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View Full Version : Top 5 must have's for a great contest....


U2CANQUE
09-12-2008, 08:53 AM
Hey, since everyone here is from all over the country/world...I figured that I would ask what would be the top 5 things that you would want in a contest to make it enjoyable to cook in....and then also the top 5 bad experiences that you have had at contests that made you decide to not return to the event the next year. I think that if anything else it would help folks who are putting on events to take into consideration when thinking about the cooks at events......

Your input is appreciated.......

jbrink01
09-12-2008, 09:14 AM
Top 5 Needs: Level Ground, Reliable Power, Pressurized Water, Hard Surface Parking, 70 Degree High Temperature

Worst Experiences: Faulty GFI (had to run my generator all weekend), Noisy Neighbors All Night, Late Awards, Poor Organization,

Brew-B-Q
09-12-2008, 09:26 AM
I will chime in although my experience is very limited. Note, I cook out of my pickup so my needs differ from those in RVs and the like.

Needs, in no particular order - Easy access to water, ice, grassy area for camping, good organization, security.

My last comp (Milwaukee) lacked most of those things and I won't be returning for that reason.

Double D's BBQ
09-12-2008, 09:41 AM
Free and close access to water and electricity, large spaces, early setup (night before), overnight stay on Saturday, cooks breakfast on Saturday morning is always helpful, and an internet site that keeps the cooks informed about payouts, number of teams signed up to date, and easy access to the application for the contest.

watg?
09-12-2008, 09:43 AM
Good- 1) free ice, 2) free electric & water (without interuption), 3) level, solid surface, as spacious as possible sites 4) a decent, on time breakfast 5) good organization (security, quite times, on time cooks meeting and awards) 6) easy pull out after awards.

Bad- 1) all night partying neighbors 2) sites too tight 3) poor or interupted services 4) gravel, dusty, uneven, muddy sites 5)poor event organization.

Jacked UP BBQ
09-12-2008, 09:51 AM
I agree with all except the partying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jeff_in_KC
09-12-2008, 10:09 AM
Great Contest:
VERY attentive volunteers (water and ice delivery, trash haul-off, prompt meat inspection, etc.)
Quiet hours enforced
Free electricity
Saturday morning breakfast
Spacious sites without paying extra

Poor Contest
Bad volunteers (don't see them much and have to ask for their help)
Failure to enforce quiet hours
Organizers who care about the event itself (other activities associated with it) more than taking care of the cooks
Cheap-arse awards that don't tell much about the category, contest, etc.
Overall feeling of not being welcome from organizers and staff

Bigmista
09-12-2008, 11:35 AM
Wow! I've never been to a contest where they serve breakfast!

Good
1. Free water and electricity
2. Room to spread out
3. Judging tent centrally located
4. Frequently cleaned restrooms
5. Neighbors with "quiet" generators who can tell tell the difference between trash, grey water, and ash bins.

Bad
1. Placing contestants and vendors with loud generators next to contestants with ez-ups and tents.
2. Trash bin fires.
3. Having to hike or wait for a golf cart to the judging booth.
4. Intermittent electricity
5. Dirty bathrooms.

Ron_L
09-12-2008, 11:49 AM
Here are some older threads that may have some good info in them...

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19220&highlight=bad

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19221&highlight=bad

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19242

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19224

Diva Q
09-12-2008, 11:55 AM
Close water & electricity, Quiet times enforced -good security Level ground with easy access, Decent sized sites, Good organization

Sledneck
09-12-2008, 01:18 PM
wifi!

Alexa RnQ
09-12-2008, 01:47 PM
Loved the comps with attentive volunteers -- frequent ice runs, graywater and trash hauled away make me feel like a rock star (yeah, it doesn't take much).

Quiet times enforced, and segregation of generators/vendors are good.

Level spaces are golden, and since our canopy footprint is 10x20 a space a bit bigger to allow for cookers per local fire regs is best.

A total must is confidence in the organization. When information is vague, absent or changes frequently, it makes for a bad experience from our side.

Central judging location -- I know SOMEbody's got to be at the ass-end of the field, and I've run up hills and up flights of stairs and made the best of it, but reasonably equitable access from all team locations is appreciated.

Professor Salt
09-12-2008, 02:27 PM
1. Enough hot coal bins so you don't have to walk a mile carrying hot coals.
2. Enough gray water dumps so you don't have to walk a mile carrying your dirty water, and make sure they're attended to (no overflows, no clogged sinks, etc)
3. Enough grease dumps so you don't have to walk a mile carrying your hot dirty grease.
4. Enough fresh water sources scattered throughout the site, and replenished, if using tanks.
5. Portable washware sinks are awesome. We get spoiled at contests that provide them. Have enough so that you don't have lines forming.

Professor Salt
09-12-2008, 02:33 PM
I forgot a very important thing. This will be somewhat controversial since most of the country doesn't put on contests where the public can buy samples from teams:

PEOPLE'S CHOICE samples, so regular folks can taste contest quality meat. We've been doing that consistently here in So Cal for the past couple seasons, and the public response is unbelievable. Make the public happy, and you'll have people that will come back year after year and support your event.

Let's remember that contests aren't just for the cooks. Successful event organizers have to keep the public, the volunteers, the judges, the sponsors, the host site people, the media, etc all engaged and happy.

