So my friends and i have been talking and we need to have an Az state contest, i need your imput yay nay ,where it should be, what time of year, what styles, should it be for fun or to get seated please reply
I don’t know much. If there isn’t already, there should be some sort of sanctioning entity at the national level that can help to give legitimacy to such an event, so as to prevent multiple organizations from doing the same thing for the same purposes.
In the case of California, the State Championship is maybe a mile from the Capital building. It just makes logical sense to me for a State Championship to be in the state capital city. However, this logic might not be practical, but it’s a starting point.
You need to find a venue.
Depending on time of year, shade or coverings can be an issue if done outdoors. Either from sun or rain. But, either way, these can offer some degree of protection from the elements. Indoors, it’s not such a big deal. But, either way, you’ll need to rent something unless the venue operators are willing to donate it.
Insurance and permits. Yes, the paperwork of life. Insurance to protect yourself against something accidentally happening can run as little as $225 for an event. Get a $1 million umbrella. Hopefully, year after year, this turns into a “cost of business” rather than something that people make claims against. However, where ever people gather, something can happen, and unfortunately, more often than not, something WILL happen.
You may or may not need permits. If you’re using public land, you may need multiple permits. You’ll want a permit for amplified sound, for a gathering and for exclusive permission to use a specified bit of land for a period of time, which may end up being a couple of days, but for states, typically a day works fine.
POWER: If you’re outdoors, you need power. Sound and lights needs power. It will either be provided at the venue or you’ll need to roll in generators. Know the generators and how long they run on a tank at full pull.
Sound: As a sound professional, I can tell you what I’d like and what I need. I also have a tech rider. Even so, figure out your crowd and plan to cover HALF of it the nearby folks who will want to see, the rest will want to mill about. I like to cover at least a thousand heads, but that’s my smallest PA. These are just as much about the social aspect as well as the contest. So, this gives you a built in loud zone/quiet zone. Do keep in mind sound travels, so again, permits are required. Know the ordinances and make distances and know your db and weighted settings to protect from “nearby whiners”. db levels are more of an issue with outdoor venues. Indoors may have cut-off times. Such stuff often won’t be an issue.
Case and point: At a former outdoor venue, there were complaints at any rock concert. Any country concert, even with measured SUSTAINED louder volumes, received nearly NO complaints. Go figure.
I’d say see what sort of interest you can generate. You might need to take out ads to generate some sort of buzz as well as responses to see if this is worth it.
Contact media. They don’t love stuff like this “yoyo? WTF? Why bother… isn’t there some car accident we can cover?”, but the more that know, the more likely you can get them out there. Radio is useless, TV is where it is at, as well as local periodicals. it’s “feel good stuff” not hard news, but it has a good public interest angle and they can use it to pad the news if it’s a slow day.
Bring in some names. It may not have to be yoyo related. Bring in some local sports hero, such as a football, basketball or baseball player. It helps if they are into this too at some level, even from the point of being interested or thinking it’s cool as that energy will be relayed. Don’t limit that mindset, as any good entertainment reporter would be good. Have them MC your event. At the events I do, names equate to “butts in seats”. This is especially true if you’re charging admission. If not, it may not be feasible. Negotiate fees. Local folks cost less than national folks.
Hire some professional yoyo judges and work with them to understand how scoring works and things are done. Learn from them and if they work out, continue to use them.
Ringers: if you can get a few national players to show up as either exhibition performers or contestants, it helps draw your crowd in as well. By “your crowd”, I mean yoyo players!
Learn from others. Find out the rules for other state competitions and emulate those. Why re-invent the wheel?
DO NOT DO IT YOURSELF. Get help. You might want to get an attorney involved who may wish to donate time to help this get off the ground and provide legal advice.
Prizes and awards:
Make sure these are inline with other state contests. However, if the national organization doesn’t recognize what you’re doing, they may not accept your winners as seeds at the national contest or regional contests.
Regarding seeds: Check what other places do. Decide based on that.
All contestants should pay a fee. Often, it’s not that much. Again, see what others charge.
Preliminaries should be required as is done in other state contests. Seeds seem to bypass this level.
Support the typical 1A,2A,3A,4A,5A stuff. Trick ladder might be good if you can have enough interest the first year, as well as an AP division. Again, see what others do.
Time of year:
If outdoors, it’s Arizona, and I recall being there in July and it being 95-degrees at 5AM! That’s not my kind of weather! If indoors, doesn’t matter. If outdoors, do it during a time known to be relatively clear and not “fry an egg on the sidewalk AT breakfast time” kind of hot. Have a back-up indoor play if the weather goes to crap. If to tie into nationals, I would say if you have your contest at least a full 5 weeks before nationals.This gives winners and their accepted seeds time to arrange travel, or raise funds to travel. Then again, there are people who are going to go to nationals anyways, seed or no seed.
