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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:47 am 
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OK, we ALL know how most of us feel about karaoke contests. Most of us detest them (me included),,,, but was wondering....

READ THIS PART CAREFULLY!!!!
So, this is what my objectives are, and I would like some constructive comments, no "karaoke contests suck and are a horrible idea"

First off, a short description, the bar (small, old run down down, dive bar) that I host at is the only bar within 50 miles. The population of our county is about 30 thousand, and add the next county over to us, with a population of about 11 thousand. You would think that it would be crazy busy, but you would be wrong. The owner is a really awesome lady about 60 years old, widowed and has limited resources. In my opinion, the bar is in dire need of a remodel and makeover. But that is not going to happen any time soon. Busiest nights are karaoke nights by far. Without karaoke, she struggles badly.

So my objectives are two fold here. First and foremost is to increase sales for the owner by getting the word out to as many people as possible that karaoke nights are super fun and that they WANT to attend. Second objective is to get exposure for my DJ/KJ business so as to be able to grow and gain clients and book gigs outside of the bar setting.

My thoughts turned to doing a contest in order to make both of my objectives happen. Now, this does not mean that it will happen, this is just simply in the fact finding and planning stage, hence the question to you all. I could use some ideas and thoughts from those who have ran successful contests in the past and how you did it, and how you would have changed things (if that is applicable). I have done 2 contests before myself, one was reasonably successful, and the other was a flop (both at the same place, 2 years apart)

Here is what I have so far.
Karaoke nights now are on Friday nights. I would start the contest with "auditions" or maybe just have them sign up (no entry fees). The contest would begin on Thursday nights, and maybe even Saturday nights as well for the early stages of the competition. This way, it won't interfere with my normal karaoke nights. The sign up nights will only last about 4 to 6 weeks, limiting the time frame to 2 or 3 hours at the most of early rounds. I would not charge the owner for the competition, and would provide services for free (yes I am willing to do that) When all of the allotted number of entries are achieved, I would start the contest itself, and start narrowing the finalists down until the final nights, which would take place on 2 separate nights, possibly the final Friday and Saturday, which would preempt the one Friday nights karaoke show. (nothing is set in stone, everything is flexible)

Judging criteria is a big question, but I would like it to be as fair as humanly possible. I would want judges that are all knowledgeable in the music field (teachers, directors), hopefully the same judges throughout the competition. Prizes are also a question as to what would make it attractive enough to get a LOT of participants. I would like to be able to get some sponsors to help with costs and prizes (this is the hard part I know). Do some advertising on the local Facebook pages and maybe even the local radio station (if that is even possible, or feasible).

In the end, I would like to get the word out that the bar is a great place, and that I have something unique and fun to offer. If it's not too much to ask, I would love some good feedback and suggestions from you guys and gals.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and respond.
Scott


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:15 am 
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As you likely know, I've hosted contests for fifteen years... and they've all been successful. Come to think of it, the service club where I host was also in dire financial straits when we first decided on contests, and you're absolutely right... the contests introduced a lot of folks to karaoke, and brought in many lasting patrons who had never been through the doors before.

There are a hundred points I could comment upon, but will limit to a few for the time being...

First of all, cash prizes are a must... We found a real estate company that was willing to ante up $1000 first prize, a supermarket at $500, and a local car dealership with the 3rd prize of $250.

Secondly, and this is VERY important, I do not advise having the contest on your regular karaoke night. You'll piss off your "regulars" who are not into competing. Our regular nights are on Thursdays, so we implemented the contests on Fridays.

We spread the word through other karaoke venues within 100 miles... some of whom were not very willing to promote someone else's event... but many were. We made up posters, and invited our local Radio station manager to be "chief judge" in return for some promotion.

We held that first contest in the fall... and planned it for EIGHT weeks... (Go big or stay home, we thought.) and it worked. Five preliminaries, two semis, and a final.

By the time the semis and finals rolled around we had family & friends of the contestants, as well as the general public chompin-at-the-bit to get in the doors.

We decided - again, very important - there would be NO registration fee, and NO admission charge... but encouraged non-perishable food or toys for the local Salvation Army. The bar kept profits for the venue... but more importantly, it got people through the doors.

We kept the judging criteria simple.... 80% vocal ability and 20% stage presence... never mind all that crap about the technical stuff (pitch, timbre, etc. etc.)

Now, bear in mind, our little town is in the middle of farming country and just under 10,000 population... a 40K town about a half hour away... and an 80K city 40 minutes. However, we ended up attracting contestants from cities as much as two hours away. (Windsor, London) in southwest Ontario.

We drew up a specific set of rules, and prayed for the best... It worked.

We learned a lot over the years (plaques, not trophies for instance), but the basics remained consistent.

By the way, it didn't take long for us to expand into a Seniors' Contest for those 50 & over (February), and a Junior Contest (in two age categories - 10 - 14 and 15 - 18) during spring school break.

