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View Full Version : The things that make a contest great - Service and amenities


parrothead
07-19-2006, 11:46 AM
Services and amenities

Or good at the very least. This is in line with Phil and others trying to "fix" grill kings and a thread I wanted to start anyway.

What are some of the best things you have ran accross at competitions? THose little things that are nice, but are noticed if they are missing. This will be one of at least two threads maybe more so there is a little more continuity.

Suggestions can be based on actual experiences or just a wish list.

Three things that are probably foremost are water, ice, grass.

My experiences with these are. Shannon. This year they delivered water to your sight as needed. We had enough with us so didn't need it, but I am sure that everybody else appreciated it.

Ice. In Peoria last year they delivered ice to you---free---as much as you wanted. That was freaking awesome.

Grass All of my competitions have been on grass except for last year when I visited Phil. Grass is the way to go. period.

One last thing. We don't need to make a list of bad things that have happened. Lets just concentrate on what we are seeing out there that makes a competition good.

voodoobbqIL
07-19-2006, 11:58 AM
I agree we are all guilty of just ranting and raving about the issues. But last night a big bright spot hit I spend over and hour on the phone with the event organizer for Bloomington, IL. I told him some things that really worked at past contests and I think if he does half of that stuff it will be a premier event. I agree about Peoria last year and then the one bad issue I heard from that one was someone complaining about the prize money...hence No Peoria this year. I think we forget sometimes that these event guys have a lot to do. I know that there are references from KCBS about how to have a contest but maybe there should be "crib notes" for the event organizer to work from that has some of the best things from all of the contests. I heard that Shannon was great and I am looking forward to some others around the northern IL area that should be great. I am pretty sure that anyone is our community would love to chat with organizers for any length of time to help them out. Sure they can't give us the world but maybe we can save them being hammered on in threads the day after the contest.

parrothead
07-19-2006, 12:04 PM
I agree we are all guilty of just ranting and raving about the issues. But last night a big bright spot hit I spend over and hour on the phone with the event organizer for Bloomington, IL. I told him some things that really worked at past contests and I think if he does half of that stuff it will be a premier event. I agree about Peoria last year and then the one bad issue I heard from that one was someone complaining about the prize money...hence No Peoria this year. I think we forget sometimes that these event guys have a lot to do. I know that there are references from KCBS about how to have a contest but maybe there should be "crib notes" for the event organizer to work from that has some of the best things from all of the contests. I heard that Shannon was great and I am looking forward to some others around the northern IL area that should be great. I am pretty sure that anyone is our community would love to chat with organizers for any length of time to help them out. Sure they can't give us the world but maybe we can save them being hammered on in threads the day after the contest.
That's good to hear. I plan on doing Bloomington as well.

Here is another thought. I have never been to one that has any kind of shower area, but if a site were found that had one, I'll bet that would be nice to help wake up in the morning as well as maybe after tear down before going home.

BBQchef33
07-19-2006, 12:15 PM
Heres what I would see.... from a team/competitor/ human being. I wa nt to be comfortable, effective and have fun.

Necessities. Water, Ice, Power, Comfort(Shade/grass).

The things that make a contest 'Team Friendly'.

Goodie bags..

Organizer Sponsored dinner and Breakfast

Things to make if fun for the family too. (craft shows, festivals, etc..) this is NOT to say at the expense of the promoter, but to tie the even INTO something else, a la Guitarbeque tied into a music festival, or Podunk bluegrass festival, Key Largo ties it to a town wide "Key largo day" type thing.. family members who are not cooking or pit help dont want to jsut sit under the tent all day.

In the hot areas...... Outdoor showers... How many of us were dumping water over our heads.. filling hats with cooler water, etc... how easy is it to have those 'pool showers' scattered around the sites?? They are 100 bucks, and to be able to just go stand under that for a minute.. its a simple stupid creature comfort that can be appreciated after an hour in front of a fire box. Venues with bathroom/shower facilities would be even better to clean up at night or after the contest, bU tthe outdoor pool showers at the end of rows would be some quick relief.

this is a great thread.. and it can go places!!

parrothead
07-19-2006, 12:24 PM
Yep, breakfast. Shannon gives us biscuits and gravy, coffee, donuts, juice. It's always nice. On less meal to feed the crew.

