond to inquiries, be prepared for an angry horde or come begging on our forums-if thats how you want to attract me, count me out.

motoeric
11-13-2011, 01:18 AM
So, was that your way of saying that what you'd like from comp websites is frequent updates that reflect questions and concerns from competitors?

Eric

swamprb
11-13-2011, 04:20 AM
Thanks guys! Good information.

I'm working on a site for WilliePallooza here on Long Island and I'm trying to make it as participant friendly as possible.

I'm sure that your input will help everyone who has to create or have created a comp website.

Eric

So, was that your way of saying that what you'd like from comp websites is frequent updates that reflect questions and concerns from competitors?

Eric

I was just echoing a few of the first responders desire to have the websites updated and responding in a timely manner to questions. ie., if there are vending opportunities? Public Sampling, Peoples Choice, Power availability, Judges applications and confirmations etc.
I'm not sure how info is passed along in the Northeast, I noticed the NEBS does not have a forum site, so it makes me wonder if there have been problems like I described in my rant?

On the other hand KCBS decided not to sanction an event in Northern CA so the organizers had PNWBA sanction it, a lot of cooks were not familiar with our Rules, One Hour Turn Ins and 10 Point Scoring System, most of the info was channeled through the CBBQA forum or links to PNWBA off the Event website. Yeah, it was still a meat contest-but what if you had teams show up and didn't read the Rules only to find out the turn ins are bassackwards to what they are used to? Pork, Brisket, Chicken & Ribs?

Saw it with an IBCA sanctioned event in Oakland this year. Big plans for an event to take place during a Major League Baseball game, Low entry fee, public sampling,High hopes for an event to benefit a local charity, yada yada, but the list of do'd and don'ts, Health Dept. regs, Liability Insurance etc., threw the thing into a clusterf@%* and it got played out in various forums nationally. I applaud your efforts to to make Williepalooza a user friendly site, but I would imagine people would end up using the Brethren Comp forum as a sounding board for info not included on your site?

I'm not meaning to stir a pot, I'm just sayin'....

JimmyDAL
11-13-2011, 05:44 AM
I agree with the NEBS comments. I'm a member and I beleive/hope they will address things like what you brought up.