Good Luck, and don't listen to the nay-sayers. You never know what you can do if you don't try.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:33 am 
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Thanks Earl for the suggestions and the comments. This is exactly what I am looking for. I also agree that I wouldn't do any of the early rounds on my normal karaoke nights,, that would be a very bad idea. However, I "might" do the finals on a Friday (normal karaoke night), most likely it will be on a Saturday, that I have not decided yet.

Good suggestions on where to look for sponsors. A question for you though,, How did you approach a business to ask for donations/money? How did you make them think it was a good idea for them to donate? And did you give them some recognition/advertising at the contest? We don't have a lot of local business that will feel that giving money for an event that is taking place at a bar is good "juju" is why I ask. And I definitely agree with "no entry" fee, but would encourage donations to the local food bank or some charity.

When doing the preliminary rounds and auditions, do you just have a set amount of entrants? or a time deadline? Do you actually do "qualifying auditions", or just have people "sign up"? How many is a good controllable number of entrants?

All these questions,, my head is spinning and trying to formulate a good plan to approach the bar owner. After all, it would be her final decision.

Again, thanks Earl


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:41 am 
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Well, let's see... I approached the real estate agent who I used when purchasing my home, and he in turn discussed it with the owner and the rest of the agents at their weekly meeting.. Each agent - I think there were 9 at the time - chipped in an equal amount... During preliminary rounds, I recognized and thanked the company, and in the finals had them all on stage to present the cheque for 1st place... We also had signs and banners for each sponsor on display... purchased by the companies themselves.. As M.C., I made sure every sponsor and all my volunteers got significant recognition during my opening remarks, and sporatically during the evening.

One of our Club's board of directors was also the cashier supervisor for the 2nd place sponsor, so she used her influence with the company, and I purchased my new van through the dealership...

Oops! Almost forgot... we named the contest after the Real Estate company... thus "Homeward Star Search" for Homeward Realty... a big incentive. Sponsors names and logos on all posters and advertising.

Not sure I like the idea of having some on the Fridays and some on Saturdays... I'd try my best to have them all on the same night of the week. No use confusing the audience.

We limited the entries during preliminary rounds to the first twenty contestants.. That number was seldom exceeded. Anyone could enter as long as they were of legal age. Each preliminary round produced four semi-finalists... with ten in each semi-final drawn from a hat... although we did adjust for conflicting work schedules, etc... Careful though, there's always one or two who come up with some excuse, when in reality they've heard who will be competing on their same night and want to switch... sorry, that ain't gonna happen.

We picked five from each semi-final to go on to the finals.

By the way, we allowed contestants to enter as many of the preliminary rounds as they wanted.... example, if they didn't advance after the first week, they could try again next week, etc.

Preliminary rounds contestants sang one song... but sang two songs in each of the semi and final rounds... Order of appearance by draw for each half of the show, with 1/2 hour intermission. They were not allowed to repeat a song during any stage though... so, therefore a contestant needed a minimum of five different songs in order to compete in the final.

We eventually had things like "Peoples' Choice" awards, and 50/50 draws ($2 each or 3 for $5).

If you send me a PM with your email address, I'll see if I can find a list of rules, entry forms, judges' forms, etc...

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:05 pm 
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Earl, PM sent. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:17 pm 
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Instead of doing a contest, have you thought of other means for a fun night that people usually enjoy. Things such as Music Bingo or Trivia are just a couple of things. Game nights are usually a blast and are not limited to singers. Not everyone in the bar sings, ya know. But with a game night, everyone can play.

I do Extreme Bingo. The winner gets to spin a prize wheel and wins anything from a free drink to a free meal. The owner would set the prizes. It's been very successful and people love it and have a blast.

There's another variation called Rock n' Roll Bingo. Very big in the UK. Just to get an idea of what it's like. I use my own variation. But here's a link to see all the fun... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIxnBk5olnU

So my friend... there are many other things you can do besides contests. What about a dedicated theme night... Motown night, country night, 80's night.

Before resorting to a contest, think of the other possibilities. And this way everyone is included, not just singers.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:21 pm 
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Alan B wrote:
Instead of doing a contest, have you thought of other means for a fun night that people usually enjoy. Things such as Music Bingo or Trivia are just a couple of things. Game nights are usually a blast and are not limited to singers. Not everyone in the bar sings, ya know. But with a game night, everyone can play.

I do Extreme Bingo. The winner gets to spin a prize wheel and wins anything from a free drink to a free meal. The owner would set the prizes. It's been very successful and people love it and have a blast.

There's another variation called Rock n' Roll Bingo. Very big in the UK. Just to get an idea of what it's like. I use my own variation. But here's a link to see all the fun... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIxnBk5olnU

So my friend... there are many other things you can do besides contests. What about a dedicated theme night... Motown night, country night, 80's night.

Before resorting to a contest, think of the other possibilities. And this way everyone is included, not just singers.


