Interested in holding a major tournament; would love everyone's input

Okay, I know I hardly ever post on this forum, and I’m pretty much non-existent in the Seattle community, but please hear me out. I’m trying to garner interest, and wondering what you guys think:

I’m wondering how much effort it would take to hold a tournament in Seattle that’s on par with some of the other major tournaments in the states, such as So Cal Regionals or Seasons Beatings. In just a couple of months, I’ll be moving out of the country once again. Before I leave, I’d like to contribute to the community somehow. I’ve always wondered why we couldn’t bring some top players over for SSFIV.

Now some of this information might be a no brainer to some of you guys, so my apologies if it is: I was on the Traveling Circus website the other day, and was intrigued when I saw the option to have Tokido come to your local tournament. I contacted the booking staff, and they told me that they would be able to waive his booking fees. All we would have to cover would be his plane ticket and hotel. They told me that they would also be able to get a hold of Mago, and that they have just signed Toxy from Australia, and could send him our way as well. I know AIR is interested in coming down to Seattle if we hold a major tourney, and I’m sure he can get scrubbydan and other top players from Canada to come down.

As far as venues are concerned, I’m currently working at Red Lion hotel in downtown Seattle. I’ve talked with my sales department, and they said they’d be willing to give me a 20% discount off the ball room and a block of rooms for out of towners. I feel this is a pretty desirable location, since it’s right in the heart of Seattle.

What I’m hoping for is to have our tournament spike enough interest to get some of the top Cali players to come up to Seattle. If we get enough signups, maybe we’d even be able to bring over the Beast himself.

Now this is where I ask the community for help: I have no prior experience organizing tournaments. I know some of you here have lots of experience organizing events. How many of you would like to see my idea come into fruition? I’m very passionate about this, and would love to see it happen before I leave the country.

I mean, how awesome would it be to say that we were able to have the likes of Tokido, Mago, Justin Wong, etc. at a tourney here in Seattle? Heck, I might even try to contact Laugh in Korea, to see if we can get him, Poongko, and Infiltration to fly over to Seattle. Perhaps I’m being far too optimistic, but it doesnt hurt to try I guess. Of course, to get all these top players to come, we would need to have a pretty hefty grand prize. I’m sure registration money wouldn’t be enough to cover it all. Any ideas?

Anyhow, let me know what you guys think. Time wise, I’m looking to hold this around March or April. I’m not sure if two/three months would be enough to organize a tournament (probably not), but I thought I’d ask anyways. Would anyone from the community be willing to give me a hand? If this isn’t a realistic time frame, I’d still be supportive of making it happen, even if it’s after I leave the country. I would still be willing to give a helping hand in bringing some top players from around the world over, and securing a venue.

The timing is a little tight, but I’m more wondering about the costs. I’m guessing you’d want to budget at least $1000 for a round-trip ticket to/from Japan; room and board on top of that. I’m not sure what the cost of renting out space at the Red Lion would be (20% off of what?). It would be a great venue, though. But anyway, add up those basic costs, think about what you want to charge people, and then you pretty much know how many people you need to have show up in order to make things work out.

We want a prize to compete for, but extra costs (flying out players) is going to eat into that very quickly. Ideally there’d be sponsorship for an extra source of funding, but I’m not sure where to start for that. NCR charged a $30 event fee, plus $10 per game, and I see 11 sponsors listed on their web page. As much as I’d love to see an event as glorious as you’re describing, I can’t help but wonder if that’s a goal for, like, the fifth tournament, where you already have a good idea about the turnout. Don’t mean to be negative; I mean, I’d go.

Worthless input: I once had a dream where I hosted a big tournament called the Rain City Regionals. I was about to play in the finals vs. someone I can’t remember and nature calls. When I opened the bathroom door to go play my match, I was @ Wenzel’s house. So I just chilled instead. anyways.

Brent and other tournament organizers can likely give you the most help here, though Mr. Shadowless has many good points in his post. G’luck

Dope that you’re trying to help out the community like this. A couple of things that need to be addressed (not problems, since we should be solution-oriented :smile:):

-Even with a discount, the upfront costs for renting the ballroom are gonna be pretty high. Combine that with travel costs for players from other countries, and you’re already investing thousands of dollars before you even see a dime from venue fees. Sponsors can really help here, so you should start reaching out to people like Markman soon.

