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Rolling Smoke
01-07-2009, 07:33 AM
Somewhere amongst the post holiday blues and the onset of cabin fever, I do what most cooks do and start thinking about what competitions I am going to cook in the coming season. The KCBS website is usually where my search starts because I can search for contests by state, dates or even by what reps will be officiating a particular event. After I find a contest that fits my particular schedule and is within reasonable distance, the next logical step is to contact the person listed and request information about their event.

I know what it takes in the way of sanctioning, organizing, promoting and executing a contest and it is no small task. With that being said, my question is this. With all the effort that some organizers put into their contests, why in the hell can't they reply to people who are interested in cooking their event?

I have sent two emails and left one voicemail requesting information about a particular contest listed on the KCBS website and have yet to get the first response from the contact person. Once they receive sanctioning, they are posted on the website and also published in the Bullsheet so in my opinion they had better be ready to respond to requests for information. This is not the only tme this has happened to me and I'm sure it has happened to a lot of you also.

To invest all the time and money to get your event sanctioned then not reply to your perspective customer base makes as much sense to me as to rent a store front, stock it with the best items available and never unlock the front doors to let people in.

Bigdog
01-07-2009, 07:36 AM
In a word: Incompetence.

YankeeBBQ
01-07-2009, 07:37 AM
to invest all the time and money to get your event sanctioned then not reply to your perspective customer base makes as much sense to me as to rent a store front, stock it with the best items available and never unlock the front doors to let people in.


amen !

U2CANQUE
01-07-2009, 07:43 AM
I think, that especially from a new contest, it is the "well, I will get just back to them later....it is still early" thought....I have sent off a couple e-mails to different places and not heard back...others were responding within a day....guess you could tell where my dollars will be going.....

Rolling Smoke
01-07-2009, 08:00 AM
In a word: Incompetence.

If that's the case, then that will be their undoing.

Rolling Smoke
01-07-2009, 08:03 AM
I think, that especially from a new contest, it is the "well, I will get just back to them later....it is still early" thought....I have sent off a couple e-mails to different places and not heard back...others were responding within a day....guess you could tell where my dollars will be going.....


You might be onto something Rob. I've questioned organizers before about why they didn't reply to my emails and I've received every excuse in the book. Anybody that knows me knows I'm not big on making excuses and I'm damn sure not big on taking them.

U2CANQUE
01-07-2009, 08:05 AM
cough, cough, cough....ya know, went to some contest web site....cough cough cough...( I work in the emergency room....so I am allowed to have the persistent cough)....and the contest date is posted....but, hmmmm, 2008 form.....they must be working on some super duper entry form for this year.......grins.....gotta give some crap this morning....ice does that to me

Rolling Smoke
01-07-2009, 08:09 AM
I've got just the thing for that cough :icon_devil

U2CANQUE
01-07-2009, 08:11 AM
wood pile images......ewwwww.......old man, lots of time, baaaaaaaaaad things bad bad bad

Rolling Smoke
01-07-2009, 08:17 AM
Go where you want with that Rob but I was thinking more like clear liquid in a one quart mason jar. It'll fix what ails you.

U2CANQUE
01-07-2009, 08:27 AM
but, then I break out in cuffs.....and not in a good way.....I totally left you out when I went to Shelby, NC, brought back some of the best in Appalachia....some clear mountain water, and some peach brandy from the 85 year old guy in the hills....

Alexa RnQ
01-07-2009, 08:55 AM
Once they receive sanctioning, they are posted on the website and also published in the Bullsheet so in my opinion they had better be ready to respond to requests for information.
I would agree with you there. RnQ has sent out one email and one phone call so far for early-season events, and received timely responses for both. Of course, one response was "we just started having meetings and we'll get back with you", but it was a timely response.

I guess once upon a time publication of sanctioning/date was simply to "reserve" the date in people's minds, and in practice many events just didn't get around to hard information until about 8-12 weeks out. I see dates nearly a year out on the calendar, and suspect this is the case. We still see some of this in action in our region.

However, our team (and I suspect a more than a few others) have planning needs that extend beyond a couple of months. We are literally blocking out our calendar for the year, making allocations for funds, reservations for services, etc.

The bottom line is: if you're capable of handling the sums of money and commitment details to put on a contest, if you're expecting thousands of dollars to roll in from teams, then you're perfectly capable of answering inquiries or providing concrete information in a professional manner.

Of course, the old "if you don't like it, just don't go" argument comes into play -- "let supply and demand work it out". Well, there's the rub. Supply and demand only works where there is reasonable supply. In a region where there aren't multiple contests per weekend for cooks to choose from, they're held hostage to shoddy practices.

dmprantz
01-07-2009, 09:24 AM
I agree with a lot of what has been said, but in my experience, most contest organizers are not particularly tech savvy. I would offer my services to them, but I doubt most would/could pay. Anyway, the point is, a lot of organizers seem to setup eMail accounts just for the contest, which makes sense, and then ignore them 9 months out of the year. I have had much better luck calling organizers than eMailing them in the off season.

dmp

Rolling Smoke
01-07-2009, 09:57 AM
I would agree with you there. RnQ has sent out one email and one phone call so far for early-season events, and received timely responses for both. Of course, one response was "we just started having meetings and we'll get back with you", but it was a timely response.

