How Much Is Not Enough - Is This A Trend? - BBQ Central

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View Poll Results: What Is The Minimum Amount Of Overall Prize Money You Would Need To Consider Cooking At A Contest?
$10,000 1 4.76%
$7,500 0 0%
$5,000 5 23.81%
$4,000 1 4.76%
$3,000 1 4.76%
$2,000 1 4.76%
Money Is Not Important - I'm just there to compete and have a good time 12 57.14%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-22-2009, 07:40 AM   #1
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How Much Is Not Enough - Is This A Trend?

I was scanning through the KCBS website yesterday trying to decide which contests to enter this year and I noticed a reduction in contests fees at several contests. It used to be pretty much the norm that $5,000 in total prize money was usually the bare minimum yet yesterday I noticed several contests with prize money of $4,000, $3,000, and one at $1,600. I noticed some said that they would consider raising prize money if they received more entries than anticipated. Many have also scaled back and are no longer offering trophies (except for GC and RGC) just ribbons and certificates. I understand that this is definitley a sign of the economy. I'm just curious at what point you find it economically unfeasible to do a contest. To try to keep things equivalent assume all contests are cook friendly.

I'm sure that many new contest organizers will find these answers helpful. In addition at some of these lower paying contests I've started to see an increase in contest fees. I noticed a contest yesterday was looking for new cooks - total prize money was $3,800 and the entry fee was $250. Also please add what additional things you think are must haves before you would consider doing a contest and the approximate amount of money you spend on doing a contest.
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:56 AM   #2
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We spend an average of $800-$1,000 per contest. It might be a little less this year as the price of diesel is less than half of what it was last year but when you factor in contest fees, prices of rubs and sauces, hotel fees, fuel, meals on the road and at the contest it can get out of hand real fast. We are a family team so we have no one to split the costs with. We are definitely not into contests for the money but would at least like to have a chance to recover some of our expenses. We have a lot of fun at contests and its a way for us to see friends that we would not see except at these contests. Still there has to be a chance to walk away with at least recovering your entry fee and the cost of meats and ingredients.

Some of the thing that I am looking at this year that are absolutely must haves for a contest are the following:

1. The contest being designated a state championship
2. A minimum space of 20x20 (20x30 or larger is desireable)
3. Easy access to water and electric
4. Easy ash, grease, and garbage disposal
5. An entry fee proportional to the prize money ($200 used to be the norm)
6. The ability to come in on Thursday night and leave on Sunday morning (desireable for out of towners)
7. A friendly attitude by the contest organizer encouraging cooks to put together a pot luck dinner
8. Some sort of minimal breakfast for the cooks in the morning
9. Quick inspection of meat upon arrival
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:28 AM   #3
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Good point, as I was just sending out 3 more contest entries this week....OUCH....thank God for the extra job. I am concerned about the 2 new contests in Ohio because BOTH have stated that they cannot get a state proclimation from the Gov....how true this is or not I dont know, but, I am putting off sending in an entry to these because there may not be a lot of benefit from doing it, besides seeing folks, and getting in another contest practice (a mighty expensive practice at that). Though, both state that they are working with KCBS to get a certification that the Gov will not sign, and have that waived....we will see how this pans out.

I do not necessarily look at the total prize amount, but, no, not going to head out to a contest that even if you dominated all catagories, and won GC that you would barely break even....with those kinds of odds, I would rather head to Vegas or something.

Necessary.......
-water, electric
-responsive reps/organizers....
-"something"...."anything" that is a sign of some sort of appreciation....
-payouts to 5th
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:38 AM   #4
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Interesting information about the state proclamations Rob. I sent out an email yesterday to the Marietta organizer about getting such a proclamation and have not yet heard back from him.

I'm curious as to what is all involved with getting such a proclamation and how time consuming it actually is. Is this something that KCBS can help out with?

I'm afraid that we may see an number of contests dry up this year because of the economy. I got a phone call from the Fairbanks contest yesterday. So far only 5 teams have signed up and the prize money is only $3,000. Just too far for us to travel with those odds especially since the Marietta contest is less than half the distance and pays out $1,000 more. Yet Marietta is not a designated state championship as of yet, so I'll probably wait until that happens to decide. Too many contests, too little time, too little money!

