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Listed in Contests - Auditions.
Running a contest can be a lot of fun, but it is also a lot of work. We’ve put together some guidelines to help you in running a great contest!
Probably the most important thing you can do to get your contest off to the best possible start and to see it through to a successful conclusion is to plan, plan, plan!
Know exactly what you want to do before you ever set up your audition thread. Write down your rules, and stick to them throughout the contest. Nothing hurts a contest or a host’s credibility more than changing rules midstream or making exceptions for certain contestants.
Know exactly how long the contest will run, how long the rounds will be, who the judges are, and how the judging will be done.
Contact those who you wish to judge the contest with you. Lay out exactly how you wish them to judge. If you have a point system you want them to use, make sure you are clear on exactly how points are to be awarded.
Determine what if any award you will be giving to your winner. If it is a banner, create it ahead of time…you can always add their name or picture later. This will ensure that no one is left waiting at the end of the contest.
First Things First
Set up your audition thread. Make your opening post clear and concise with all the rules laid out in advance. Let people know exactly what kind of contest this is…what is the theme? How and by whom will it be judged? What types of entries will be allowed? What are the rules?
Check in on your thread on a regular basis. Keep it organized by maintaining a list of contestants with their song links. Promptly answer questions as they come up.
As the host, you have a responsibility to create and maintain a drama free zone. Don’t publicly engage contestants who are creating trouble in the thread. Politely PM them and request that they discuss their complaint with you. If others are responding to the instigator in the thread, make an announcement that you appreciate their support, but that you prefer not to derail the thread with these responses.
Be positive and encouraging to all contestants. Make sure that you are following your judging criteria to the letter. If someone balks at being let go, privately message them and politely explain your reasons.
Maintain the TOU/COC and general forum rules. You should be conducting yourself with these in mind, and encouraging your contestants and judges to do the same.
Always use your "real" account. Anonymous judging or hosting through fake accounts is not allowed.*
Discourage drama…and certainly do not be the instigator of it. If there is a problem or situation that you feel you cannot personally handle…contact us at Community Support and we will be happy to assist.
Last but not Least
Dedicate yourself to your contest and your contestants.See it through from beginning to end.Unexpected emergencies do arise. If this is the case and you cannot complete the contest or will be absent for a portion of it…ensure that the contest moves on by asking one of your judges or a friend to continue on in your absence.Listen to each and every entry thoroughly and use impartial judging.Have fun with your contestants, and be encouraging, supportive, and inviting.
There is a great thread that goes into a lot more detail on running great contests: Here is the Hosts section.
* Updated 10/13/2011
Note to all Contest Hosts
When your contest is complete and you are giving awards, please create a new thread for your awards under CONTESTS COMPLETED. Do not list your awards under Contests in Progress.
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