I guess once upon a time publication of sanctioning/date was simply to "reserve" the date in people's minds, and in practice many events just didn't get around to hard information until about 8-12 weeks out. I see dates nearly a year out on the calendar, and suspect this is the case. We still see some of this in action in our region.

However, our team (and I suspect a more than a few others) have planning needs that extend beyond a couple of months. We are literally blocking out our calendar for the year, making allocations for funds, reservations for services, etc.

The bottom line is: if you're capable of handling the sums of money and commitment details to put on a contest, if you're expecting thousands of dollars to roll in from teams, then you're perfectly capable of answering inquiries or providing concrete information in a professional manner.

Of course, the old "if you don't like it, just don't go" argument comes into play -- "let supply and demand work it out". Well, there's the rub. Supply and demand only works where there is reasonable supply. In a region where there aren't multiple contests per weekend for cooks to choose from, they're held hostage to shoddy practices.

I agree with all you have said and I understand that the publication of an event usually happens long before all of the details are hammered out. As Rob so nicely pointed out earlier, I do not have the 2009 entry forms posted yet for our contest but I am still responsive to any and all queries regarding the Kettering contest and will continue to be.....except in Rob's case. :lol:

Rolling Smoke
01-07-2009, 10:12 AM
I agree with a lot of what has been said, but in my experience, most contest organizers are not particularly tech savvy. I would offer my services to them, but I doubt most would/could pay. Anyway, the point is, a lot of organizers seem to setup eMail accounts just for the contest, which makes sense, and then ignore them 9 months out of the year. I have had much better luck calling organizers than eMailing them in the off season.

dmp

I haven't polled many organizers to see what their technical capabilities are but in the same school of thought, I think it's safe to say that most organizers are not electricians or plumbers either yet both of these skills are needed to put on a successful event.

As for paying for services, there are somethings that an organizer must pay for but keep in mind the more they have to pay for, the smaller the purse gets. Most organizers (including myself) have a committee of volunteers who possess the necessary skills to get the job done without incurring additional cost.

U2CANQUE
01-07-2009, 10:16 AM
Ouch..:icon_sad..and after all of that free mojo I was going to send for another perfect weather day again this year in the lovely tree lined park like setting......just remember, I can bring the slight shower from Fairbanks to Kettering instead.....nah, cant do that to ya....dont want that phenomenal breakfeast to be ruined.....there, now do I get included in the need to know catagory again?:biggrin:

Rolling Smoke
01-07-2009, 10:20 AM
Okay, but as long as you never mention Kettering and the "F" word in the same post again.

Double D's BBQ
01-07-2009, 10:38 AM
Jim,

I don't have an answer to your question. I guess it varies by organizer. I think the mentality of a few minority organizers is that "If You Have It They Will Come". With the economy the way it is, those days are long gone. I've had a few contests where emails have been ignored and the only thing that I can say is I tend to avoid those contests in the future.
Lack of responsiveness on the organizer to a contestant is probably a good indicator/warning sign on how the contest will be run and the contestant will be treated. We had one contest last year where things got so screwed up that they were trying to charge teammates to get into the contest grounds. They gave out bracelets but if you had more than three members of your team or friends coming by they tried to get a fee from them. No trophies were given out at this contest either. Needless to say we won't be back.

I remember one contest last year in Cincinnati that was posted on the KCBS website with a link to a downtown market. When I clicked the link and went to the site there was absolutely nothing about the contest there. No contact person, nothing. Needless to say that contest died before it ever got off the ground.

Rolling Smoke
01-07-2009, 11:22 AM
Dallas, I remember the one in Cincy and it crossed my mind a couple of times when I made the initial post. They did finally respond to my emails but by that time it was too late for them to salvage the contest. One of the assigned reps told me they had no luck in getting the organizer to return their calls or reply to their emails either.

Buster Dog BBQ
01-07-2009, 11:24 AM
Had a contest here in Iowa last year that was being taken over from the previous organizer to be handled by the local festival committee (bbq contest was part of the festival). The contact person never returned voicemails, emails, anything. Several people were clueless on if the event was still happening. Finally a few weeks before the event the new committe came to a contest recruiting teams and had no idea this person wasn't responsive and the contest was not being viewed favorably. Well, this year they have already sent out their entry forms and updated their web site. Probably cost them a few teams last year.

RixCue
01-07-2009, 11:46 AM
Jim,


Lack of responsiveness on the organizer to a contestant is probably a good indicator/warning sign on how the contest will be run and the contestant will be treated. .




^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
What they said. If they fail to promote well, time to move on. My work does not allow me to attend many , so I dont waste my time on nonsence.


Rick

Podge
01-07-2009, 02:33 PM
I think any body ORGANIZING ANYTHING in this day and age, needs to know at least how to work e-mail. No excuse for that !!!:mad::mad::mad::mad:

If I sent an e-mail to an organizer, i want a response. I really don't give a sh!t if it's a very generic, cut-n-pasted to everybody.

e-mail that states:

-they've recieved my e-mial,
- will have more information coming in the future, or reply with a PDF info.
- and to keep my e-mail address in their contacts to send me new info as it becomes available.

