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JD McGee
12-23-2010, 07:27 PM
Hi folks...thank you for your responses to my thread on "Competition Ammenities"...here... http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=97486

Along the same thought is why you choose where to compete. If there are several choices from which to choose on what do you base your decision?

Again...I am compiling a list for event organizers that will be available to everyone to use.

Not only am I surveying this forum, but other forums as well...here are links to them if you'd like to see what other folks are saying...

http://www.bbqbug.com/forums/bbq-contests/2687-competition-ammenities-new-post.html

http://tvwbb.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/7980069052/m/7971013006

http://www.pnwba.com/pnwbaforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1908


I hope that some of you will ask these questions to your local BBQ associations as well so that we (the competitors and event organizers) can hope to make life a bit easier (and appreciated) for future competitions.

Thanks again!

JD

watertowerbbq
12-23-2010, 07:31 PM
Location and entry fee. Big surprise huh? :doh:

Just kidding. I am fortunate that there are a lot of comps in Iowa so I tend to like the ones where the drive is short. Most of the comps here are priced very similarly, but last year there were a couple of new comps that were higher priced so I passed on them.

Buster Dog BBQ
12-23-2010, 07:43 PM
Price, distance, results, events and location.

Like Matt said above, iowa's got about 10 contest so no more than about 3 hour drives. Some have a great location like a campground. No matter how nice or cheap, if we don't score well two years in a row we wont go back. Some have had great events like bands, cooks dinner, etc.

I don't like higher than normal entry fee and payout only through 5. Very rare do we attend payouts only to 5th.

Coz
12-23-2010, 09:57 PM
With the look of a very thin Wi season this year I guess it will be closest comps that have good reviews. Looks like we will get a few miles on the trailer this year.

Bentley
12-24-2010, 12:08 AM
1st entry fee Vs payout...Contest here in CA are all apporaching $300 mark for $5-$7K in payout, thanks, but I will judge.

2nd who the Reps are, flat out will not judge some when I see who it is, don't trust them or they are flat out idiots!

3rd, time of year/location, to fat and out of shape to cook on asphalt when it is 95 to 100...at least give me some grass, that knocks 15 off right there.

Ron_L
12-24-2010, 07:30 AM
We look at reputation amongst the cooks, payout vs. costs, and distance. We try to stay within about 5 hours of home so that we can leave on Friday morning and be back home on Saturday night.

HarleyEarl
12-24-2010, 08:25 AM
Luckily the Kansas City area (or within 3 hours drive) has a contest almost every weekend during the season, so I have the pick of the litter on contests.

I look for the small town contests with at least 50 contestants (need to work on the TOY points :rolleyes:); good contest organization (see Big Creek for a great example); and contests that provide power and larger sites without huge additional expense (30 amp and 30x30 would be ideal).

On the other hand we do like to have fun & throw parties, so we will be doing the North Kansas City BBQ, Great American, Shawnee Great Grillers, and the Royal in 2011:clap2:. All these contests will have over 100 contestants - it gives you an oportunity to get together with old friends. While I don't mind doing contests back to back, I'm trying not to do more than three contests a month from April through October - need to take a break every once in a while.

Can't wait for the season to start...

ZILLA
12-24-2010, 09:35 AM
Main criteria...
Distance (100 miles or less with an occasional contest under 200 Miles)
Entry Fee/Payout Ratio
Venue (I will not cook on blacktop in the warm months)
Event reputation
Amenities
Number of teams (I prefer 30+)

To a lesser degree...
Sanctioning body
Host Pit
Head Judge
Weather outlook (as it relates to the site)
Event schedule
Event duration (I will not normally cook two day events)
Terms (I will usually not cook an event with a Saturday night lock in)
Personal Scedule (as it relates to departing and arrival times at the contest.)

HawgNationBBQ
12-24-2010, 09:45 AM
Price, distance, results, events and location.

Like Matt said above, iowa's got about 10 contest so no more than about 3 hour drives. Some have a great location like a campground. No matter how nice or cheap, if we don't score well two years in a row we wont go back. Some have had great events like bands, cooks dinner, etc.

I don't like higher than normal entry fee and payout only through 5. Very rare do we attend payouts only to 5th.


We have a good number in Pennsylvania. Too bad we have to wait until April now. Ughh

Buster Dog BBQ
12-24-2010, 10:14 AM
We have a good number in Pennsylvania. Too bad we have to wait until April now. Ughh

Iowa's first isn't till May.

Buster Dog BBQ
12-24-2010, 10:16 AM
jD not sure which thread this belongs in but I like when the organizer keeps the web site up to date. I like to see who is coming and I like to see the map and parking assignments on line so I know what to expect. I think more contest need to utilize the web more, even taking entry fees via visa.

Jeff Hughes
12-24-2010, 11:17 AM
I like contests that Buffalo, Butcher, Little Pig Town, Twin Oaks, and Pigdawg are not at.

Wait, those don't exist around here, oh well...

JD McGee
12-24-2010, 11:36 AM
I like contests that Buffalo, Butcher, Little Pig Town, Twin Oaks, and Pigdawg are not at.

Wait, those don't exist around here, oh well...

Ya know...there's a lotta truth to what you said. I'm sure folks are checkin' out the competition to see if they have a decent chance for a walk or two...especially if they're huntin' for bungs. :becky:

SMITTYtheSMOKER
12-24-2010, 01:54 PM
We compete in 9-15 contests a year over the last 3 years, expect a dozen or so this coming season. We are getting to the point where we can choose out of 15-20 contest here in state (California) now, as opposed to hitting every contest within 15 hours get enough contests in when we first started as CA only hosted 4-5 back then.