CajunSmoker
09-12-2008, 02:58 PM
1.access to pressurized water
2.electrical hook up
3.level surface
4.good organization where things run on time and according to the rules


and I can't believe that I'm the first to say.....A decent payout in relation to the amount of the entry fee.

Buster Dog BBQ
09-12-2008, 06:17 PM
One thing I can't understand is with most of the contest on the web, why can't they list the teams that are going to be there? Maybe they have to pay a web master or something but I like to see that, especially since i don't get around to everyone's site at a contest.

A lot of the other points are great. Arrive in time to avoid a rush or local traffic, clean restrooms, level space, electricity, ribbons for top 10.

One thing that I think is overlooked is information to the public. Such as where to get/buy BBQ, not to ask the teams for food, hours, etc. Been to a lot of contest where the public has no clue what is going on.

acorette
09-13-2008, 08:07 AM
All great points!

What I don't get is why a contest organizer can't make the 20x20 space actually 20.1'x20.1' when they lay it out instead of 19.9'x19.9'. Go a little extra (equally for all) rather than making it so tight. So far I've been shortchanged albeit ever so slightly. Just a pain trying to squeeze it all in. I'm cheap and hate paying $50 for extra 10' space.

Wouldn't most teams be thrilled to have a little more room than they expected? (again, as long as everyone at the comp gets the extra room.) Would it kill an organizer to lay things out a little extra roomy for us? Maybe at some comps where overall space is tight, but so far my experience has been squeezed into undersized or right on 20.0x20.0 spaces in a huge field where there's plenty of room to have spread out.

Just a gripe I guess.

If you are trying to put together a comp where teams will love to return, give them what other's have said above and oversize their spaces just a wee bit. It won't cost any extra and will go a long way in putting them at ease when setting up.

JD McGee
09-13-2008, 08:17 AM
Seeing as how I am doing my first solo comp today...here is my two cents of what I think my top 5 are so far...

The Good...

1. My cooking partner (My wife)...:-P
2. Good weather...
3. A good sense of humor...
4. My timeline sheet...
5. Knowing my pits...

The Bad...

1. Bad weather...
2. Loud obnoxious people...
3. No restrooms close by...
4. Theives...
5. Poor event organization...

Plowboy
09-13-2008, 08:29 AM
30amp power
30x30 spots
Great volunteers
Good payouts/awards

Bad experience
- Paid $225 for a contest entry (this was 5 years ago), got 5th of 78 in chicken and only got a $50 payout.
- Got sixth out of 80 in a category to only get a paper/photocopied certificate and no money
- Non-sanctioned contest that recognized top 3 in categories, but no overall and gave no final results.
- Rep DQ'ed us for presentation saying that we were sculpting. Took it to other reps and the board who all determined that the entry was actually legal.
- Any contest that doesn't use the standard times for turn ins. Farks me up every time.

The Giggler
09-13-2008, 04:02 PM
Agreed on most posts.

All I have to add on the positive side, is that we love when there is a "Welcoming Committee" at the front gate who extends a hearty greeting, gives you a cook's packet and anything else they have for you, then directs you to your site.

U2CANQUE
09-14-2008, 08:09 AM
Thank you guys very much on the input....when trying to put together a contest, and working with the others that will be helping out I wanted to approach them from the get go with the must have's, try to avoid's, and show them teams views on contests. I will also post some of their views and opinions on contests, what they would like from us, etc...etc....etc....

Again....I do appreciate the input everyone....

Sticks-n-chicks
09-14-2008, 08:22 AM
My 5 would be;
1) no rain
2) washer and dryer (especially dryer)
3) no rain
4) no rain
5) no rain

Actually -
1) electric
2) water
3) Ice
4) friendly demeanor from organizers
5) convienany facilities (restroom, grease dump, trash pick up)

Almost all of which Cross Points had (no ice on site)

Plowboy
09-14-2008, 09:00 AM
Thank you guys very much on the input....when trying to put together a contest, and working with the others that will be helping out I wanted to approach them from the get go with the must have's, try to avoid's, and show them teams views on contests. I will also post some of their views and opinions on contests, what they would like from us, etc...etc....etc....

Again....I do appreciate the input everyone....

Ditto.

I want to add showers to my list.

U2CANQUE
09-14-2008, 10:41 AM
Well, I reckon that one could be a site (for sore eyes)......oh, wait, you meant inside showers huh?

drbbq
09-14-2008, 10:43 AM
I like it when the Raiderettes are in attendance. That's really all I need.
(Edit: Or the Coors Light Girls)

Plowboy
09-14-2008, 11:42 AM
I like it when the Raiderettes are in attendance. That's really all I need.

Change mine to "shower with the Raiderettes".

U2CANQUE
09-14-2008, 11:55 AM
shower, jello wrestling, raiderette watching........this one is now working its' way to the darker side of the boards.....

Bbq Bubba
09-14-2008, 12:10 PM
Well, I reckon that one could be a site (for sore eyes)......oh, wait, you meant inside showers huh?

Never thought of this before but after this past weekend (95% humidity and lots of rain) i would have killed for a shower!
When we got to M.I.S., they have a mobile trailer brought in that has 10 showers on it. Very nice unit and they charge $5 for i think a 10 minute HOT shower, may be something to look into. :biggrin: