Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Old college threads.
Locked
User avatar
theMoMA
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5686
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am

Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Post by theMoMA » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:41 am

I've been going through the numbers on the first three iterations of Collegiate Novice and it appears that attendance has been pretty steady. The first tournament is still the high-water mark in terms of number of players (483), but this year's event came close (469). (The 2011 version was lower, at 408, for some reason.) Looking through the types of teams that have attended, the composition seems pretty steady: most teams are from established programs, especially the host schools, which hopefully have derived a tangible benefit of retaining more players as a result. We have seen quite a few newer schools attend the tournament over the last three years, but not to the level I'd like to see.

So here's my question to quizbowl at large: how can I better promote this event to newer collegiate programs? I'd really like to see this event take off as a promotional tool for newer programs as well as a great way to increase player retention at established programs.

I'm looking for suggestions of any kind, whether logistical (suggestions about the number of sites, hosting window, etc.) or promotional (suggestions about how to actively reach out to newer programs). On the logistical side, I've tried to offer the tournament at as many sites as possible in order to keep travel times down, to mandate that host sites start the tournament later (and end at a reasonable time) in order to facilitate same-day travel, to keep costs down, and to be flexible with the hosting dates. On the advertising side, I sent out postcards to college honors programs routing people to this website for the first event (this wasn't extremely successful). I've encouraged hosts to promote the tournament in their regions for the past two years, but I'm not sure if that ad hoc approach is the best way to get newer teams interested.
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum

User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6590
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Post by Cheynem » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:07 pm

Running the tournament slightly later would probably work in some instances, except then you run into the problem of the tournament competing against other tournaments.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

Red-necked Phalarope
Rikku
Posts: 463
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 1:50 pm
Location: Columbus, OH
Contact:

Re: Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Post by Red-necked Phalarope » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:57 pm

Have you thought about relaxing the HSNCT/NSC-related eligibility requirements for (some definition of) new teams? Though I don't have any evidence to support this, it seems reasonable that these top performers would be more likely to start programs at new schools--and that they'd be less likely to steamroll their field than if they were in a well-established program.

EDIT: I think this has been discussed a bit in the past, but what about having some sort of official short (1-2 hour) side event or "expert singles" after the main tournament? I know getting drivers for teams has been an issue before, and as much as we'd like upperclassmen to drive out of the goodness of their hearts, providing some sort of incentive would probably help. This would be totally optional for sites to hold, of course; if the average team at a site will have to drive 6-8 hours to get home, we don't want them having to stay until 8 or 9 at night.
Brice Russ
East Forsyth '04
UNC '08
Ohio State '13

User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6590
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Post by Cheynem » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:20 pm

The problem I have with any side events is that it would be very boring or tiresome for new players to hang around. I'd really just encourage experienced players to staff the tournament and if there are enough sites, it shouldn't even be that long a trip (hopefully). Using these veteran players as staffers might also allow for more house teams of inexperienced players.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

njsbling
Rikku
Posts: 336
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:17 pm
Location: Carmichael, California

Re: Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Post by njsbling » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:04 am

Hi Andrew- Please correct me if you think I am mistaken, but I think the largest obstacle for colleges to play Collegiate Novice is that they have never heard of Quiz Bowl to begin with. The complexity of recruiting and outreach can be a very long process, often with few results (refer to this thread-viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12354). I've spent a lot of time this school year work on outreach in the San Francisco Bay Area/Northern California (mainly to High Schools and to a lesser extent colleges; largely with the help of Jeff Hoppes). Multiple things I have learned:

1) Writing e-mails to teachers/school administration has a near 0% success rate (Generally they don't respond, or they say "we will pass this along" which leads nowhere).
2) Jeff and I have driven around to schools and distributing tournament flyers and sample packets to teachers, administrators, etc, with a success rate of close to 0% (I wonder what the teachers do when they receive the information, do they just throw it away?)
3) From my experience, the best way to get a new school involved is to contact a student at the school (Facebook is good for this). I've been lucky enough to recruit multiple new schools this year solely basically by asking people I know "do you know someone at this HS who I could talk to?" I came across an article online regarding results from a local science bowl competition and it mentioned the captain of one of the teams, and I contacted that person on Facebook. After never hearing about Quiz Bowl before, two weeks later he brought two teams to our local tournament.
4) I asked someone I know to go to the local Science Bowl competition and hand out flyers to coaches and students for an upcoming Quiz Bowl tournament, and that has been helpful as well (the two new teams that have signed up from that is more than the zero teams that have signed up by our stopping by 30+ schools promoting quiz bowl)
5) One important way to improve the College circuit is to improve the High School circuit (and in turn improve the Middle School circuit); these all reinforce each other.
6) For high schools (and probably colleges as well), the closer the tournament is to them, the more likely they'll play it (the more trouble/expensive it is for them, the less likely they'll get involved). In general, the more tournament sites the better.
7) Having a larger window can also be beneficial, as it gives teams that start late more time to prepare/recruit for their clubs. Changing the logistics will take much less energy/time than promotion of the event to new schools.