Jeff_in_KC
07-19-2006, 12:56 PM
Ice either free or at cost
Shower facilities (a lot of BBQ contests around here are in campgrounds)
Water readily available (at each site is better or at the least, bring it to us)
Goodie bags at check in
Cooks meetings NOT scheduled at dinner time on Friday night
Have a Kid's Q contest and don't make it right before chicken turn-in time!!!
Free coffee, donuts or biscuits and gravy on Saturday morning
ALWAYS offer electricity, even if paying extra for it!
Bring the official clock around to each camp on Saturday morning to be sure everyone is accurate
Enforce quiet hours
Have a contest organizer there and available 24 hours
Check often to see if we need anything

kcquer
07-19-2006, 01:29 PM
Grass All of my competitions have been on grass except for last year when I visited Phil. Grass is the way to go. period.

Ever been to a contest when it rains? If Boone County '04 had been on grass, they'd still be trying to get people out of the venue.

voodoobbqIL
07-19-2006, 01:35 PM
Regularly services pottys
Outdoor showers
plenty of ash pits
regular trash pick up

The Bloomington event will have something from the conversation last night that we will call a "bbq concierge" this person will be going around all day to check and see if you need something. If you do he will get the proper folks over to you with ice, water, trash whatever...
Also there will be someone there to check you in as soon as you pull up so you don't have to chase anyone down.

service...that's what makes a contest great

cmcadams
07-19-2006, 01:56 PM
Having an edible breakfast vs. just having breakfast is good.

Running water to hook up my hose to, so I can control it at my site

Electricity

A nice area. I personally like being able to look around and enjoy what I see... not a problem at any so far, just something I like.

Frequent delivery of ice. If they charge, I'd like to prepay for an amount so I don't have to fumble for dollar bills in the middle of everything else.

showers

Al Dente
07-19-2006, 04:04 PM
My family went looking to by some of those misters that you see at amusment parks to set up. Came up empty handed.

But how about a slop sink area where you could REALLY wash your dirty pots and cutting boards. The 3 bin set-up is OK, but it's not real effective to bigger items.

I agree with the water, ice, and grass. Definite necessities. Goodie bags would be nice. i've heard of them at other contests, but don't expect them.

And just an open line of communication. That to me is very important. Good news or bad news, we all need to know.

I think as far as a meal goes, Willie always makes clams casino, I make a pot of chili, Phil had the linguine and clam sauce. If we all bring something, it can be a pot luck dinner. For breakfast on comp day, how about big overfilled fritattas, some bagels, juice, and joe.

All the best, Al.

}}}}---------------------------------------------->

SinginBob
07-19-2006, 04:15 PM
Ice either free or at cost
Shower facilities (a lot of BBQ contests around here are in campgrounds)
Water readily available (at each site is better or at the least, bring it to us)
Goodie bags at check in
Cooks meetings NOT scheduled at dinner time on Friday night
Have a Kid's Q contest and don't make it right before chicken turn-in time!!!
Free coffee, donuts or biscuits and gravy on Saturday morning
ALWAYS offer electricity, even if paying extra for it!
Bring the official clock around to each camp on Saturday morning to be sure everyone is accurate
Enforce quiet hours
Have a contest organizer there and available 24 hours
Check often to see if we need anything

Jeff, I can send you a listof contests that have shower facilities if you need it so you van plan accordingly!

Free coffe on saturday morning would be nice.

Another great contest is Osage city, KS--free ice, friendly people and they are constantly around asking if you need anything. I actually don't mind walking to get water there becasue they treat you so well.

As for quiet hours, I can only think of one contest this year where that was a problem (Lawrence) and the reps put those guys down!:wink::twisted:

cmcadams
07-19-2006, 04:20 PM
On breakfast, I've been to a comp where it was pretty good, and another where you it was cold sausage gravy and hard biscuits... if it's the former, it's really nice, if it's the latter, it's more a nuisance than anything... a waste of my time and energy to get the food.