When choosing a contest there are quite a few factors-

-KCBS Sanctioned events only.
-How Far, close is better.
-Prize Money.
-How may teams competing.
-Charity driven event where teams help promoter make money for a cause (usually less prize money).
-Calendar, many schedule conflicts during the summer with regular life situations.

Bigmista
12-24-2010, 04:45 PM
Distance is a big factor for me. Going isn't bad, but a long ride home (especially if you didn't place well) can be miserable.

Electricity, NEARBY water, and ash disposal cans are up there.
Showers are cool! (We don't all have travel trailers.)

Entry Fee vs. Payout

Charity event

Smokin Mike
12-24-2010, 05:19 PM
my very first comp was at north KC, and I didn't like it, I was very green, never cooked a contest or helped with a team. and the guy in charge of it will not return emails or calls. thanks to Jeff's contest in P. Hill, Mo, I got hooked to doing comps, and walking for ribs did help :becky:.

I guess the organizer is my main reason to go to a contest, with a close following the reps.

Lake Dogs
12-25-2010, 01:34 PM
Main criteria...

Distance (we participate in a sanctioned cookoff that I really dont care for the
particular sanctioning body, but it's right here beside us and the venue is stellar,
has showers, is on a lake, etc)

Sanctioning Body and reputation at that particular cookoff (judge quality and
consistency of judging). As a result we certainly prefer sanctioned contests, but
we also prefer one particular sanctioning body over the others. I'm not trying to
argue or debate this, it's just been our experience and preference.

Venue (I will not cook on blacktop in the scorching months).

Amenities (ties in with venue)

Overall organization and running of the comp. There's a close one that we've
done very well in over the years, but they kept changing things at the last minute,
and that's the only thing they did consistently (change stuff). That, and they dont
allow pets. Wife was driving back and forth tending dogs. It was just too much
nonsense for us; we'll spend our money and time on something else.

Number of teams (to a degree, the more teams the better) 40 to 50 is nice.

The_Kapn
12-25-2010, 02:02 PM
I'm with most of guys above.

Entry fee vs payout is a biggie. Our events down here are "pricey" and I need a chance to get back a portion of my entry fee to continue on to the next one.

I will not go to an event without dependable power and running water. Both within 100' of my spot.

Need some room. Sherman is 23' hitch to stern, so 20 X 30 is my minimum.

Other small stuff don't matter too much.

Greg (Parrothead) did a series of questions a few years ago.
Dated probably, but a lot of stuff does not change.

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

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

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19238

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=31296

Interesting historical reading.

TIM

JD McGee
12-25-2010, 02:23 PM
Thanks for the links Tim...lotsa good stuff in there to add to the list...:thumb:

dmprantz
12-25-2010, 08:49 PM
I'm not as big time as a lot of the other posters, but it could be useful to hear the voice of the "little guy:"

Distance is most important. I'm not gonna drive more than 3 hours for a comp. I did that once, not again. I try to keep them within two hours from home, and if I have two comps close to each other on the schedule, I'll do the closer one, all things being equal.

Cost: I top out at about $225, maybe $250 for a comp. I'm just not good enough (yet) to pay more and expect a return on my investment. There were two comps very close to me this year that wanted $350 to enter. I participated in neither.

Meats / Judging Style: I'm pretty much KCBS only. I'd do an FBA if one were around me, but I don't do MBN. I just don't have the gear, and it's too expensive, though I do go to MIM:)

Hourly Schedule: There's a local shop that tries to do several backyard comps for fun during the year. I'd love to go, but they want ribs turned in at noon, and you have to show up the morning of. I'm not getting up that early for a po-dunk comp.

Ammenities: As discussed in the other thread, those are partially important. I won't do a comp without power to my site and water close by.

Alcohol: Not to be stupid, but I do to a comp to have a good time. If I am told before hand that I can't have a drink, even in a red cup, I'll pass.

Quota: I try to do no more than one comp a month, so it's possible I'll pass up a comp to do one that's bigger/better/closer, even if it meets the other criteria.

dmp

carlyle
12-26-2010, 11:58 AM
This is another great thread that all organizers should read, at least those organizers who are interested in attracting more teams to their event.

Read this and took notes. Both these notes and ammenities thread notes go to our next meeting for discussion.

Thanks to all who contributed and to JD for starting this thread.

It is threads like these that make me glad I joined.

olewarthog
12-26-2010, 02:10 PM
Ditto what Carlyle said. As a contest organizer, this is a very informative thread. :clap2::clap2::clap2::clap2:

trueque
12-26-2010, 04:21 PM
This first year, distance was my first qualifier. If more than one competition was available, I took peer recommendations, event reputation and considered the entry fee plus extras. I competed in 6 KCBS, 2 SLBS and 2 non-sactioned events.

1. distance
2. peer recommendation / event reputation
3. entry fee + extras


For 2011, I plan on competing more and have not limited myself to distance, so I am having to consider my personal/family schedule more. I am also concentrating on sanctioned events, looking closer at event reputation, payout ratios & range and accommodations. The best comps I have been to have been organized (or consulted) by competitors that understand the needs of the teams.

1. personal/family schedule
2. sanctioning
3. event reputation
4. payout ratios & range
5. accommodations

Big George's BBQ
12-26-2010, 04:34 PM
Entry fee
Distance
If it is on grass
showers and bathrooms

JD McGee
12-26-2010, 04:38 PM
Thanks guys...it is my intention to make this information available to all who want it as a reference (of sorts) when planning an event. It is my opinion that if sponsors and organizers know in advance what teams would like in the way of amenities their events will be successful...perhaps even grow from year to year as the word gets out that such and such event takes care of the stars of the show...the comp teams! :-P