Jeff and I are going to be working on recruiting multiple new colleges in the Bay Area to compete (especially for Collegiate Novice next Fall). I am beginning to work on outreach (mainly for high school) in other parts of the country, and in the long run, that will help the College circuit. I think the Collegiate Novice set is a great way to getting new players and schools involved with Quiz Bowl (I wish there were more introductory collegiate sets available throughout the year). Are there any areas in particular you'd like to have the tournament run next year that you had trouble running this year? Without a full-time staff to actually go to these places and tell people, "We're running a tournament here in a month, bring teams", outreach will be more of a challenge.
Nicholas Karas
Member, Northern California Quiz Bowl Alliance
Outreach Coordinator, National Academic Quiz Tournaments

User avatar
Gautam
Auron
Posts: 1413
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:28 pm
Location: Zone of Avoidance
Contact:

Re: Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Post by Gautam » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:52 am

Depending on the costs, Facebook's Graph search might be a valuable marketing tool. Reaching out to "Friends or friends of friends attending college who like Chimamanda Adichie" is probably going to have a non-trivially higher success rate of getting people to notice compared to the 0% figures cited above.

There are a number of quizbow people with links to Facebook, maybe they can hook you up with the right person to go about this, too.
Gautam - ACF
Currently tending to the 'quizbowl hobo' persuasion.

User avatar
Mike Bentley
Auron
Posts: 5807
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Re: Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Post by Mike Bentley » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:07 am

I have done Facebook advertising for finding UW students who might be interested in quizbowl with mild success, although it is a bit expensive (you'll pay maybe $20 for 1-2 follow-ups).
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008

fett0001
Tidus
Posts: 667
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:50 am

Re: Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Post by fett0001 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:33 am

At least in Region 5, ACUI gets a bunch of teams to come out that wouldn't ordinarily. Also, Liberty University's conference(Big south?) has a Quizbowl tournament each year. I wonder if other conferences do the same.
Mike Hundley
PACE Member
Virginia Tech

User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8411
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:24 pm

Does anyone have better ideas for recruiting new college teams than "here's a bunch of stuff that doesn't work, and what you should do instead is: recruit new college teams"? It seems that in the past we relied almost entirely on two methods:
1) An interested high school player goes to a college without a team/an interested player at an existing college goes to a graduate program at a college without a team, and they begin one
2) A College Bowl program is contacted either at College Bowl Regionals or through the Internet in some way about attending real tournaments and responds positively

For some years now, option #2 has been off the table, and we've seen the growth of new college teams slow to a trickle. The question seems, to me, to be "what was College Bowl doing to get new teams to form for the ACUI competition that NAQT isn't?"
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

Susan
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 1814
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:43 am

Re: Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Post by Susan » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:46 pm

Matt Weiner wrote: For some years now, option #2 has been off the table, and we've seen the growth of new college teams slow to a trickle. The question seems, to me, to be "what was College Bowl doing to get new teams to form for the ACUI competition that NAQT isn't?"
Campus tournament?
Susan
UChicago alum (AB 2003, PhD 2009)
Member emerita, ACF

User avatar
Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
Posts: 5640
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm
Location: Columbia, MO

Re: Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:39 am

See, I don't think those CBI teams were real teams that would have met and practiced and competed for more than 1 tournament a year. They had an intramural tournament that picked who represented the school and that was it.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

fett0001
Tidus
Posts: 667
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:50 am

Re: Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Post by fett0001 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:48 am

True, but they obviously were interested, and it's possible that they just didn't know of other options out there.
Mike Hundley
PACE Member
Virginia Tech

User avatar
mtn335
Lulu
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:38 pm
Location: (north of) Seattle, WA

Re: Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Post by mtn335 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:09 pm

Horned Screamer wrote:See, I don't think those CBI teams were real teams that would have met and practiced and competed for more than 1 tournament a year. They had an intramural tournament that picked who represented the school and that was it.
fett0001 wrote:True, but they obviously were interested, and it's possible that they just didn't know of other options out there.
During my time at Gonzaga, a group of fairly dedicated players (who managed not to know anything aside from CBI existed, as Mike suggests, but that's another story) tried pretty hard to establish an actual program with a "varsity squad" not determined by campus tournament results. The student activities folks weren't really interested in this idea, so intramural results reigned. This group formed my sophomore year and managed to win the next three campus tournaments so more or less the same team represented us for three years (and practiced, if not weekly, then at least beyond the run-up to the campus and regional tournaments). If NAQT or any other groups had been running tournaments in our region, we'd have been all over it.