The_Kapn
07-19-2006, 04:29 PM
Service starts with planning and information PRIOR to the event.

I just received our packet for Ft Rucker.
Must weigh a half pound :lol:

Schedules, locations, and maps for everything in detail.
Detailed instructions about security on Military Base.
Listing of what would happen at check-in and what we would receive there. Stuff like the rest of passes and arm bands will be handled there.
Strict "no pets" (dogs) in cooking area. Certainly hope a couple of teams catch that because MP's "under orders" will do their jobs.
Even explained that winner's checks will be sent from a payment center in TX. They will FedEX results and payment center has commited to 24 hour turnaround. Direct deposit even available.
1099's required, so they sent them ahead so the teams could have them ready and not stumble around or be surprised.

I could go on and on--but, basically, no question left unanswered as far as I can tell.
And, they admit they will make mistakes as a first year event and have two "command centers" on site that will be manned 24/7 to work out any kinks :lol:

This sets a whole new "bar" for the prep phase!
I'm spoiled, for sure.
Now, if we can just cook our "A Game" :redface:
Tons of cash on the line.

TIM

Jeff_in_KC
07-19-2006, 04:37 PM
I agree Tim... and it sounds like they have everything in order. I also appreciate it when a comp sends a list of teams and a space assignment map out ahead of time.

These are excellent threads, by the way! Thanks Greg!

The_Kapn
07-19-2006, 07:22 PM
I agree Tim... and it sounds like they have everything in order. I also appreciate it when a comp sends a list of teams and a space assignment map out ahead of time.

These are excellent threads, by the way! Thanks Greg!

Why would actual sites or team names be of any use before the event?
When I say that- I realize that Grill Kings is a "one of a kind" deal and "special" cause it is in New Yawk :lol:

The organizer probably does not have all of that set till the last minute and I can not think of any useful need for it.
If there is some team I need to coordinate with, I would know that they were coming anyway and use email or the phone to do the coordination.

Drive up and get the assignment (or "park where you want to") seems to work just fine.

Besides, I really do not want to know who is coming. I sleep better in my blissful ignorance :redface:

TIM

Jeff_in_KC
07-19-2006, 07:28 PM
I dunno Tim. I just like to know who the competition is in advance if possible. guess a few comps spoiled me with maps and team lists prior to the event.

HoDeDo
07-19-2006, 08:03 PM
another note on Osage - ties to things Tim, Bob, others have mentioned.... but the organizers have to care about the teams. So at Osage... we had an issue missing an RV part we needed.... one of the volunteers on a golf cart, overheard our conversation..... and actually went to the hardware store and grabbed one - and brought it over to us. Imagine our suprise - Talk about life saver!!! WAY above and beyond - but shows the mindset of the contest. Many are so big these days, that they are not about the teams anymore. I'm on a quest for contests that are there for the teams. Good people, trying to bring in good people to thier town, and show hospitality, and want folks to enjoy thier event.

All the lists have most of things I look for covered already.

parrothead
07-19-2006, 09:53 PM
I dunno Tim. I just like to know who the competition is in advance if possible. guess a few comps spoiled me with maps and team lists prior to the event.


I don't have a map, but a couple of days ago I got a team roster for the comp that I am doing a week and a half from now. It was much appreciated and good info.

oneofthegrillkings
07-19-2006, 10:44 PM
Just keeping and eye on this thread so we can make the neccessary changes for next year, keep writing so we can keep taking notes.

Best in BBQ,
Dean

parrothead
07-19-2006, 11:05 PM
Thanks for checking in Dean. It means a lot to these guys.

Jeff_in_KC
07-19-2006, 11:06 PM
Dean, I sincerely hope the organizers in Grand Rapids take as much interest as you guys seem to do at Grill Kings! Good luck!

billm
07-20-2006, 09:01 AM
Services and amenities

Or good at the very least. This is in line with Phil and others trying to "fix" grill kings and a thread I wanted to start anyway.

What are some of the best things you have ran accross at competitions? THose little things that are nice, but are noticed if they are missing. This will be one of at least two threads maybe more so there is a little more continuity.

