Tips on making your contest a success for your club

Posted by Michael Verzwyvelt
Posted on 10/8/2015

We all know the drill – go to a contest, pay $35-$40 for landing fees and have a great weekend flying with your IMAC buddies but when it’s at your home field it can sometimes be a bit more daunting. Before the contest there are the unknowns to get lined up, trophies to deal with, as well as field preparation, parking, and other last minute details that tend to pop up. This doesn’t have to be the case. What can be done to remedy this? Get your club involved.

Let your club members know this is an opportunity for the club to make $800 - $1000 maybe more if done correctly. You probably won’t nail it on the first attempt but given a few shots at it and some concentrated efforts it is achievable. Most of the IMAC community is very good at supporting the club that is hosting the event.DSC00215

Trophies can be your biggest expense. There are 17 trophies that are needed for each contest; 1st through 3rd for each of the classes, a seniors trophy, and a freestyle trophy. Trophies that were given out as the contest trophies for the Regional Final this year were right at $30 each. I’ve seen some nicely done trophies that were printed on photo paper with pilot’s pictures that were done at the contest and put in a document frame. Gale and Max always seem to come up with an original concept for trophies at the Weavers field contest. Kevin Miller hand built some awesome trophies that were cast from plaster. The point is there’s no cookie cutter model of what trophies are required to be, they can be your biggest expense or your largest cost savings and still be something memorable and amazing.

Food / concessions – it is preferred that the club hosting the event at least has something available for lunch Saturday and Sunday of the event. Typically we don’t stop flying when lunch rolls around and pilots / guests will file through as they get a chance between flying and judging.

Tips / observations / feedback – A bit of VARIETY goes a long ways. Breakfast is hit and miss depending on the event and the pilots attending, it’s nice to have available and seems to be a bigger hit on Saturday. I am guessing that the unknowns Sunday morning has a bit to do with nerves and appetites. I also know that some of the pilots appreciate having breakfast available.

“Contest Burgers” not a big hit with those who have been attending contests for 15+ years, I’m not saying don’t do a burger but if you do make it something great. There have been some really great lunches available at some of the contests and sadly a few that guests would prefer to go back to the rv and just make a sandwich.

Pricing – we all understand the cost of food, field maintenance, power and everything associated with what we do all has a number attached to it. The IMAC community is great at supporting the events and the hosting clubs. Keep in mind though; there is a point of supporting and a point of feeling like you are being taken advantage of.

Get your contest on the event schedule, this also gives the Regional Director a chance to suggest a different date if needed and help to space events out to where they aren’t stacked too tight.


Written by: Clark Hymas