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Babyboomerboy
11-19-2008, 01:10 PM
We are getting ready for our first Annual cook off and was tossing around some ideas to make coming to it more appealing. We were thinking of having everyone who comes to the first contest be Charter members of our cook off. Then if they show up the second year, they get a discount on the entry fee, priority on cooking sites, extra goodie bags and discount coupons to some area merchants. Then every year after that the charter members would receive discounts on entry fees and other goodies. Does this sound like something you cookers would be interested in? Do you have any other ideas that we could incorporate into our comp to increase attendance? Thanks

Chris Nickelson
11-19-2008, 01:33 PM
Sounds like a good start.

The contests that take care of the cooks, as well as make it fun, are the ones that usually get the best turnouts.

Simple things like good sized spots, clean area, easy water and trash access. These all make teams WANT to be at your contest.

Big Prize Money ain't everything. Fun and interesting trophies can be a draw as well.

IMHO

The Pickled Pig
11-19-2008, 02:10 PM
I'm not sure the charter member thing will be a big draw for your first event. I think that would increase your retention rate in subsequent years.

And although big prize money may not be everything, it is a factor. I want the prize purse/entry fee ratio to be as close as possible to 1 or over. We'll still do some low paying contests next year but not many.

Come up with an interesting or unique 5th category that could become a part of your tradition.

Considering your contest is going to be in July, access to showers would be nice too. Also, try and have ice and water delivery service.

We have a lot of comps to choose from in this area and as cooks, can be very picky. All of those "little" things Chris mentioned really add up.

I know when we do our 2009 planning, I'm not going back to contests that didn't meet our nit-picky standards because there will be 3 or 4 other ones that same weekend I can do instead.

Babyboomerboy
11-19-2008, 02:47 PM
The Pickled Pig wrote:
"Considering your contest is going to be in July, access to showers would be nice too. Also, try and have ice and water delivery service."

We are going to have showers available to the cooker. Across the street from the stadium is our city swimming pool and the city is allowing the cookers access to the shower room at no cost. If you think this is something that will help cookers to decide whether or not to come to our comp we will sure advertise this benefit. Thanks

CivilWarBBQ
11-19-2008, 03:24 PM
Some features we've offered in the past at the Georgia Barbecue Classic that cook teams seem to like:

- Late night coffee and donuts
- Free Ice
- Portable restroom trailer (climate controlled, hot and cold running water)
- Free Charcoal
- Hospitality Tent, serving complimentary food, beer & wine for cooks and judges
- Thursday night reception at host hotel with complimentary meal and drinks
- Unique, handmade trophies for Reserve and Grand
- Smokers in addition to prize money for Reserve and Grand
- On-site police officer Friday - Saturday

Jacked UP BBQ
11-19-2008, 03:35 PM
Some features we've offered in the past at the Georgia Barbecue Classic that cook teams seem to like:

- Late night coffee and donuts
- Free Ice
- Portable restroom trailer (climate controlled, hot and cold running water)
- Free Charcoal
- Hospitality Tent, serving complimentary food, beer & wine for cooks and judges
- Thursday night reception at host hotel with complimentary meal and drinks
- Unique, handmade trophies for Reserve and Grand
- Smokers in addition to prize money for Reserve and Grand
- On-site police officer Friday - Saturday



Wow those are some serious accomodations. Bet they had some deep pockets backing them. A little unrealistic for a small guy trying to put a comp together.

Scottie
11-19-2008, 03:46 PM
Some features we've offered in the past at the Georgia Barbecue Classic that cook teams seem to like:

- Late night coffee and donuts
- Free Ice
- Portable restroom trailer (climate controlled, hot and cold running water)
- Free Charcoal
- Hospitality Tent, serving complimentary food, beer & wine for cooks and judges
- Thursday night reception at host hotel with complimentary meal and drinks
- Unique, handmade trophies for Reserve and Grand
- Smokers in addition to prize money for Reserve and Grand
- On-site police officer Friday - Saturday


Hey Gowan, when is your contest? I want to say I had a conflict in my schedule. I need to cook one in Georgia and recall that this was North of Atlanta, right? Do you have a picture of the trophy?