Suggestions can be based on actual experiences or just a wish list.

Three things that are probably foremost are water, ice, grass.

My experiences with these are. Shannon. This year they delivered water to your sight as needed. We had enough with us so didn't need it, but I am sure that everybody else appreciated it.

Ice. In Peoria last year they delivered ice to you---free---as much as you wanted. That was freaking awesome.

Grass All of my competitions have been on grass except for last year when I visited Phil. Grass is the way to go. period.

One last thing. We don't need to make a list of bad things that have happened. Lets just concentrate on what we are seeing out there that makes a competition good.

that was the first time ive seen water delivery in Shannon ....ive cooked there 4 years in a row..it was nice but we really had to chase th eguy down to get him to bring us water 1/2 the time
anyway the Clinton IA contest set a bar for most comps..the cooks were treated like rock stars..hourly delivery of water and ice..each team had a person assigned to them for these deliveries..
someone was there as you pulled up and led you promptly to your site too..ive been to a few comps where you pull up and have to wait 25 min for somone to tell you where your spot is..
we asked for an outhouse on our end of the grounds and they ordered one up at additional cost to them to accomadate us.Keep in mind this was a first year event too. the organizer Ryan, stated he does not want to be like other comps and is strivng to do be different..he even showed up in Shannon and personally delivered team photos to each team that had competed in Clinton
Word has it that next year they may have people to unload your things on arrival and then load them up the next day..now that would be awesome

cmcadams
07-20-2006, 09:10 AM
Word has it that next year they may have people to unload your things on arrival and then load them up the next day..now that would be awesome

That right there would be the greatest thing possible at a comp! The unloading isn't so bad, but the loading... if only someone would do that part!

bbqbull
07-20-2006, 10:36 AM
Whatta awesome idea.......Help load up your stuff at the end of the comp. When your so hot/tired and you cant hardly wiggle. Boy Scout mod? Is there some type of merit badge for community service? I dont know.

Mike

parrothead
07-20-2006, 10:51 AM
I would think that you could get a group such as a local boy scout troup or 4-H club to help out here and there. It would need to be one that is going for a charity event though or they would need a donation to their troop or club.

SP
07-20-2006, 10:53 AM
Osage, Ks is a very well run contest. The 2 years I have done it have been enjoyable. I thouhgt the GAB was done pretty good as far as water and Ice for the amout of teams. They just need to remember its a mainly BBQ contest and not a concert so when its over let us leave.

cmcadams
07-20-2006, 10:54 AM
At that time on a hot Saturday, I'd pay for the help. In fact, I'd want to pay in advance, otherwise I'd be too susceptible to paying whatever is asked! $500 for help, sure!

Kevin
07-20-2006, 08:59 PM
This is somewhat related. Our local small town has an annual classic car show. I know most of these guys that participate and we get a lot of realy great competitors. They were doing a radio interview with a fellow that travels nationaly going to these shows every weekend. He had won a trophy here before and his only recollection of the event was "Oh yeah, the shady place". Trees and shade are greatly appreciated.

Ashmont
07-28-2006, 04:46 PM
We had our second contest this year! First KCBS but all in all it went well. Mid July contest not a good thing in MO. Looking at spring or fall for a new date. 100 degrees two straight years. We provided breakfast B&G's Sausage, Bagels, coffee, juice, Milk and French toast. Local Newspaper donated papers for the cookers at breakfast. Free 2 breakfasts per team. Charged low fee 1.00 per bag for 8lb or 3.00 for 20lb bag of ice delivered to your site. A good hospitality booth that is aware of the cookers needs. Security onsite and access to coordinator or staff 24-7. Move trash quickly out of the cookers area. We have inside bathrooms not a big plastic hot box so that helped our event. I had one person that came up to me and thanked me for the porcelin. We are still learning and taking everything on this thread....


St. Richards Bats and BBQ thanks eveyone that came out for the fun!

parrothead
08-09-2006, 05:41 AM
bump

nancee
08-09-2006, 09:30 PM
portajohns
portajohns
portajohns

SERVICED portajohns???!!!