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View Full Version : What makes for a good contest?


bingo1912
01-29-2010, 02:23 PM
I'm in the process of putting together a cook off/contest at the Lynden Rodeo this year, and I would like to know.
What constitutes a good event for the cooks?
What are some of the most memorable events you have been to and why?
Thanks in advance. :-D
Gary

JD McGee
01-29-2010, 02:55 PM
Lots of open space...:-P That said...one of the most crowded spots was up in Langley, BC...but they pulled out all the stops. Free food, free beer, free music, free coffee/pastries Sunday morning...lot's of local vendors selling all kinds of stuff, very people friendly. We're going back again this year...plus it didn't hurt that we took reserve...:icon_blush:

Lake Dogs
01-29-2010, 03:14 PM
Jello shots and Hooters Waitresses!

Open space, clean power (for RV), water easily accessible, fun ancillary events Friday
evening...

Texcam
01-29-2010, 04:29 PM
Calls and checks or cash !

bingo1912
01-29-2010, 04:37 PM
:icon_coolWe have lots of that JD (open space) as for vendors I'm working on it. Power water and bathrooms shouldn't be a problem. Some of our volunteers own a restaurant so breakfast should be covered,,, hmmm free beer. I want a local brewery "Chuckanut Bay" to supply beer for the beer garden, they have the best beer EVER! I'll have to talk to them about donating a keg of their best Marzano "Its JUICY!" how about a local craft fair??? coffee, doughnuts, no problem. Don't forget the Rodeo! Thanks for the feedback,
Gary

bingo1912
01-29-2010, 04:39 PM
Lots of open space...:-P That said...one of the most crowded spots was up in Langley, BC...but they pulled out all the stops. Free food, free beer, free music, free coffee/pastries Sunday morning...lot's of local vendors selling all kinds of stuff, very people friendly. We're going back again this year...plus it didn't hurt that we took reserve...:icon_blush:
Yep
Angie told me you guys dun good,,,lol

Just Smokin' Around
01-29-2010, 09:10 PM
I think decent amount of space (flat), electric, water, clean bathrooms (port-a-pots shouild be serviced every day), ice available especially later in the comp after turn-ins, and regular trash pick-up and some level of security are a must. Convenient grey water disposal with multiple locations is nice along with ash cans.
Certainly, some of the other item mentioned are nice to have - free breakfast Sat. morning, dinner Friday night with the nice beer you mentioned, showers, indoor bathrooms, little goodie bag for teams, t-shirt, and volunteers just checkin' in with teams to see if everything is okay every now and then.

Podge
01-29-2010, 09:17 PM
If you are going to provide electricity, make it good !!..

beam boys bbq
01-29-2010, 09:21 PM
flat space
water
good power supply
night time watch man to look over our stuff when we do get to sleep
t shirt is nice but not an needed one
sat night can stay over an wind down :icon_blush:

bingo1912
01-29-2010, 11:13 PM
If you are going to provide electricity, make it good !!..
Uh you've had "bad" electricity????
As in you need clean power for an RV? or just mean 240.

Ron_L
01-30-2010, 07:19 AM
Uh you've had "bad" electricity????


Yep... We've been to competitions where the generator would quit randomly, another where water had gotten into the distribution boxes and the ground faults would trip randomly, others where the voltage would dip once in a while, etc. At one comp a local electrician came out on nis own time to re-wire the breaker panel that was feeding half the comp site because half of the outlets were on one 20A breaker.

Good power means clean, stable power that stays on for the duration of the event.

Diva Q
01-30-2010, 07:32 AM
My list of things at a comp:
1.Money- decent prize packages that pay out to multiples of levels.
2.Water
3.Flat level spaces
4.Make it cooker friendly (please see Boston Hills or Rock City Rib fest -they are both VERY cooker friendly comps)
5.Good Electricty:
I have had some bad electricity at comps. When the power is not clean it can be a problem for sure. Thats why I always have the generator. Its a very good point to make sure the power you are providing to a competitor is clean. It has to run consistently without multiples of brownouts or issues.
6. Enough porta potties that are serviced.
7. Integrity. I don't like wishy washy organizers that change things at the last minute because of a whiny team. Stick to the rules you provide. Make changes for the following year if need be but not during the current competition.
8.Decent spacing.