So far my contest schedule looks relatively light this year with only Madison, Kettering, and Oinktoberfest as locks. I'd like to add a few more and probably will as the details of these contests clears up.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:53 AM   #5
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Yeah, I am in a holding pattern for the 2 ohio contests.....if no progress on Trotwood then I am going to head up to WI for the Wolfeitdown BBQ Bash.....going to do some traveling this year, but, figure, why not.....life got a little cheaper with the butcher shop picking up the meat tabs.....
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:14 AM   #6
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Most times for us its just our ability to get to contest no matter what the prize structure. We just don't have that many choices up here to do that many. Usually we have to go to whatever is presented that gives us the best opportunity for a shot at the Jack and to represent our sponsors in Canada.
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:57 AM   #7
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I can see the points about the money. However, if you are in this for the money...go cater. There's a hell of a lot of money that can be made catering and it involves just as much time, some forethought, and a pretty good amount of work. You get just as much, if not more, adulation from the people eating. Contests are fun and it's great to hang and BS with everyone but as far as money goes...private gigs are where it's at.

That being said:
1. 20x30 space
2. Free electric and water close by
3. local source of properly seasoned firewood available
4. early inspections
5. showers
6. dancing girls...Witt just doesn't cut it any more
7. beer for my horses
8. Post -comp pizza delivered
9. staff to clean and put my stuff away
10. Ruby slippers so I can click my heels and be home
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:24 AM   #8
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Definitely not in it just for the money although I can see why an event with a total payout of $3800 and an entry fee of $250 is having a hard time attracting teams. As far as catering is concerned I don't have the slightest interest of working that hard for that little. When it becomes a second job its no longer fun for me.

I'll stick with the events with the higher payouts and level of competition and just do less of them. I'll pass on the events that are trying to put on an event with a shoe string budget (especially if they are non sanctioned or are not a designated state championship). I'm very leery of sending in any money to these events this year where they may get cancelled before they get off the ground. Money is tight this year not just for the competitors but also for the sponsors. It will be interesting to see how many events survive. For the contests that are paying top dollar though there seem to be no shortage of teams willing to participate. I never thought I'd say this but I think Ohio (especially southern Ohio is now becoming oversaturated with contests).
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bubba
I can see the points about the money. However, if you are in this for the money...go cater. There's a hell of a lot of money that can be made catering and it involves just as much time, some forethought, and a pretty good amount of work. You get just as much, if not more, adulation from the people eating. Contests are fun and it's great to hang and BS with everyone but as far as money goes...private gigs are where it's at.

That being said:
1. 20x30 space
2. Free electric and water close by
3. local source of properly seasoned firewood available
4. early inspections
5. showers
6. dancing girls...Witt just doesn't cut it any more
7. beer for my horses
8. Post -comp pizza delivered
9. staff to clean and put my stuff away
10. Ruby slippers so I can click my heels and be home
Lynn will be not happy to hear this
You forgot to mention Judging Bubba
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bubba
I can see the points about the money. However, if you are in this for the money...go cater. There's a hell of a lot of money that can be made catering and it involves just as much time, some forethought, and a pretty good amount of work. You get just as much, if not more, adulation from the people eating. Contests are fun and it's great to hang and BS with everyone but as far as money goes...private gigs are where it's at.

That being said:
1. 20x30 space
2. Free electric and water close by
3. local source of properly seasoned firewood available
4. early inspections
5. showers
6. dancing girls...Witt just doesn't cut it any more
7. beer for my horses
8. Post -comp pizza delivered
9. staff to clean and put my stuff away
10. Ruby slippers so I can click my heels and be home
I'm with him!!! You will get far MORE adulation from catering. It is WAY more work than competition BBQ though. Prize money is a nice "bonus" , but let's face it. Most times you don't get any!!!! There are a few folks out there who win consistently, but let's face it. They don't have real jobs!!! If you are not in competition BBQ for simply the fun and comraderie, you are NUTS!!!! If you are looking for validation, or a sense of self worth........buy a dog!!!
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:41 AM   #11
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I do it for fun.

It is a hobby (addiction) and cheaper than other addictions, like, say, crack or herion . . .

All winnings are donated to a charitable cause at year's end . . . because I do it for fun, not for money . . . they need it more than I do, I've found

Besides, there is not enough money available in winnings to consider competitive bbq cooking as a 'job'. At least not with the lifestyle I've become accustomed to with shelter, sustenance, and available personal transportation . . .

I have arrangements with my sponsors through which I satisfy their needs from me (get your mind out of the gutter, Uncle Bubba), and they, in turn, satisfy my need for sponsorship $$ or equipment, and everyone remains happy and content with the set up . . .