-When it comes to date, you want to put a stake in the ground as early as possible. As soon as you know when the tournament is going down, make a topic with as much info as possible. Even if you don’t have a website (btw, you should get a website), getting word out about a big tournament early gives people time to plan for travel, and prevents other organizers from scheduling something that same weekend. You want several months advance notice, minimum. NCR is a major, well known tournament series, and they still announce things 6 months in advance.

-Have a guaranteed pot at least. Something that you think you can cover ($1000 guaranteed pot only needs 100 people to cover it). The Jwongs and Mike Ross’ of the world aren’t gonna show up unless they think the trip will be worth their while.

-You can’t run a big tournament without the right equipment. Getting ahold of enough consoles/monitors for a big event isn’t something you want to leave up to volunteers. You also want all the setups to be consistent, both so people don’t complain about 'the laggy tv in the corner, and because it makes the event seem more professional. It might sound silly, but it really does make an impression, and ensures that people who traveled will come back for future events.

-Make sure that people have a good way of getting to the hotel from the airport. If there is no shuttle, and a cab costs $40, that is a problem.

-The stream is important, especially if you have sponsors. Make sure that your contract with the hotel includes internet to accomodate a stream. Also, it shouldn’t be the wild west when it comes to commentary. Designate a couple of (good) people to be in charge of that. Don’t let any jackass just come up and speak his mind.

-Have a good, dedicated event staff. Make sure that the people running the brackets have experience doing so. You don’t want the tournament to come to a standstill because the bracket runners are slacking. There are plenty of people here that can help with this (Zig, FuriousJodo, Hyre, Tanaka, myself, etc).

-Get help EARLY. There are a lot of local people that can help with getting this kind of thing set up. Brent has experience running big events, securing venues, etc. Slash can tell you what you need to run a great stream. Chris (gameclucks) knows how to secure equipment for big events. Get as many people on board as early as possible.

A good person to talk to about this would be lapchiduong (organizer of canada cup). He put together a pretty successful tournament with international representation in an out-of-the-way location with no previous history of majors. So basically, same situation as us.

I don’t really have too much to add other than I’d like to help emphasize one of the points Mike made about setting up the date. As I understand it, with the exception of a couple months, there’s a big/major event nearly every month this year. So the date will be a monumental factor in this. One thing to consider is the whole Evo Tournament Season they’ll have going on in the months leading up to Evolution as we definitely wouldn’t want our event to happen at the sametime as one of those events.

I’d definitely suggest reaching out to Brent, Slash, and GC Chris. It’ll probably be rough, but this is something that I think can happen.

Talk to Brent about this idea and also there are a few of us how have had experience on how to run/promote/organize an event like this in real life.

Off the top of my head I would say myself, Robert, and Frank know a lot about this subject. Sorry if I’m leaving anyone else from the NW who has a lot of experience in this field as well. Please speak up if you know how to work at the grassroots level of how to make something major happen such as this :). I just got home from a long day of school and I need a nap.

Just the same, I cannot stress enough on how meeting in person, face to face, will get things done more efficiently and proper rather than a lot of hot air on the internet.

So, if you’re serious about this then we should start to plan meetings at a location. I find this type of planning works best at creating the best results.

Great input from everyone, thanks!

Yeah, I would need to budget $1000 for the airfare…I would be able to provide a friends and family rate for a couple of people ($59.95 a night), but I wouldn’t be able to do it for everyone. I talked with someone else from sales today, and she said that on average, the ballroom would cost around $1000 a night to rent out. So with the 20% discount, that would make it $800 a night. The room is supposed to fit up to 600 people, so I’m not sure if we’re going to need all that space. My hotel does have smaller sized rooms that we could rent out as well.

Sure, I’m down for having a meeting sometime soon. I’m wondering how many people are on board for this. Seriously, I’d appreciate any sort of help. Feel free to send me a PM or post in the thread. I feel that this event might be too much for just me to manage, so I would like to assign different tasks to people if possible.