Get sponsors. Not sure how to do this, that ain’t my thing. It will help off-set costs. But, a new event like this is hard to get sponsors for. That doesn’t mean you won’t. Local businesses may jump on this. I often DONATE my services for sound to fun events, or do so at a reduced price in exchange for being listed as a sponsor.(HINT: California State Finals: I can be had cheap or free if you want to list me as a sponsor! Nationals: same deal!!! I’m only 2 hours from Chico and 12 minutes from where CA state finals are!! Hint, hint! And I throw too!)
Record your whole event. I record board mix and video at all events. Have an official video and photo team or teams. HOWEVER, do NOT deny others from video or photo. Just make sure all are welcome to record and photo, but please don’t block your main camera. You’ll find you won’t get many issues here. People love YouTube and want to see them up. Heck, make a YouTUbe channel and put up everyone!
PROMOTE as far in advance as you can. Once you’re established, you can back off this a bit and let your passive markettng and promotion(your web site) work for you.
Merch!! Sell T-shirts, silicon wrist bands and hats. Sell vendor space to sell stuff like food, drinks, snacks, yoyos, strings, toys, air brushing, photo…
Lastly, unless you’re competing for bragging rights, “fun” isn’t a sufficient reason, because this is going to have costs. Yes, it should be fun, but it needs to have something a bit more tangible and legitimate for people to want to bother with. Otherwise it’s just a talent contest and is a waste of time for the participants and a waste of money for advertisers and event organizers.
There’s many more things. I choose to not organize events because I have other things to do. I’m a sound production company, I go where they need quality sound and lighting.
It never stops amazing me how well some people know their stuff. I read the whole thing, even thought I’m nowhere near Arizona, and I think that no one else need reply because studio42 does it again. He knows his stuff and he is in parallel with that kind of buisness (since he has to supply thier sound), he has the know how and thanks for being so open about shaing it and wrighting novels for us to get the full effect.
I forgot something: security.
DO NOT hire a bunch of big guys, or a bunch of ugly guys, or a bunch of dumb guys. Whatever you do, DO NOT hire a bunch of big, dumb, ugly guys. Make sure they are licensed to operate as security and are bonded. I’m not sure what bonding is, but it seems a necessity. I’ll ask what that means to the security guys when I see them at either SacAnime next January or maybe an event in 2 weeks that I’m not working as as a sound gig(so no motivation to go).
Security is important. Just letting the crowd know there is security will either:
Bring a level of comfort to some people
Let your not so “rule abiding folks” know that “we’re here to keep peace and order”.
At SacAnime and SacHorror(not SacHorroFilmFest), the security is excellent. Yes, most of the guys are big, but none are dumb, and I’m not going to get into their other physical attributes. Of course, dealing with Anime fans, we’re mostly dealing with “indoor kids” and their ability to resist is astoundingly pathetic. Even so, there are incidences that crop up. A well trained security team is going to try to work out whatever the issue is without having to resort to some sort of physical contact to bring finality to the situation. By physical contact, I mean having to use their hands in some manner to break up the situation. Typically, grabbing an arm or hand, or otherwise using some tactic to prevent movement or motion is used. Last year, they did have to bring a person to the ground and subdue that individual before escorting him off the property. It was suspected that the individual may have been under the influence of something and was also older than the typical anime fan(not that anime fans have a specific age range). I’ve personally seen the security team handle most situations without having to do anything more physical than use their arm to summon someone over. Some security folks are off-duty police, EMT’s and other emergency workers. DO NOT underestimate their value. We had a person at SacAnime go into some sort of seizure and the security was able to respond while a regular EMT team came to help. Off-Duty police often still have legal authorities and can serve arrests where required and if necessary have the proper contacts to get “better help” in a hurry should the need arise.
Security should be also well labelled(shirts are nice). Security doesn’t have to be invisible, but they don’t need to be high profile. Just having them casually walk around and minimally interacting with guests goes a long ways to a fun, safe and enjoyable event.
At SacHorrorFilmFest, we don’t need as much security because the venue is smaller. 5-6 guys tops Again, trained security guys. I know ALL the security folks on both teams and trust me, you may not think it makes a difference, and if you don’t have to think about it, then it made a difference.\
Access to facilities:
Where ever people go, people gotta go. If outdoors, hopefully there are restrooms nearby, or else you may need to bring some porta-potties. Use their recommendations for ratios, based on expected turn-out OR “facility capacity”. Also, hopefully there are water fountains nearby too.For indoor facilities, this is typically not such an issue. What goes in, must come out. What goes out must be replaced. Bathroom and water go hand in hand(figuratively speaking). But, since you’re at it, have a vendor tables/booths/carts/vans that sells food, snacks, soft drinks and/or water. When I go to work venues, first things I want to know after I arrive and know how to get from the loading dock to the stage is “water, bathrooms and food” in that order. Shortly afterwards, if the facilities are there, bathing. When I did road gigs, sometime we as crew had to go a couple of days without showering. Not fun! Better shows treat the techs better, but even so… stuff happens.
People gotta do #1, #2 and get water. Anything else is icing on the cake. Changing facilities are nice if you can swing it. Keep the restrooms clean for the ladies and the men. Happy crappers are happy campers.
