This document is being constructed in hopes of giving you, the new contest promoter, some hints on how to go about setting up a contest. These are not set in stone guidelines but I hope they will be of benefit to you in your quest to put on a quality contest.
1. Decide that you are going to put on a contest.
2. Decide on a date for your contest. Give yourself anywhere from 3 to 6 months to prepare for the contest.
3. Give your contest a name. Once you have a name on the contest it begins to have a life and is like a child you are bringing along. Remember this is YOUR Contest!!!
4. Find a venue for your contest. A vacant field accessible to the public, a ball field, a park, a large gym, a rodeo arena, a soccer field etc… Sometimes these places can be had for little or nothing depending on how you approach the owner of your site. We have been fortunate that we have known people with the facilities we have used in the past and rental cost of venues have been kept to a minimum. You can always offer to split the gate with the landlord, which is what we did for the 1998 Continental Championships. This way you both make a bit of money from your gate fees.
5. Decide what you want your gate fees to be. I suggest no less than $2.00 per head and no more than $10.00 per head, and kids 12 and under free.
6. Decide on you entry fees. I recommend no less than $30 or no more than $60. Remember this is where your operating capital comes from.
7. Decide on Awards, Trophies, Medals, Plaques, prizes, cash. These things are up to you. Again, remember if you aren’t independently wealthy that you are working on a budget. If you charge too much, then the less athletes will come to your show. 25-50 dollars for silver 50-65 dollars is norm for gold and platinum, 100 dollars for pro am. Of course you know your area better than us.
8. Decide on the events you want to have and write them down. Discuss the events with the State Chair and/or home office. Explain each event on paper and then get someone to attempt the events. When you have settled on the events then put together an entry form with the events listed on the form. NASS Home Office can also assist you with the entry form.
9. Sanction your event with North American Strongman Society. Fill out the sanction form you received from us or call and we will send you another. When completed send in the form with the appropriate fees in U. S. funds along with a copy of your events and entry form.
10. Begin to look for sponsors to help you pay for the event. I have found that local gyms, health food stores, vitamin and sport supplement Companies in your local area are a good place to begin. Approach anyone and everyone you think might be interested in such an event. Sell advertising to them on the back of T-shirts, ads in a program for the contest. Sell them booth space to hawk their products during the contest. Sell Space on an official contest banner. If you wish to do so you might want to get connected to a local charity or boy scout troop etc. with some of the proceeds going to that organization or charity.
11. Mail entry forms to prospective contestants. We will furnish you with a mailing list of all current NASS members at the time we receive your sanction form if you request it. We will also include your contest on our coming events sheet that we send to all prospective members as well as current members. Your contest will be added to our Web-site as well as many others that we have access to.
12. You might want to contact other muscle related magazines and tell them about your contest. This has been helpful to us especially with Muscle Mag International, Publisher Robert Kennedy has always been helpful to us.
13. Have a poster made if you can afford one. These you can send to local gyms etc. as well as gyms and businesses far away. Also send along a couple of entry forms. Most gym owners will gladly post them for you.
14. Back to your venue site for a moment. You will have to consider RESTROOM facilities, refreshment centers, ect… You can sell off the concession to someone or run it yourself. Portable toilets can be rented for special occasions. Prices on these vary and you may even be able to get them on as a contest sponsor. Okay, does your venue have a public address system, if not you may have to secure one. Also consider someone to announce the event that has some experience doing events.
15. Put together a team of people to help you with the event. You will need someone to work the gate and collect admissions. Recommend 2 people. You will need several people to help you with the events. These people can usually be found in the form of people in the gym that you know that are willing to help. Lunch and a free T-shirt go along way sometime in getting help. You will need at least two people to help with scoring. If you know anyone that has expedited at powerlifting meets these people usually make good scorekeepers. Concession stand people if you are running it you will need 2 or 3 people for that. NASS HO can help with that and in any other capacity as well.
16.Once you have done the above then you must keep up with everything. At weigh-ins you should ensure that each contestant is a member of NASS. If they are not then sign them up. We will provide you with membership applications.
17. I am sure that during the course of getting together your contest you like me will worry about every detail many times over. If I can be of any help feel free to call us at any time.
NORTH AMERICAN STRONGMAN Inc