I haven't given much thought into anything yet, but with some of what you suggest, "might" be of some consideration. But mostly Bingo is out. For several reasons. First and foremost, it would not give much exposure to what it is "I" have to offer, which is the DJ/KJ business to the outside world. Second, and actually very important, is in Utah Bingo is not legal. However, there are ways around it, especially if there are no cash prizes. Some of the other things that I am up against is the fact that this bar has no food, except bagged chips and pretzels, so offering food prizes is out as well. I wouldn't mind coming up with "something" besides a contest, but I don't want to be tied to the bar on multiple night on a long term basis. My goal is to make a lot more money per client than just what a bar has to offer. Private parties, weddings, corporate events are far more lucrative per event, leaving me more time between for personal time. I really do not want to get back to hosting 4 or 5 nights per week like I was a few years back. I would much rather only do my one show, and maybe 2 or 3 bigger events per month. That is my goal. Now as far as giving the bar more opportunity to make money for the owner, that really is on her, but I am willing to make considerations to make that happen, just only for a short term.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:46 pm 
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By the way Alan, thanks for the suggestions. :)

Another one is if I were to do a "theme" night,,, then every single one of them would become "redneck night"... cuz that is all I get in our little "red"neck of the woods. ;)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:28 am 
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mrscott wrote:
OK, we ALL know how most of us feel about karaoke contests. Most of us detest them (me included),,,, but was wondering....

READ THIS PART CAREFULLY!!!!
So, this is what my objectives are, and I would like some constructive comments, no "karaoke contests suck and are a horrible idea"

First off, a short description, the bar (small, old run down down, dive bar) that I host at is the only bar within 50 miles. The population of our county is about 30 thousand, and add the next county over to us, with a population of about 11 thousand. You would think that it would be crazy busy, but you would be wrong. The owner is a really awesome lady about 60 years old, widowed and has limited resources. In my opinion, the bar is in dire need of a remodel and makeover. But that is not going to happen any time soon. Busiest nights are karaoke nights by far. Without karaoke, she struggles badly.

So my objectives are two fold here. First and foremost is to increase sales for the owner by getting the word out to as many people as possible that karaoke nights are super fun and that they WANT to attend. Second objective is to get exposure for my DJ/KJ business so as to be able to grow and gain clients and book gigs outside of the bar setting.

My thoughts turned to doing a contest in order to make both of my objectives happen. Now, this does not mean that it will happen, this is just simply in the fact finding and planning stage, hence the question to you all. I could use some ideas and thoughts from those who have ran successful contests in the past and how you did it, and how you would have changed things (if that is applicable). I have done 2 contests before myself, one was reasonably successful, and the other was a flop (both at the same place, 2 years apart)

Here is what I have so far.
Karaoke nights now are on Friday nights. I would start the contest with "auditions" or maybe just have them sign up (no entry fees). The contest would begin on Thursday nights, and maybe even Saturday nights as well for the early stages of the competition. This way, it won't interfere with my normal karaoke nights. The sign up nights will only last about 4 to 6 weeks, limiting the time frame to 2 or 3 hours at the most of early rounds. I would not charge the owner for the competition, and would provide services for free (yes I am willing to do that) When all of the allotted number of entries are achieved, I would start the contest itself, and start narrowing the finalists down until the final nights, which would take place on 2 separate nights, possibly the final Friday and Saturday, which would preempt the one Friday nights karaoke show. (nothing is set in stone, everything is flexible)

Judging criteria is a big question, but I would like it to be as fair as humanly possible. I would want judges that are all knowledgeable in the music field (teachers, directors), hopefully the same judges throughout the competition. Prizes are also a question as to what would make it attractive enough to get a LOT of participants. I would like to be able to get some sponsors to help with costs and prizes (this is the hard part I know). Do some advertising on the local Facebook pages and maybe even the local radio station (if that is even possible, or feasible).

In the end, I would like to get the word out that the bar is a great place, and that I have something unique and fun to offer. If it's not too much to ask, I would love some good feedback and suggestions from you guys and gals.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and respond.
Scott

I would do it with the judges blind.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:52 am 
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I would do it with the judges blind.[/quote]

Hey, I know some that are blind, maybe some deaf ones as well.. :jk:


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:55 am 
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Well, the powers in charge (my better half) has pulled the plug on this idea (for now). We just have too much on our plate to be spending all the time needed to make a competition happen. Maybe next year.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 1:53 pm 
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mrscott wrote:
I would do it with the judges blind.


Hey, I know some that are blind, maybe some deaf ones as well.. :jk:[/quote]
I mean just judge on sound and if you want lyric accuracy make sure that the judges know what the real lyrics are and how to recognize an attempt to make a song their own without missing important lyrics. Like on the song The Dance. I like to change up the lyrics wasn't I the king to wasn't I your king and the lyrics how the king would fall to how that king would fall. On Kane Brown's Homesick instead of Kane Brown's name I would insert my Country stage name.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:47 pm 
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DannyG2006 wrote:
Like on the song The Dance. I like to change up the lyrics wasn't I the king to wasn't I your king and the lyrics how the king would fall to how that king would fall. On Kane Brown's Homesick instead of Kane Brown's name I would insert my Country stage name.

This is what makes you Danny. A truly amazing human specimen.

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