View Full Version : A Good Set of People's Choice Rules

04-09-2010, 04:56 AM
We are re-doing our People's Choice Rules for the Nelsonville, Ohio competition. I have seen some posts in the past with different ideas for rules, but cannot find them after searching.:icon_blush:

Does anyone have any ideas, suggestions or links to People's Choice Rules that they have seen work well for them. Thanks for the help!!:thumb:

Lake Dogs
04-09-2010, 07:38 AM
I dont recall seeing a set of rules, perse. I seem to remember a few discussions about
having the Q distributed (or sold) central and have the judging be blind, vs. having
each team hand out their BBQ (ala. chili cookoffs).

Here locally we have a pretty good sized MBN cookoff (11,000 crowd) and they ask
competitors to cook 2 butts and turn them in at 11am on Saturday, already pulled
and sauced. Someone works the booth, creates plates with numbers on it, the
number corresponds to the number on the pan of pork (which then corresponds to
a team). The people pay a small amount (here, it's $5 for a big plate, and they
sell out within 30 minutes, but they have 11,000 people around) with 4 of the
competitors Q on it. The person gets one "card" which is a vote. They then place
that card in a bucket numbered with the same number as the Q. At the end,
cards are counted.

As far as rules, the Q can be sauced or not. It's from 2 butts. They've provided
the butts in the past. This year I think they're asking us to provide them. No
garnish or anything else in the pan (which is provided); just pulled pork.

Looking at the different ways to do this, I work with event organizers and help
plan cookoffs. If you want a true Crowd Favorite / Peoples Choice, then blind
is the way to go. Do not associate the numbers directly with a team... If,
however, you really want to promote a local team and have them "get the
vote out", then selling tickets and allow them to place their ticket with the
competitor and have the competitor distribute their Q is a better approach. It's
not blind, but does get, for example, all the firefighters to vote for their local
firefighter team, etc. Nothing wrong with either approach. What does happen,
after a while, is the non-local team no longer compete in the Peoples Choice
if it's not blind.

04-09-2010, 08:40 AM
Lake Dogs pretty much explained how our People's Choice will be run this year. You can see our rules at www.haycapitalbbq.com (http://www.haycapitalbbq.com). This is our first year having this contest so I can't tell you how it worked until after July 10th.

04-09-2010, 09:10 AM
Best move we ever did was drop PC
We now do "taste of Championship BBQ"
Just vending 2 oz tastes (samples are free at costco)
The teams keep the cash but pay a fee up front
depending on the crowd size

04-09-2010, 09:32 AM
From a team's perspective, after being involved in both blind and on site People's Choice, I strongly prefer blind. As much as i enjoy talking to the people as they come by, on site is almost always won by a local team. But, if you do an on site PC, please at least level the playing field. We have been in PC competitions where all teams were given a certain type and amount of meat to cook from a local sponsor, and all teams except one cook and served that meat. The lone exception served the provided meat plus meat that they brought themselves, plus a side dish and a dessert. Guess who won? I've also been involved in one where we were asked to serve samples of our competition meats. Unfortunately, only the local teams knew that the PC started at 10am, so none of the traveling teams had anythingfor people to sample until after our turn-ins were done!

The result of this is that I will only participate in an on site PC if all teams have to cook and serve the same amount of meat, and only if it benefits a charity or supports the competition. I know I won't win since I'm not local, but at least me efforts support a good cause.

Lake Dogs
04-09-2010, 09:50 AM
Interesting what Thom said. Very! No award though; ergo. no bragging rights.

Mind you, there's nothing wrong with the non-blind. However, non-locals learn
quickly that there's no reason to compete in it. It's not really a Peoples Choice
as a result. A true PC is blind, and you'll get a higher participation out of the
teams, especially if you put a few $$$ in it. In our case, there's only money for
1st place: $1,000. They usually get 22 - 25 of the 40 teams to enter and submit
Q. It's amazing how fast 50+- butts worth of meat will get sold/handed out.

If you dont want the award part, refer to Thoms' approach. I haven't been at one
like that, however as a competitor it sure looks interesting. I mean, if nothing else,
we'll pay for all the competition meat by cooking and serving 4+- butts, maybe
cover the entry fees as well...

I suggest looking first at what's the objective. If it's about bringing out locals to
vote for their buddies (again, nothing wrong there), then the non-blind works. If
it's about crowd involvement, blind works best if you want an award and perhaps
bragging rights. If it's just crowd involvement and getting all competitors involved
(no bragging rights), Thom has a very cool approach.

For what it's worth, there's nothing more frustrating for a person in the crowd than
to go to a BBQ competition and not be able to sample some BBQ. Many organizers
dont really get that. The way to get folks involved and be able to sample Q is
some type of Crowd Favorite / Peoples Choice. At the comp I'm referring to
earlier, when walking around later I still hear people complaining about not being
able to sample Q, or MORE Q (huge crowd). It can be very frustrating for them.

04-09-2010, 10:03 AM
The reason we started a People's Choice contest is because everyone that came to see the cookers last year we disappointed that they didn't get taste the cookers bbq. You must remember we are a very small town, (pop.1300), so most of the teams were from out of town to begin with. Also, no one around here had ever seen a KCBS cook off up close. Our town folk were amazed at the cookers who showed up with their rigs. Anyway, we are trying a People's Choice contest to let the public taste some fine bbq and also give the cookers another chance at winning some money. We furnish the butts for the cookers so there is no expense to the cookers other than the time it takes to cook, pull and turn in the produce.

04-09-2010, 10:40 AM
People's Choice has always been about feeding the public and fundraising. Sure it can be bought with extra food or stuffing the ballot box, but that's the nature of the thing. Blind box contests are for the cooks and judges exclusively, so leaving these groups largely out of PC shouldn't be considered a big deal.