Thanks,

Babyboomerboy
11-19-2008, 03:48 PM
Wow those are some serious accomodations. Bet they had some deep pockets backing them. A little unrealistic for a small guy trying to put a comp together.

I don't know, we could probably do the donuts and coffee.

HBMTN
11-19-2008, 03:57 PM
CivilWarBBQ you left out the part where they should come to our houses and drive us to the competition and haul our smokers for us :lol:

CivilWarBBQ
11-20-2008, 12:51 AM
Wow those are some serious accommodations. Bet they had some deep pockets backing them. A little unrealistic for a small guy trying to put a comp together.

A successful contest is all about attracting good sponsors, and we've had some very generous support from businesses in our community over the years. With the economy in recession it is getting tougher to get a commitment for thousands of dollars though, so we may have to scale back some of our extras in the future.

You asked for examples of what other contests are doing, so that's what I listed. I'm not suggesting you copy any of what we have done, just giving you some ideas to prime the pump. As a cook, of everything we have offered I think my two favorites are the coffee and donuts for the guys taking the night watch and the air conditioned porta-potty trailer.

Scottie, the Georgia Barbecue Classic is held the first weekend in June in Cartersville, just off I-75 between Chattanooga and Atlanta. The Web site address is http://www.GeorgiaBarbecueClassic.com. We update the site in January, so what you will see there now reflects the 2008 event.

Scottie
11-20-2008, 09:20 AM
Scottie, the Georgia Barbecue Classic is held the first weekend in June in Cartersville, just off I-75 between Chattanooga and Atlanta. The Web site address is http://www.GeorgiaBarbecueClassic.com. We update the site in January, so what you will see there now reflects the 2007 event.


I think that is Qlossal in Iowa... Would like to make it down to yours. It's about as close as I am going to get for me...

Thanks.

CivilWarBBQ
11-20-2008, 05:18 PM
We'd love to have you at the GBC, Scottie.

If you're looking for a Georgia contest, there are two others slightly closer as the crow flies to the north of here, one in Young Harris and one in Dillard. The GBC is probably the fastest to get to from Chicago though, straight down I-65/I-24/I-75.

Scottie
11-21-2008, 11:51 AM
That's what I look for when I have to drive. Be able to get on the road in a hurry. We'll see how it works out with my schedule. I'll need to start knocking off the Southeast part of the country soon.

Chris Nickelson
11-21-2008, 03:05 PM
I think that is Qlossal in Iowa... Would like to make it down to yours. It's about as close as I am going to get for me...

Thanks.

Good you head South Scottie!
That'll give us a fightin' chance at Qlossal.

lol.

Scottie
11-21-2008, 03:18 PM
And miss being across from you guys? Nah... That is one of my fun contests for the year... I mean they are all fun, but that one is more fun??!!! :roll::roll:

Butcher BBQ
11-21-2008, 04:30 PM
We were at a contest this year in August, the organizers had arranged that every team recieved 1 full case of water. That is really a great item to recieve for a summer contest. Its cheap if you have to buy it or try to have a local store donate it.

Babyboomerboy
11-21-2008, 06:56 PM
We were at a contest this year in August, the organizers had arranged that every team recieved 1 full case of water. That is really a great item to recieve for a summer contest. Its cheap if you have to buy it or try to have a local store donate it.

That's a great idea, we'll check on getting the cooks some free bottled water. Thanks to all that made suggestions for our comp. We are going to use the idea of coffee and donuts for the cooks on Friday night since they will be up. And since its hot in July we are also going to give them some good ole fashion home made ice cream to go with the coffee and donuts. We will also have the showers available for the cooks on Saturday morning across the street at the swimming pool. I have been in contact with the ice company to see about having an ice truck available also. We got a great band to play Friday night so I think we are coming along fine with our plans for our first cook off. Any other idea we can use? Thanks again