I’m about to e-mail potential sponsors as we speak. Once again, if 3 months of planning doesn’t sound realistic, then we can push this to later this year…even post Evo. I might not be in the country when it happens, but I don’t plan on flaking. I’m willing to pass the project on to other members if they’re willing to take it up.

Hey James,

That venue and that price are great and would definitely work for a tournament. How long are you going out of the country for? Do you think you will be back by around August? I am planning NWM3 for August after EVO but I am still looking for a venue. The place I have been looking at is around the Best Western near the space needle, but I still needed to hear back from them about the price. If you think the Red Lion could work, we could definitely look into it.

Like Mike mentioned, you usually want to have around 6 months to advertise, but that is not to say you couldn’t hold a great tournament in 3 months.

Hey Brent,

I’m not sure if I’ll be returning to the states anytime soon. I just signed a one year contract for a teaching gig in South Korea. If I like it (I’m sure I will), I plan on living there for at least a couple of years. I’m sending in all the paperwork right now, so they said I might start as early as March, or as late as May.

I’d be happy to lend a hand if you need venue space. Even if I’m no longer employed at Red Lion, I’m sure some of my friends who work there can still provide a nice discounted rate for a block of rooms and event space.

I’d love to see this happen before I leave the country, but like I said before, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if we have to do it afterwards. Perhaps we could just push NWM to an earlier date? Let me know!

That’s awesome, I think you’ll really love it.
You speak Korean? It’s a pretty awesome language.

Congrats on landing the teaching job. I think if the goal is to get as many out of town and international players as possible with a lot of big names, more time to advertise and have people plan trips is better. I’d love to talk to you about the venue space if you think it would work well for the tournament.

As far as big names, does anyone know when EVO Japan is? I have heard that it is in August, but I am not sure when. I will check the EVO thread.

Brent, it hasn’t been announced yet.

I think an incentive such as a high cash prize and or advanced placement at EVO would be needed to attract top players. Definitely acquire big sponsors/vendors that could possibly pass as a mini-PAX event. June would be the earliest the make this successful and would have to be after all of the major tourney’s as a “last resort” for really competitive players who didn’t place in others.

Yo James, sent you a PM.

toe fu DOJO supports!! let me know how i can help james!!

Yeah, I’m actually Korean American. =) I’m not fluent, but I can hold my own pretty well. I hope to study Korean really hard while I’m living there, and hopefully I can become fluent somewhere down the line.

Brent, your PM box is full, so I’ll just post my answers to your questions here:

I might be leaving as early as March, or as late as May.

You’ve got a point there. However, don’t you think a nice way of getting attention would be to have some famous International players? $1000 does seem to be a bit much, though.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’d be able to come back anytime soon. The company I’ll be working for doesn’t give much vacation time at all. =/

Sure, I’d be happy to help you out if you’re interested in using Red Lion as a venue. Let me know if you wanted to meet with people from my sales department. I’ll do some asking around first, so I can give you specific details about our event space. Did you have any questions I might be able to ask my sales department?

I know this is OT but, dude you’re moving to the land of the Tekken Gods (South Korea), you’re so lucky! I’m jealous in a way! If my advice means anything to ya then I suggest that you learn Tekken while you’re over there. Enter Green Arcade and the rest is history!


But more OT, perhaps you could fly out one or two of the Korean players for Tekken? I’ve met Rain, NIN, Holeman, and Knee and they are pretty cool guys and I’m sure they would have a blast in the Seattle area since we’re a group that likes to keep our company entertained at all times.

I looked at the room online, and it looks great. I will send you some questions about the space, and it would be awesome if I could come up and do a walk-through sometime to see if it could work for August.

If you want to set a date for sometime in March or April, I can help you figure out what you will need to get it planned. Once you have everything together and know what you need as far as equipment, time, and attendance, you will be able to figure out how much you have to fly people out.

Hey James, my PM box is open again. I am going to PM you my number and email and you can feel free to get a hold of me sometime if you want to discuss tournaments. It would be great if I could get a hold of you today and we could more about planning.