If I think of anything else, I’ll post it.
for a state competition there really isn’t any need for all that stuff. I’ve run 5 state and 2 regional competitions. Never had insurance because the location didn’t warrant it. There are a lot of other things that aren’t necessary.
You don’t live in California, do ya?
People are looking for any excuse to sue. It’s pretty much mandatory to have insurance. It’s gotten so bad that people who have big parties get insurance just in case.
Watching Worlds and who was the guy who broke a string and the yoyo went sailing into the audience? Yeah, an easy lawsuit right there. Easy WIN for that one too.
$250 is cheap CYA.
But depending on where you’re doing stuff, a lot of the stuff I said isn’t necessary. But, having run a coupe of thousand events from little parties to major concerts with over 100,000 screaming nutjobs, I just fall back on what I know and what I’ve seen and what I’ve been told.
Haha. That was Paul Han. I say he had a good shot of winning…
I will say that “most” yoyo comps don’t have insurance. Also that’s worlds. Much different. Having a comp with a huge turnout is tough for the first year or two. Also he doesn’t live in Cali either. Isn’t there already a comp in Pheonix?
no there isint one and im putting the wheels in motion all i need now is to know what the turnout would look like so please reply and say if you will come or not please
Hmmm. If you paid for my tickets, then…
Well, at the California State finals, I know to do anything at that location, they require insurance. Also, they(the facility operators) can be difficult to work with. I don’t know what or if they charge to host an event at the location. I know the stage owners. Nice guys, run a local music/art shop elsewhere in the mall. Nice stage too!
I’d say if you can rent a an event room at a hotel with a stage(and maybe crappy lighting that barely works), a backstage area(for business/staging)and is large enough to seat 250-500 people for the first event, you’d cover a ton of issues:
Water, restrooms, nullifying the weather, food/snacks. You can leave the side walls and back walls open for vendors, and even the off-stage sides. Sell/rent table space to vendors. Admission is optional, that’s your call. For CalState finals, there’s no way to stop the public from attending because it’s an outdoor mall environment. I’d say hire a sound production company but you won’t because you’ll hire a DJ because it’s cheaper or would be more likely to do it for free.
You want a hotel event room, preferably with a stage in the room(not build into the facility) because your chances of getting adequate vertical clearance and sight lines will be pretty much assured. What would be a good stage size? 12 feet deep by 18-24 feet wide?
DO NOT spend more than you can afford to lose. You need to consider the possibility of not making a dime at all. I don’t mean “coming out ahead” kind of logic, but think “money pit” where you may not see anything but pure loss with NO money coming your way.
Think of your costs. Hall rental and what does it include? Don’t rely on the hall for lights and sound, hotel stuff tends to blow. Does the rental include water? Some do, some don’t.
You need prize money and ribbons or medals or trophies.
You’ll want water and some food for your team, which can be handled by one of your buddies being a runner and hitting local eateries, sandwich shops and other nearby places, so should be a last concern.
Sponsors will be hesitant to join in without seeing a proven track record, but still, some WILL give it a shot. Sponsors want to be high profile, so you have to have some method of displaying their logo, which is why you see the backdrops you do at competitions, so make sure you come up with something. I have a 15-foot i-beam lighting truss that you can hang about 250 pounds worth of stuff off of safetly, so it can certainly handle banners or something else that things can be attached to.
ABOVE ALL, talk to other people who’ve organized such events. Again, learn from their experience, you ain’t got time to start from nothing. This has been done before, albeit elsewhere. Replicate what they do. It works, do it.
Right now, the thing you need to do that’s critical to deciding to move forward is to establish interest and see how much interest there is. The idea shouldn’t be to walk away with a big wad of cash in your pocket, but rather to minimize losses to the point where it’s reasonable. You WILL lose money. The question is “how much” and “can I afford it”. The bigger question is “can I afford this loss”. If the answer is yes, charge forward full steam ahead. If you can’t, then stop and find ways to raise money. It’s not impossible, it’s just being creative and call people who have done this before.
Me personally, I am not growing as a big sound company like I’d want to because I don’t go out after endorsements or sponsors or ask for money outside of what I earn doing jobs. I don’t believe in asking for that kind of help. But we’re not talking about me organizing events, I get hired to do events, so it’s not my problem. I get paid. If I don’t get paid, then we got a problem! But we’re talking completely different business models.
If this was close to me(and it’s NOT), I’d donate sound services with lighting and at least a single camera angle with operator, board mix and direct to DVD audio/video recording, foldbacks/monitors for performers, big mains and playback decks and wireless mics. But Arizona is too far to drive. I’d have to find a scaled down system that could be rented locally, and then I’d bring my front end in(small mixer, and a small rack of gear, plus a few choice wired mics) and make it happen based on what the promoter can provide on site.
I’d give you the typical promoter rule, but it doesn’t work here yet. The idea is to run an event for profit. You’re not in this for the “fun”, it’s BUSINESS. But if you can afford the loss, then it doesn’t matter about money.
Security - no. Insurance, maybe, depends on the venue. I believe the Mall of America where MWR is held requires it. Mall security is more than adequate.