Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Exhibitions/Competitions ..... what does it take to get ha

Advertising! - getting the word out - either on harmonica lists or word of  
mouth, Jim. And it doesn't take money - far from it. Simply getting on the  
phone, using ingenuity and one's innate smarts (Val Redler-Caltabellotta 
proved  this to us in the GSHC Club these past 3 years).
If harmonica players don't know there IS an event, then how can anyone  
expect a great turnout?
I'd also NOT focus on the financial aspect (although for  some it might be 
an 'extra' incentive), but what's a lot more  interesting for most harmonica 
players (I'm one of the shy ones who'd never  dream of 'competing') is the 
getting together with other like-minded  people and the sheer fun of playing 
together both before and after - so try  to make that available too if 
possible? (IF there are any local evening jams you  know about you could add a 
link for those who want to stay over). 
The best part of ANY Harmonica Convention (for me, anyway) is the  
wonderful camaraderie - and constant playing together of so many disparate  people 
in groups in the hallways (or outside). Your main event (the competition)  
might be the 'draw', but turn it into an overall fun harmonica gathering and I 
 guarantee you'll attract more real harmonica players.
There are numerous harmonica lists on which you can post the information -  
yet I see very little info about these kinds of events advertised. I don't  
believe any legitimate site would turn down allowing you to post  about a 
harmonica event. What about Danny's gig list right here on harp-l?  - and 
adding the info to your 'tag line' in posts as it draws  closer?
When Val took over the Presidency of The Garden State Harmonica Club we had 
 no real budget (it's non-profit of course) so she spent an inordinate 
amount of  her own personal time contacting local newspapers - making phone 
calls, sending  out invitations, posting info about our club far in advance of 
our  Festival. It paid off hugely: a couple of local New Jersey newspapers 
were  intrigued enough to send reporters out to our club meetings to interview 
 many players and take photos for their local editions. (Not that I wanted 
anyone  to see my photo plastered on local New Jersey editions, but if it 
helped the  club I bit the bullet). This was purely due to Val's inherent 
ability to create  excitement about us (her previous careers as both a teacher 
and real estate  saleswoman coming to the fore) ;) She's amazing and a 
 In turn, this attracted many new members who then came  to the November 
Festival. It takes WORK and hands-on  involvement. Enlist other members of  
your organization  to help - and your advertising should extend further than 
your home  state: I'd suggest trying to attract people within reasonable 
driving  distances from outside Ohio and WVa.  Then - List decent local hotels  
(or other facilities) where visitors from further away could stay over  or 
alternatively provide a website link to the local Chamber  of Commerce (and 
inform THEM about your event as well!)
Hope this helps a wee bit.
"Message: 8
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2012 08:49:29 -0500
From: Jim Rumbaugh  <jrumbaug@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Harp-L]  Exhibitions/Competitions ...... what does it
take to get harmonica players to  show up for an event?
To: clayton goldstein <clay@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>,  <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>

Clay said, "I vote for more music Exhibitions,  and less competitions."

Previous posts have talked about what makes a  good competition. I say the 
real question is, what does it take to get  harmonica players to show up 
an event.

We host the WV State  Harmonica Championship, and I participate in the Ohio 
State Harmonica  Championship. Both have offered 1st place $200, 2nd $100, 
3rd $50. Last  year, Ohio upped 1st to $300 to draw more contestants, but 
extra money  did not draw more people. I now believe, it's not about the  

There was the suggestion about making different catagories of  competition. 
The problem is getting enough people to participate to have  catagories.

The "proffesionals" feel it's unfair to compete against  anmatuers . The 
amatuers don't want to look foolish. Some are too shy to be  in the 

So, what does it take to get harmonica players to  show up for an event?

Jim Rumbaugh

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