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 Post subject: How To Run A Contest 101
PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:07 am 
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With the recent topic on contests, my interest was piqued to try running my own. I have never run a contest before and only entered one before that was a one show one song contest.

I have an idea of what I would like to do, but input from those that have done contests would know better on what works and what doesn't.

How many people usually enter the contest in total? What are the prizes? What is the best way to get the word out about the contest? Who pays for the prizes and marketing of the contest? How long should the contest run? Do you charge an entry fee to help cover costs? Should there be a cover charge for the finals? What are your judging categories? What are the point scales? What is the process of elimination/making it to the next level?

I will let you know my thoughts as soon as there is some feedback. Perhaps we can develop a great, efficient, and fair way to run a contest.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:12 pm 
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I will tell how we run one. there is no exact way. We do a 6 week contest. Up to thirty people a night can register to compete. we have only two categories. Country and everything else. Top two male and female performers from each category move on to the finals. Also the top three highest scores besides the finalists move onto "wildcard" week which is week 5. On week 5 out of those 12 wildcards the 3 highest point totals, regardless of category move onto the finals.
We use three judges each week and most if not all, have some musical background.
Its a point system consisting of singing ability, stage presence, and appearance. We ask them to be attentive and usually have the venue supply them with a 25.00 tab so they can eat, etc.
The venue puts up all the prizes and money (1000.00 in this contest we're doing now). They also advertise the contest locally on the radio and we make up table tents and flyers for the venue. This conest we're doing now is 750.00 for first, 250.00 for second and 100.00 venue G.C. for third. We have nightly prize give-a-ways to keep people there (small stuff) . We do facebook, myspace, craigslist, etc to help promote the contest.
We supply all the "administrative" stuff like registration forms, judges score cards, contest rules, etc.
It's a lot of work compared to a regular gig so be prepared. We charge about 25% more than normal to defray expenses.
Two things to look out for: Professional singers come out of the woodwork when $$$ competitions are going on. Be sure to include in your rules exactly what "professional" means and if they are going to be eligible at your venue. It's very difficult to dispute and there are a lot of egos. Second, Be careful on the vibe of the room. What I mean is contestants have a tendency to pick ballad after ballad. It can literally suck the life out of the room. It's your job to pick the room up and bring back the "buzz". We usually do about 6 contestants at a time and then give the judges a break and either sing something "upbeat" or call up someone who will sing something fast that isnt involved with the conest.
To be fair, we put all the contestants numbers in a hat and draw them out one at a time. Our registration is usually one hour before the contest starts. We have them pick two songs. They will only sing one during competition but we have them pick two in case they change their mind, someone else has sung the song, we have an error due to our fault, etc.
It's fun and stressful at the same time. Our finals week is very busy and we have to be on our game to keep things moving. You may want to consider having someone help you.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:19 pm 
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No one is ever happy with results. We are hoping to have Firetext up and running soon at our shows. When this happens I will try a contest again that will be judged by text message vote.

I find that a contest doen't increase my business any so it's not worth while. All of my bars are quite busy as it is now a contest would just make them less profitable.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 am 
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Since this topic has come up so many times, I will give you a few links (from the archives) where we have put in our 2 cents....


http://www.karaoke-forum.com/viewtopic. ... t=contests

http://www.karaoke-forum.com/viewtopic. ... t=contests

http://www.karaoke-forum.com/viewtopic. ... t=contests

http://www.karaoke-forum.com/viewtopic. ... t=contests

There should be a lot of useful feedback within these threads.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:27 am 
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Here's the scorecard we used for our last contest:

[pre]Karaoke Contest Scorecard

Contestant Number _________________________________

Contestant Name _________________________________

Song Title _________________________________

Singing ability 1 2 3 4 5
[Is the singer on pitch; did they hit the notes without sounding weak/or straining; did they choose a song suited to their vocal ability; did they stay in time to the track/music; were they able to sustain notes/phrases without losing their breath; did the singer "control" the song (or sound like they were about to lose it); did they avoid obvious mistakes; did the singer utilize the mic properly (pulling away for loud notes-closer for soft); did they show unusual talent/range/skill or even a "pro" level skill ]

