Hosting a Pinup Contest
Do you have what it takes? This will be a mini-rant, but it’s my page, and I can do it if I want. LOL
I’ve been hosting and assisting with a contest for 6 years now on top of 10 years of competing at all levels. Trust me I’ve seen it all and heard it all from many peanut galleries, and it still pisses me off when someone is just a sore loser.
If you have taken the time to read my other blogs on contest tips you know my number one theme is “Just to Have Fun”, it’s not about who is better or this or that. I hate that the word contest is even used, but it’s not my terminology. These events are held as a forum to connect with others that love the same things and have the same interest as you. If you are a sash or tiara chaser, you’re not in it for the right reason. Trust me, I’ve been on both sides of the coin.
So, let’s talk about what it takes to host a contest. It’s easy right, Wrong, triple wrong, so wrong.
First, you have to find the venue, that’s easy right, nope. But why is that, Kimmi? Because to some, they hear the word pinup and they think something totally different, something not appropriate. I will only run family-friendly contests unless the event is 18 and up and with expressed permission from the venue and event organizers (trust me, it hardly happens where they say, just do whatever you want). I am given a parameter of rules for each event, these are worked out between myself and the event organizer. This can take hours or even weeks at times.
Second, establishing the event. Yep, this takes hours sometimes, social media post, creating a social media event, sharing the event, paying to boost the event so others can see it (your gonna see a theme here about money, anytime you see something about money, please note, more than likely it is coming out of my own pocket in some way or another). The event is posted, and now comes the flood of questions. Most of this could easily be avoided if people just read the about section, but nonetheless, here come hours of answering the questions and or explaining/clarifying items because I want everyone to understand and have clarity.
Third, time to get prizes. Just get some sponsors, it will be easy. Yeah no, it doesn’t work that way all the time, most of the time locally to our area. People and businesses will look at you cross-eyed, and pretty much shun you away. I know from experience. *Not all, we have had some really amazing sponsors in the past. You needed sashes and tiaras, welp guess what, those are expensive, at least for quality ones (Sorry, can’t do cheap shit for you ladies, I just can’t do it). Now the actual prize bags, each bag often filled with many quality items, cost upwards of $50 to $100 in the product, then tack on the gift certificates I offer and cash prizes that come out of pocket. So basically, it’s really freaking expensive to have a good lineup of gifts and prizes. Again, all out of pocket. (Still thinking it’s so great to host or run a contest?)
Fourth, emails, emails, emails, questions, questions, questions. This equals lots of freaking time, this is time that could be spent with my family and friends, but I love what I do, so it’s okay. I’m just trying to express, how I feel at times.
Fifth, finding volunteers and judges. I cannot do these contests alone, lots of people volunteer and assist behind the scenes and the day of. My judges are often split by supplied by event and supplied by myself (my judge’s pics are always picked based on knowing they are qualified and know the standards I maintain with the contest), they are also chosen on a non-biased based, often these selected judges are not part of our community, or not highly involved in the community to the point that their judging would be swayed. Most of the time, I have qualified judges who are active in the area they are judging in, aka a licensed hair cosmetologist is judging hair and make-up, a person who is very knowledgeable on wardrobe for the era is judging your attire. I also have a 3rd party that tallies judge’s scores and reports the winners to the MC, my hands are out of it. Yes, I might check in with the 3rd party to make sure all is well. If a tie is established, the judges are advised to discuss and make the final decision and report back to the 3rd party. I find out who wins at the same time my contestants find out.
Sixth, event day. You have to be at the event at the ass crack of dawn looking fresh as a daisy, to set up, get every detail worked out from stage/ contest pad layout, and timing, and work with the DJ to make sure the mic will work. Next, you have to set up the registration table, this is easy, right? Nope!! Why? Because you are so tired from the night before making sure everything is packed, and you didn’t forget anything, you are just too tired to think clearly. Every time, something is forgotten or falls through and the scramble is on (you ladies never see this side, but trust me, it happens). Now comes the time for registration, my phone is blowing up with messages of questions, I’m getting pulled in 20 directions by contestants needing my help, event organizers, and the need to use the bathroom, because I'm living on a gallon of coffee, all while in general combating 90-degree humid Ohio weather. Let’s just say its stressful as shit.
Actual contest time now comes time to give my speech about what to expect for the 10th time that day (I’ve already answered the same question over and over) , get the ladies lined up, and make sure they are aware of the path to the stage and across. This is also when I am the hype girl for the ladies, making sure to help calm their nerves, fix any last-minute fixes, and offer up quick advice when I can. Now to make sure the contest is running smooth, while also trying to photograph, keep the MC on que and make sure to get the crowd applauding and participating.
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner time. It’s over now winners announced, it’s time to go home and relax right, nope!! You’re the event head, now it’s time to deal with the tear-down and help the whole event crew with clean-up. After the crown clears, you are still there. The day is a full day of stress top to bottom (Again, not complaining, just need to say this to express what it takes and why it's hard to do these events)
Now the dreaded 7th- After the contest fall out, you will always have one participant that doesn’t like the results and will go out of their way to express these via online social media. (If you have read my blogs, you know the consequences of this, you can please excuse yourself from any contest I host or am involved in, in the future, You will be banned) If that is you just don’t. Trust me you just look like an ass and people see through it. But most of all, these actions hurt the whole community. ( I can write a whole blog on that, but remember that whole stigma thing I said earlier, yep this is part of it). If you don’t like the way a contest is run or hosted, just don’t do it the following year, try to go outside of the local area and try events there, every region runs things differently. You might get a better understanding that things aren’t so bad after all. And if you really don’t like the way it is run, offer to help, or better yet, take it over and do it better since you’re the expert now.
Now, this blog may seem harsh and a little rude, and maybe it is (but if you know me, I’m a straightforward kinda person). But in all honesty, sometimes things need to be said and not sugar-coated.
In a nutshell, hosting a pinup contest is hard, time-consuming, and expensive as shit and the reward in return is nothing but headaches, lack of sleep, and stress, topped with a heaping helping of “You can’t make everyone happy”. BUT I DO IT BECAUSE I LOVE THE COMMUNITY AND WANT THIS COMMUNITY TO GROW!!