Generally speaking I go to competitions to have a good time, meet up with old and new friends, and spend some face time with the general public where I promote bbq . . . and watch the dreamy look come across their eyes as they catch a whiff of something smoking and let their imaginations run . . .
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Old 03-23-2009, 12:12 PM   #12
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Gee Dallas, I'm a little disappointed that Boston Hills BBQ Fest isn't on your "Lock" list. We have the Gov Proc which gives us State Championship Status (15 teams first year) and both contests will be KCBS Sanctioned. In terms of travel, we're just about 3 hours from Hudson. I hope payout isn't the deciding factor. (I am also a little surprised that one particular contest is on your schedule - in the past you didn't seem to hold that contest or organizers in very high regard.)

As an organizer, I am reluctant to post the guaranteed prize money on the ad. I will say this - the $3000 prize money is based on having the minimum 15 team field necessary to be a Qualified State Championship. Prize payout at our contest is 100%, less KCBS Sanc Fees and Rep Travel Expenses, and Trophies and Ribbons. If we fill the field of 49, that gives us a minimum of $10000. The more teams, the better the payout.

I will say that with a full field, a donation will also be made on behalf of the competitors to the Patchin Fire Company, as they are shouldering the majority of the cost for our event.

Prize money is never a consideration for us. Sanctioning is important, as is the State Championship Status.
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Old 03-23-2009, 12:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kloset BBQR
Some of the thing that I am looking at this year that are absolutely must haves for a contest are the following:

1. The contest being designated a state championship
2. A minimum space of 20x20 (20x30 or larger is desireable)
3. Easy access to water and electric
4. Easy ash, grease, and garbage disposal
5. An entry fee proportional to the prize money ($200 used to be the norm)
6. The ability to come in on Thursday night and leave on Sunday morning (desireable for out of towners)
7. A friendly attitude by the contest organizer encouraging cooks to put together a pot luck dinner
8. Some sort of minimal breakfast for the cooks in the morning
9. Quick inspection of meat upon arrival
You have described the Inaugural Boston Hills BBQ Fest to the letter.
1. Got it!
2. Most likely will be 25 x 25, pull through sites are available.
3. H20 and Hydro - Check
4. Easy disposal
5. $200 KCBS. $75.00 NEBS Grilling. $75 for pull through site.
6. No problem. Why leave Sunday? Stick around to grill!
7. Do they get any more friendly than me? Rob Marion has already volunteered to organize the pot luck dinner.
8. The Town Of Boston Historical Society will be running the breakfast for a nominal fee.
9. There will be a welcoming committee to to greet you upon your arrival who will direct you to your site. The KCBS Reps will be conducting meat inspections as teams are ready.[/b]
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bubba
I can see the points about the money. However, if you are in this for the money...go cater. There's a hell of a lot of money that can be made catering and it involves just as much time, some forethought, and a pretty good amount of work. You get just as much, if not more, adulation from the people eating. Contests are fun and it's great to hang and BS with everyone but as far as money goes...private gigs are where it's at.

That being said:
1. 20x30 space
2. Free electric and water close by
3. local source of properly seasoned firewood available
4. early inspections
5. showers
6. dancing girls...Witt just doesn't cut it any more
7. beer for my horses
8. Post -comp pizza delivered
9. staff to clean and put my stuff away
10. Ruby slippers so I can click my heels and be home
I'm with him!!! You will get far MORE adulation from catering. It is WAY more work than competition BBQ though. Prize money is a nice "bonus" , but let's face it. Most times you don't get any!!!! There are a few folks out there who win consistently, but let's face it. They don't have real jobs!!! If you are not in competition BBQ for simply the fun and comraderie, you are NUTS!!!! If you are looking for validation, or a sense of self worth........buy a dog!!!
I guess I'm nuts then. If the numbers don't add up and their is no chance to come remotely close to making a portion of your money back even if you should win the GC, than there are other contests more worthy of my limited funds. Look at it this way if your just in it for the comradarie and fun then lets all chip in 800-1000 per team and skip Oinktoberfest. I'm sure with that kind of budget we could have one hell of a party buy some real nice trophies and some companionship to boot (I didn't say that). So I know its more than friendship and comradarie as most of us are competitive by nature. In the end all of us have different reasons for entering contests and the prize money becomes less important if you do a small number of contests and/or have sponsors or a lottery recipient. For the rest of us that do more than five contests a year and have no sponsors the money is important as is sanctioning and having the contest desginated a state championship. Certainly its not the only factor but it is a large one for us. Your mileage may vary. Good luck with the catering, you'll get no competiton from us. Like you said much harder work.
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Giggler
Gee Dallas, I'm a little disappointed that Boston Hills BBQ Fest isn't on your "Lock" list. We have the Gov Proc which gives us State Championship Status (15 teams first year) and both contests will be KCBS Sanctioned. In terms of travel, we're just about 3 hours from Hudson. I hope payout isn't the deciding factor. (I am also a little surprised that one particular contest is on your schedule - in the past you didn't seem to hold that contest or organizers in very high regard.)

