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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Old 08-17-2011, 11:16 AM   #1
Jimmy & The Squealers
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Default Entry fees vs payout

What is fair payout of prize money vs your entry fee? Would you enter a contest that pays out less than fifty percent of the entry fees based upon 50 teams entering?
I understand that organizers must make money, but some events seem to pay out a higher percentage of entry fees then others.
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy & The Squealers View Post
What is fair payout of prize money vs your entry fee? Would you enter a contest that pays out less than fifty percent of the entry fees based upon 50 teams entering?
I understand that organizers must make money, but some events seem to pay out a higher percentage of entry fees then others.
There are a lot of threads on this. Some care about the prize fund, some don't. SOS
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:31 AM   #3
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Make money off of the sponsors and not the cooks.
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy & The Squealers View Post
What is fair payout of prize money vs your entry fee? Would you enter a contest that pays out less than fifty percent of the entry fees based upon 50 teams entering?
I understand that organizers must make money, but some events seem to pay out a higher percentage of entry fees then others.
I'd say they use 100% of it on prizes but 80% is the lowest IMHO, the more money that can be won, the more teams (and well known teams) you will draw to a comp.

If you use 100% and split it like this:

With 20% of the standard $250 entry fee ($2500) going to Trophy construction and administrative costs

And 80% of 50 teams standard $250 entry fee you get a prize pool of $12500

You could have a $1000 Peoples Choice
$2000 GC
$1000 RGC

AND IN EACH OF THE 4 CATAGORIES
1ST - $750
2ND - $500
3RD - $350
4TH - $200
5TH - $75
6-10 - $50

Just my opinion...and we all know everyone has their own...
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:17 PM   #5
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Math Nazi: Your prize pool is $10,000 after deducting the $2,500 admin costs.
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigsapper View Post
Math Nazi: Your prize pool is $10,000 after deducting the $2,500 admin costs.
Yup...I accidentally cut out a portion of the text and then posted.

I'd say they use 100% of it on prizes but 80% is the lowest IMHO, the more money that can be won, the more teams (and well known teams) you will draw to a comp.

If you use 100% and split it like this:

20% for Admin/Trophys - $2500

You could have a $500 Peoples Choice
$2000 GC
$1000 RGC

AND IN EACH OF THE 4 CATAGORIES
1ST - $750
2ND - $500
3RD - $350
4TH - $200
5TH - $75


100% of 50 teams standard $250 entry fee you get a prize pool of $12500

You could have a $1000 Peoples Choice
$2000 GC
$1000 RGC

AND IN EACH OF THE 4 CATAGORIES
1ST - $750
2ND - $500
3RD - $350
4TH - $200
5TH - $75
6-10 - $50

Just my opinion...and we all know everyone has their own...
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:57 PM   #7
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The TRUE cost of a contest is MUCH larger than the prize pool alone...

Please be fair to the organizers by including other costs in your entry fee to payout calculations. Just because an event is only paying back 80% in prize money doen't mean the organizers are "making" 20%.
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodsmokebbq View Post
The TRUE cost of a contest is MUCH larger than the prize pool alone...

Please be fair to the organizers by including other costs in your entry fee to payout calculations. Just because an event is only paying back 80% in prize money doen't mean the organizers are "making" 20%.
It was my opinion, but the reality of the majority of contests that I have competed in has been about 50-70% payout on entry money.

I cooked in a contest a couple weekends ago that was 300% payout of the entry fees collected. (17 teams, $250 entry, $12500 in total payout)

The amount of sponsor money collected by the organizer directly affects the prize money that can be awarded. If an organizer busts their tail and gets a lot of money for a large operating budget then you can use all the entry money for prizes.

100% payout can be done, it takes a savvy organizer/schmoozer but it can be done, I’ve seen it.
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TooSaucedToPork View Post
It was my opinion, but the reality of the majority of contests that I have competed in has been about 50-70% payout on entry money.

I cooked in a contest a couple weekends ago that was 300% payout of the entry fees collected. (17 teams, $250 entry, $12500 in total payout)

The amount of sponsor money collected by the organizer directly affects the prize money that can be awarded. If an organizer busts their tail and gets a lot of money for a large operating budget then you can use all the entry money for prizes.

100% payout can be done, it takes a savvy organizer/schmoozer but it can be done, I’ve seen it.

Getting meaningful sponsorship money is VERY hard to do, ask any organizer. It is really easy to say "Go get sponsors", but when you actually have to get people to give you money it is a huge challenge. Super organizers who get approached to run a nation wide series obviously have a hand up with a built in prize pool. I guarentee the sponsor of the event you are talking about was not happy with the team turn out and thus the total funds they had to outlay.

