You have to move and visit while you can. Remember that even after last turnin there's lots of work left to do. Some teams will depart immediately after the awards ceremony and so start clean up and teardown as early as the organizers allow.
Others are going to stay overnight and are more relaxed -- look for the teams with motorhomes - they'll usually be staying over - and they often have the best bar!! :D
Everybody is pretty tired - look around at the awards cermony. Lot's of tired faces.
Competition, while not truly a sport, in an active and stressful undertaking. Long hours, deadlines, uncontrollable variables all come into play as well as the individual personalities!
For example: if you come by our site after 10 a.m. I will probably talk to you and then excuse myself to "take care of business" and then come back to you. Tim, on the other hand, will tell you in no uncertain terms that we're busy and don't have time for you! :D We're team mates but completely different in that area!!
Just don't take "rejection" personally! Odds are if you come around later when the pressure is off you'll get a taste!! Oh yeah, do not ask for samples before turn-in!!
Also, at most events it's better if you bring a lawn chair for the awards presentation. A lot of venues are parks and such that don't have bleachers!!
Don't be afraid to enter an event, soon. You'll get more "inside" info since most (again, most) teams will help a rookie! They won't loan you their secret rub but they will keep you from getting DQ'd for the wrong lettuce. You would be amazed at the tips passed along to new teams at, say, 3 a.m.! When you're there cooking you are one of the guys even if you don't know what you're doing!! :D
Southern Brethren BBQ Competition Team
"It's all about getting paid!" - Myron Mixon
"I love being hated in my hometown!" - David Hair
KingFisher Gator Rotisserie cooker, WSM, Stainless 5 burner with IR gas grill, Turkey Fryer, Weber JD Commemorative grill, slightly used Bandera chamber for future use as a cold smoker, Masterbuilt 40" insulated ELECTRIC smoker