The Giggler
01-30-2010, 07:35 AM
I posted this the other day on the Great Lakes BBQ Associations Forum:

Complete information on the Entry Form, including the turn in schedule, directions, hotels, grocery stores, area attractions, etc.
Good communication and correspondence when registering.
Greeters or Signs telling you where to go when you arrive.
Organized staff who can park teams on their sites.
Flat, well drained, field.
Accessible ash and grease cans.
Ice sold and delivered on-site.
Trash removal.
Some sort of social event among cooks and judges (pot luck dinner for example).
Access to restroom facilities with running water. Showers are a BIG bonus.
If it is a large event, are private johnny-on-the-spot's available for rent?
Simple breakfast - Coffee, Donuts, etc.
Timely award ceremonies.
Printed scoresheets.
Nice trophies, and fair payout.
Generally, being treated well.

We all know it takes a lot of time and money to ATTEND a contest. It bears mentioning that there's also a lot involved to HOST a contest.

QansasjayhawQ
01-30-2010, 07:41 AM
My list of things at a comp:
1.Money- decent prize packages that pay out to multiples of levels.
2.Water
3.Flat level spaces
4.Make it cooker friendly (please see Boston Hills or Rock City Rib fest -they are both VERY cooker friendly comps)
5.Good Electricty:
I have had some bad electricity at comps. When the power is not clean it can be a problem for sure. Thats why I always have the generator. Its a very good point to make sure the power you are providing to a competitor is clean. It has to run consistently without multiples of brownouts or issues.
6. Enough porta potties that are serviced.
7. Integrity. I don't like wishy washy organizers that change things at the last minute because of a whiny team. Stick to the rules you provide. Make changes for the following year if need be but not during the current competition.
8.Decent spacing.

I'll say a hallelujah to that! And especially number 7 - one thing that rankles me kankles more than anything else is when people get wishy washy and change the rules in the middle of the game . . .

I would add to ENFORCE the rules that already exist, especially with regards to large party teams . . .

The Giggler
01-30-2010, 07:42 AM
Thanks for the great compliment, Diva Q!

Babyboomerboy
01-30-2010, 08:30 AM
Several of you have mentioned flat open spaces. That was one of the main complements we heard the most from the cookers at our cook off last year. We had a 5 foot buffer space between each cook site on our football field and the cookers really liked that. Of course we are going to do that set up again this year. When the cookers speak, the coordinator better listen...

BigJimsBBQ
01-30-2010, 10:00 AM
Allow Teams to Vend also for $50-$60 uplift. Gives the event guest a chance to eat Good Q and the Team to recoupe some costs (win-win). And if you are a Team / Vendor, you get a spot that has the main Guest trafic.

Think also about turn-in location being central vs. on one end. This helps even the walking distance field.

Thanks for asking...

TN_BBQ
01-30-2010, 01:15 PM
Space BETWEEN booths.

Had a local event a few years ago that had a space 50 feet wide and 100 feet long. They tried to row everybody up in their 20x20 foot spaces (envision 10 teams trying to squeeze into a space 50x100). You couldn't breathe...and heaven forbid anybody want to walk around.

Podge
01-30-2010, 01:25 PM
Uh you've had "bad" electricity????
As in you need clean power for an RV? or just mean 240.

I've been to a contest which said they'd have 30 amp, ended being 20 amp. Been to another contest which had 30 amp outlets, but no way to turn up the power on the generator, so as to have at least 115v. at the trailer.

bingo1912
01-30-2010, 01:32 PM
Yep... We've been to competitions where the generator would quit randomly, another where water had gotten into the distribution boxes and the ground faults would trip randomly, others where the voltage would dip once in a while, etc. At one comp a local electrician came out on nis own time to re-wire the breaker panel that was feeding half the comp site because half of the outlets were on one 20A breaker.

Good power means clean, stable power that stays on for the duration of the event.

The NorthWest Washington Fairgrounds has a very large open,flat,grassy area it has lots of power provided by another brotherhood.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers "IBEW"
I promise.
Power will NOT be an issue,,,, lol :icon_cool

monty3777
01-30-2010, 03:07 PM
Free bags of ice! Not unlimited, but enough to help out. But, if you promise them make sure they are actually available. Went to a comp last year where I had to go to the truck, jimmy the lock, and get them myself after requesting the ice 4 times (that's how is was supposed to work. Teams asked and the ice was delivered). It was amazing that the established teams had no problem getting the ice...