« on: March 13, 2011, 03:23:17 PM »
I'm all for helping judges out. It has (and will continue to) helped me decide what's worth the travel and time away from the family.
However, don't forget, Martin, that the Indiana Brewers' Cup is modeled after the wine competition. My understanding is that BC still loses quite a bit of money at $10 an entry and 900 entries. Only BJCP judges are compensated, as I understand, but pro brewers may get the stipend, too. It's not considered a fund raiser. I'm not sure many organizations would put on homebrew competitions if they knew they'd lose money, especially on this scale.
The Ohio State Fair has a different approach. BJCP judges from outside a 35 mile radius are granted a comp room. This is different in that they are part of the fair's inventory of room comps they get from putting up entertainers during the fair. They have only a small value to the fair, but a huge value to out of town and out of state judges. I would venture that the retail value of our room last year exceeded the stipend from the Indiana State Fair the weekend before. And yet, it attracted fewer judges than Indiana.
I think organizers need to leverage their tourism boards in their localities more. Cheaper rooms, more attractive family options and even just some planning beyond "Drink, Drink, Sleep" would go a long way. That's what I've been working for up here, but I'm heading your way, Martin. Maybe you'll see something pop up SE of you in a year or two...