We, Smokin' T's, attended this contest last year (and won it) and we were very happy with the organization and the effort put forth by the organizers. They did have some power issues but they did their absolute best to ensure that folks had what they needed to compete. They will continue to improve and hopefully this will become a big contest.
I would suggest the same thing that a number of other cooks have referred to. The contest payout is VERY heavily weighted at the top. There are contest that are paying 10k that dont give $1,750 to the GC. Take the top monies and spread that out over the categories a bit to give everyone more of a shot at some more money. Also, the big trophy is nice as are the trophies for the categories, but I cant put those in my gas tank. Personally I would rather have cash than a trophy. Give ribbons for categories and put the money towards the purse. My opinion only.
Finally, if you DO get 50 teams then the payouts definitely need to increase. 50 teams at $200 each is 10k. While everyone understands that there are expenses associated with a contest, $3500 payouts will not sustain that contest. Bands and stages etc. are an expense but they are not BBQ EXPENSES. They are expenses associated with the rest of the weekend events which a good portion of the cookers will not get to enjoy. I organized a contest in Mt. Vernon, IL for 7 years and I always looked at the BBQ contest as its own entity. What we took in for entry fees all went back out to the teams or to pay for expenses related to the teams, the BBQ was not looked at as a means of funding the other events.
Just my two pennies. Looking forward to cooking with you again this year. We had a blast last year.