If an event pays out 100% then they lose money, plain and simple... where the rest comes from is up to the organizer. Beer tent, host organization, festival or sponsors.
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:51 PM   #10
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Because I am primarily a cook, when I operate as a contest organizer, I try my best to get it right! Besides all of the things that make a contest cooker friendly that we do, my philosophy of prize pool is this: I am not there to make ANY money off the cooks entry fees! Stan and I as organizers don't make a dime for ourselves off the contest. Our prize pool is exactly what's paid in in entry fees less only KCBS fees. The cost of putting on a contest is a significant amount of change! To cover that, we get sponsorships. We look for ways around paying full price for anything. Because we are supporting a non-profit charity organization, we often get services like reduced cost port-o-crappers and free trash dumpster and removal. You just have to be creative. And when it comes to getting sponsors, I just think that contests that take entry fees to pay expenses are being lazy. Plain and simple. It takes work to go out and get sponsors. I admit Stan is much better at the techniques than I am but we get it done and don't dip into what should be (and is at our event) the prize purse.

Entry fees = Prize pool (less KCBS fees)

Contest expenses = sponsorship money

Money raised for charity = cash brought in from people's choice and raffles and other things we do at our event.

We find this to be a winning method and would encourage all organizers to look at something similar. Everyone gets paid and the teams get what they deserve.
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodsmokebbq View Post
Getting meaningful sponsorship money is VERY hard to do, ask any organizer. It is really easy to say "Go get sponsors", but when you actually have to get people to give you money it is a huge challenge. Super organizers who get approached to run a nation wide series obviously have a hand up with a built in prize pool. I guarentee the sponsor of the event you are talking about was not happy with the team turn out and thus the total funds they had to outlay.

If an event pays out 100% then they lose money, plain and simple... where the rest comes from is up to the organizer. Beer tent, host organization, festival or sponsors.
I don't agree with you - we pay out 100% and don't lose a bit. Sponsorships can be had. What many organizers don't realize is that every little bit helps. It's much easier to get 25 local businesses to give you $100 than it is to find one business to give you $2,500. We don't scoff and ANY amount we are offered. Approach the Chamber of Commerce - speak in their meetings and explain what you're doing and get results! And with our creative "bartering" so to speak, our contest expenses are WAY cheaper than what many are. We don't need much in the way of generators due to wiring at the fairgrounds but we do get a couple and a few spider boxes from a rental company. For what? $50 and a catered BBQ lunch for the company of a dozen employees.

We have cooking classes and judging classes - maybe I need to put together an organizer class.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
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We have cooking classes and judging classes - maybe I need to put together an organizer class.
Jeff, if you could get hold of Ruth Miller from the Mason City comp that would be one hell of a class ..... Ruth, Stan and you . Pleasant Hill & Mason City are about the two best organized comps that I've seen .
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:23 PM   #13
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Hey Dave... Ruth and I both served on the panel at the organizer round table at the last KCBS banquet. Had a blast talking about organizing contests. I think Stan and I have a unique perspective in that we primarily compete. Because of this, we know what makes a great contest and that's what we strive to do in Pleasant Hill and that's why we've grown from 48 teams to 77 teams in four years! Thanks for the compliments my friend!
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:20 AM   #14
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We have no problem paying out 100% plus some as the prize pool.
The problem occurs when fewer teams show up than expected.
You set your prize pool based on 40 teams and ya get 20, you are going to lose money.
Not to mention the power and such that has been arranged for more than you need leads to more money lost.
We are going to have to switch it up next year to a much lower starting prize pool with the understanding that it will increase if we get more teams. Kinda blows that we have to do that, but not a lot of choice. We don't mind breaking even, but I know few entities who can afford to run at a loss for long.
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_in_KC View Post
I don't agree with you - we pay out 100% and don't lose a bit. Sponsorships can be had. What many organizers don't realize is that every little bit helps. It's much easier to get 25 local businesses to give you $100 than it is to find one business to give you $2,500. We don't scoff and ANY amount we are offered. Approach the Chamber of Commerce - speak in their meetings and explain what you're doing and get results! And with our creative "bartering" so to speak, our contest expenses are WAY cheaper than what many are. We don't need much in the way of generators due to wiring at the fairgrounds but we do get a couple and a few spider boxes from a rental company. For what? $50 and a catered BBQ lunch for the company of a dozen employees.

We have cooking classes and judging classes - maybe I need to put together an organizer class.

Don't think you get my point, if you pay back 100% of the entry fees then you have to get money from somewhere else to pay for the other comp costs. That means the comp is a net loss. If you want to play games with that number and say that after ALL my comp expenses I give back 100% then fine. Thats not how I do the math. You say you take out your KCBS fees, that means, by definition, you are NOT a 100% payout... Sorry.

My event has payed back over 100% since inception (21K in 2011, and I DON'T include KCBS fees or rep expenses or anything else in that figure). Not to mention all the other goodies we like to give the teams.

My main point of all this:

It gets old very quick when people complain about some entry fee to payout ratio. Comps are expensive and small events (particularly stand alone) can have a very hard time finding other funds to fill the gap. Granted there are a few comps that are trying to make money off the teams, but these usuall don't last long and are far and few between. As a cook team the payouts really don't matter to me as long as the ratio is not horrible (< 50% ?).

$2500 barely covers my hose/extension cord/garbage can expense
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