I reckon I could let a phone call not being returned slipped, because there's lots of dummies out there that waste time, and I don't blame them to not return my call if they don't know me. But if i call a second time, better return it !

i guess the only thing we got going for us as cooks or judges, if the organizer is not responsive, call the rep.

Rolling Smoke
01-07-2009, 03:40 PM
I think any body ORGANIZING ANYTHING in this day and age, needs to know at least how to work e-mail. No excuse for that !!!:mad::mad::mad::mad:

If I sent an e-mail to an organizer, i want a response. I really don't give a sh!t if it's a very generic, cut-n-pasted to everybody.

Exactly!!!!

txschutte
01-07-2009, 04:34 PM
Absolutely agree with everyone! With a busy family schedule, and tying to accomodate a few contests, timing is everything. I have one contest within an hour from me, we want to make it Wyatts first contest. However if this cat doesn't get back to me real soon, I'll have to cook at Council Bluffs that weekend, 4 hrs away!!

HBMTN
01-07-2009, 04:47 PM
Move to Virginia, I have gotten great response from contest organizers that I have contacted in Va, WV, MD and NC. Sorry you are having trouble.

The Pigman
01-07-2009, 09:06 PM
The one you were refering to in Cincy last year was a very bad thought out idea. #1 it was in the worst neighborhood one that most people dont want to go to in the daylight much less sit and cook all night in. It is a couple block area surrounded by the worst of the worst, the ones that will shoot you for 5 dollars and they are as young as 12 pulling the trigger. I talked with the one lady when we were at the market about it and told her that I myself would never cook down there that I would never drive through that area at night. They are trying to get people to come to that area becuase of Findley market but it has gotten so bad noone wants to.

Rolling Smoke
01-08-2009, 04:35 AM
Move to Virginia, I have gotten great response from contest organizers that I have contacted in Va, WV, MD and NC. Sorry you are having trouble.

Not that I would have a problem livng in VA but I think I could come up with a better reason than that.

And since I never said where these contests were, how do you know it wasn't in one of the states you mentioned? My parole officer says I am allowed to cross state lines. :wink:

U2CANQUE
01-08-2009, 07:59 AM
well, of course you can now cross state lines, they do have the National Registry now...:twisted:

HBMTN
01-08-2009, 04:19 PM
>Not that I would have a problem livng in VA but I think I could come up with a better reason than that.

And since I never said where these contests were, how do you know it wasn't in one of the states you mentioned? My parole officer says I am allowed to cross state lines.<



I have corresponded with every KCBS Competiton in the listed states on several occations and all have treated me great and responded quickly. Again sorry you are having problems, so where is it you are having competition organizer issues?

Rolling Smoke
01-09-2009, 06:18 AM
I have corresponded with every KCBS Competiton in the listed states on several occations and all have treated me great and responded quickly.

I'm glad that's working out for you.

so where is it you are having competition organizer issues?

That was not the intended point of my initial post but since you brought it up, two of them have been states that you mentioned. Don't ask which states or which comps as it really doesn't matter at this point. Neither of them are in existence now and it's not a surprise as to why they didn't last.

That, my friend, was the whole point of my post. It was not intended to define regional differences in how organizers around the country respond to queries about their events. Nor was it intended to promote or degrade specific events, states or regions.

It's just one of those things that I have encountered in my 7 years of competing that makes me wonder why someone would go to all the effort to put an event together then not respond to the people that the event is dependent on to make it a success.

Things that make you go :confused:

cmcadams
01-09-2009, 09:21 AM
It's not much different than running a business... get an online presence, and take care of it. Be aware that there's a huge contingent that can help you there. Get with local bloggers, etc., even, and work with them to get word out.

Speaking of which... I have a need for 3-4 judges in the area, Jim... can you hook me up?

Rolling Smoke
01-09-2009, 10:59 AM
I probably can Curt. Just let me know what you need and all the details of the event.

HBMTN
01-09-2009, 04:32 PM
>That was not the intended point of my initial post but since you brought it up, two of them have been states that you mentioned. Don't ask which states or which comps as it really doesn't matter at this point. Neither of them are in existence now and it's not a surprise as to why they didn't last. <

It was not my intent either, I simply thought maybe I could put you in contact with people I have had good luck with if it were at events I have contacts at. I guess if I ever have a problem with them getting back to me I know what to do. :wink:

Double D's BBQ
01-09-2009, 05:18 PM
You might want to put Jim in touch with Jim because Jim is one of the best organizers in the country. Of course the problem is all the organizers in Ohio are named Jim aren't they Jim?

I assume that since you've contacted all the organizers in the country that you already know Jim don't you?:-D

HBMTN
01-09-2009, 06:37 PM
I don't have any Jim contacts in the states I listed, but if I ever come to Ohio I'll be sure to look Jim up.

Double D's BBQ
01-09-2009, 06:45 PM
Sounds like a plan, Bud. Just make sure that when you look up Jim that you tell them that Jim sent you!:-D