Song Interpretation 1 2 3 4 5
[Was the singer"s phrasing well done (no breathing when they shouldn"t);
Did they have their own style or did they mimic the original well (either is fine)
Did they use loud /soft/dynamics to make the song come alive
Was the singer"s vocal rendition suited to the song
Did they sound like they connected with the lyrics
Did the singer show knowledge/mastery of the song]

Stage presence 1 2 3 4 5
[Did they perform the song in an entertaining manner
Was the outfit/costume appropriate/suited for the song
Did they draw the crowd/you into the performance
Was the use of props appropriate/well done
Was the costume/outfit flattering to the singer
Were they able the sing the song without looking at the monitors (did they know the song well)
Was the singer confident on stage and comfortable with the song]


Audience Response 1 2 3 4 5
[Did the audience seem engaged
Was there good applause
Was there a spontaneous reaction during performance]

Intangibles,
Enthusiasm, Emotion 1 2 3 4 5

Were they enthusiastic (for faster, dynamic song), or emotionally in sync (ballad) with the song
Was their costume "extra special" for the performance or did they do anything unique to set them apart from anyone else you have heard sing this song
Was the timing and or lyrics of the song selection "challenging" (changing tempos, tricky wording, etc)
[/pre]

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[color=#ffff55]Mickey J.[/color]
Alas for those who never sing, but die with all their music in them.
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:12 am 
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Thanks for the above links. There was one very pertinent post in one of the threads. I am in Michigan and it stated that no establishment may give away prizes totaling more than $200 without a special permit. Really? Can anyone point me to the source of that info? I have searched and can't find anything even remotely regarding this ridiculous law. How does legislation actually expect people to follow the crap they make up if the public can't easily get access to it? All I have found is Special Use Permits for Public Places that don't mention anything about prize money. I'll have to check into it.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:05 am 
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It may have to do with the venue ---If alcohol is served there are some funky rules on what can and can't be done on premises.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:12 am 
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#1 you have to determine if it is a KARAOKE CONTEST or a TALENT CONTEST.

Some contests put too much emphasis on STAGE presence or if the singer uses the MONITOR for lyics. My $.02 is 90% of the judging should be about singing.
Vocal Ability - Range - Timing etc etc.

Have a contest and advertise 50% for charity or cause of your choosing.
Then go out and solicit SPONSORSHIP fro local businesses and have their names on song slips and banners and advertsiments for your contest. 10 business offering $50 is not a hard sell and you've already got $500 lol

NEXT --get impartial judges and a good scoring system
Don't run the contest for TOO LONG -- maybe 4 weeks tops


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:45 am 
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jamkaraoke @ Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:12 am wrote:
#1 you have to determine if it is a KARAOKE CONTEST or a TALENT CONTEST.

Some contests put too much emphasis on STAGE presence or if the singer uses the MONITOR for lyics. My $.02 is 90% of the judging should be about singing.
Vocal Ability - Range - Timing etc etc.

Have a contest and advertise 50% for charity or cause of your choosing.
Then go out and solicit SPONSORSHIP fro local businesses and have their names on song slips and banners and advertsiments for your contest. 10 business offering $50 is not a hard sell and you've already got $500 lol

NEXT --get impartial judges and a good scoring system
Don't run the contest for TOO LONG -- maybe 4 weeks tops



Jam,
I'll throw in my 2 cents with yours. I 100% agree with you on the type of contest you're running. Most contests do end up being talent contest and not a karaoke contest. Yep, 90% should be on the singing.

I've stated before that I don't like contests at all, but the charity idea could be enough to get me in there and enter, just to help out the cause. That's a great idea to link up for a charity.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:33 pm 
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My rules for running a contest, are not to run one.......contests are for the pros, and I cater to the vocally dysfunctional...... :angel:


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