As an organizer, I am reluctant to post the guaranteed prize money on the ad. I will say this - the $3000 prize money is based on having the minimum 15 team field necessary to be a Qualified State Championship. Prize payout at our contest is 100%, less KCBS Sanc Fees and Rep Travel Expenses, and Trophies and Ribbons. If we fill the field of 49, that gives us a minimum of $10000. The more teams, the better the payout.

I will say that with a full field, a donation will also be made on behalf of the competitors to the Patchin Fire Company, as they are shouldering the majority of the cost for our event.

Prize money is never a consideration for us. Sanctioning is important, as is the State Championship Status.
Best of luck with the comp Mike. Don't imply by my rants that we won't be there. It just isn't a lock at this point. I'm sure you'll run a first class contest and treat the cooks right. We'll have to assess the money situation at a later date and see if it is feasible for us.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:05 PM   #16
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Mike your doing a good job for bbq in wny. Things will work out just fine,I will B there and at the ROC CITY RIB/KCBS event. Just got to get to work on my summer jobs, Things r lined up. Just got 2 get warmer B-4 I work. Along with your's n Brian's I'm also going to cook at the OINK. But not @ ours in the falls ( smokin eagals international bbq festival ) I'll be busy chasing my tail http://www.bbq-4-u.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16774
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:35 AM   #17
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Quote:
Best of luck with the comp Mike. Don't imply by my rants that we won't be there. It just isn't a lock at this point. I'm sure you'll run a first class contest and treat the cooks right. We'll have to assess the money situation at a later date and see if it is feasible for us.
You and I have spoke many times about contests and organizers, and the lack of contests within 3 hours drive. We've also spoke in detail about a certain event, and the way teams are treated.

That being said, I can't seem to get my head around this. With limited funds this year, the contest with a decent payout that really doesn't treat teams all that well is on your Lock List. Why? When you've got the opportunity to support a NEW event, that is closer and easier to get to, has a lower entry fee, KCBS Sanctioning, State Championship Status, WILL have a better payout, and is already focused on making this a great experience for the cooks who support it.

I don't count you out of any contest, because I know how much you enjoy the sport. We're all working with less capital this year, and we tend to find ways to make things we want to do, happen. (I'm catering again....) I believe your team will be in our field of competitors. You are, afterall, afflicted.

In the friendly spirit of competition, I am respectfully calling you out. You've pontificated many times about the merits of the well run contest and the comraderie of the circuit. You've opined about the cost of long distance travel and the lack of contests within a reasonable driving distance. We're delivering a class event. Its your turn to step up to the plate. If you've only got three contests in your budget this year, I WANT YOUR SUPPORT in Boston. Put that on your Lock List and smoke it! smilie=a_biggrin.gif]

After you've won some money this year, you can decide if you want to support the contest that's later in the year. Remember, they are so big - they don't need your support....
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:42 AM   #18
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Thanks a bunch, Honcho. You are also doing a great job for BBQ in WNY. This Organizer thing is a heluva lotta work, but a lot of fun too. I started with the goal of bringing another KCBS Comp to the area so I didn't have to drive as far.... I didn't realize that I wouldn't be cooking it!

We'll be cooking together at all the events this year. I am sincerely looking forward to it.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:44 AM   #19
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We set our prize money at 5000 with what we consider a pretty low entry fee 175 ( before may, and with bonus open rib cook-off (800 in prizes alone)). This prize pool means that we need around 35 - 40 teams to cover it. This is a daunting number for a first year KCBS event. So I can see where some events may be hesitant to guarantee a large prize pool, nobody wants to be on the hook for the money if the teams donít show. It looks like we are on track to hit that number (Thanks to those who have entered). If we can fill out the field to 50 then we can add about another 2000.

You will have water, electric, ice, 20 by 30 (more by request), a team comfort station (beer), a dedicated representative, access to showers sat and sun, beautiful view of lake Ontario, and as a little thank you from us: a celebration of bacon hot breakfast Sunday provided by Good Smoke BBQ!

mmm bacon...
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Giggler
I started with the goal of bringing another KCBS Comp to the area so I didn't have to drive as far.... I didn't realize that I wouldn't be cooking it!
That is why we have each other... :P
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Brian

"Better to have smoked and lost than to never have smoked at all..."

https://www.goodsmokebbq.com
https://www.roccityribfest.com

Weber Performer
Weber Smokey Joe
22" WSM
Red Weber Kettle curb rescue
Upgraded Backwoods Party
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