(Edit: add Charlie's quote and clean up)
Nathan Murphy
NAQT Member
HSNCT/ICT Logistics Director
Gonzaga University 2007

Ethnic history of the Vilnius region
Yuna
Posts: 970
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 12:50 am
Location: Columbia, SC

Re: Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Post by Ethnic history of the Vilnius region » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:07 pm

mtn335 wrote:
Horned Screamer wrote:See, I don't think those CBI teams were real teams that would have met and practiced and competed for more than 1 tournament a year. They had an intramural tournament that picked who represented the school and that was it.
fett0001 wrote:True, but they obviously were interested, and it's possible that they just didn't know of other options out there.
As someone who (unfortunately) played CBI, I think there's truth to both sides. Clearly, there were a lot of teams that played CBI that eventually formed real quizbowl teams or might have formed real teams if they knew there was anything else put there, but yeah, many of the "one and done" teams I saw playing CBI did not seem all that interested to be there.

Another important thing about CBI is that, at least in my experience and to my knowledge, teams participating in it had everything taken care of in terms of lodging, transportation, and registration fees. Like, our student union people did the logistical work and then we the team just showed up and travelled to the regional tournament. A major barrier to the growth of quizbowl is a lack of logistically-minded students willing to do budgets, schedule, drive, etc. With CBI, it didn't matter because the student unions took care of everything (which was in some ways problematic as well).
Eric D.
University of South Carolina Alum

User avatar
AKKOLADE
Sin
Posts: 15266
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 8:08 am

Re: Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:56 pm

mtn335 wrote:
Horned Screamer wrote:See, I don't think those CBI teams were real teams that would have met and practiced and competed for more than 1 tournament a year. They had an intramural tournament that picked who represented the school and that was it.
fett0001 wrote:True, but they obviously were interested, and it's possible that they just didn't know of other options out there.
During my time at Gonzaga, a group of fairly dedicated players (who managed not to know anything aside from CBI existed, as Mike suggests, but that's another story) tried pretty hard to establish an actual program with a "varsity squad" not determined by campus tournament results. The student activities folks weren't really interested in this idea, so intramural results reigned. This group formed my sophomore year and managed to win the next three campus tournaments so more or less the same team represented us for three years (and practiced, if not weekly, then at least beyond the run-up to the campus and regional tournaments). If NAQT or any other groups had been running tournaments in our region, we'd have been all over it.

(Edit: add Charlie's quote and clean up)
Assuming Gonzaga wasn't geographically isolated from other teams: would forming your own student organization have been a viable option?
Fred Morlan
PACE President, 2018-19
International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
University of Kentucky CoP, 2017
hsqbrank manager, NAQT writer (former subject editor), former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator, 2012 NASAT TD

User avatar
mtn335
Lulu
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:38 pm
Location: (north of) Seattle, WA

Re: Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Post by mtn335 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:33 pm

Fred wrote:Assuming Gonzaga wasn't geographically isolated from other teams: would forming your own student organization have been a viable option?
Would it have been viable? Yes - we could have formed a club and gotten budget from student gov't and the rest. However, I don't think it would've changed anything. Every quizbowl-playing team we knew of played CBI, and none of us knew there was anything better. Really, none of us knew it was bad - we all played less-pyramidal formats in high school (me in Idaho, mostly speed-check stuff, a couple teammates in Washington knowledge bowl) or didn't play at all, and CBI felt big and Collegiate and important. Who represented the school at CBI regionals was up to Student Activities because they had a pre-existing relationship with CBI and only one team per school and all that - I don't think we could've circumvented that process.

So yes, we could have formed a stand-alone club, but we would have had nowhere to play if we didn't also win the campus tournament.
Nathan Murphy
NAQT Member
HSNCT/ICT Logistics Director
Gonzaga University 2007

User avatar
AKKOLADE
Sin
Posts: 15266
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 8:08 am

Re: Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:20 pm

But, assuming that NAQT & ACF were something you could easily travel to, could you have set up a club for such purposes?

Did you know people at other schools that would have been interested in starting a club?
Fred Morlan
PACE President, 2018-19
International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
University of Kentucky CoP, 2017
hsqbrank manager, NAQT writer (former subject editor), former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator, 2012 NASAT TD

User avatar
mtn335
Lulu
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:38 pm
Location: (north of) Seattle, WA

Re: Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Post by mtn335 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:34 pm

Certainly, we could have done so. I'm not honestly certain how interested other schools would have been; some would and some wouldn't, probably. Until one of us ended up on an NAQT staff invite list (thanks to College Jeopardy) nobody at Gonzaga had heard of either NAQT or ACF; I can't speak to other schools on that score either.
Nathan Murphy
NAQT Member
HSNCT/ICT Logistics Director
Gonzaga University 2007

User avatar
tiwonge
Tidus
Posts: 739
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2006 5:54 pm
Location: Boise (City of Trees), Idaho

Re: Outreach ideas for Collegiate Novice 4

Post by tiwonge » Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:06 pm

mtn335 wrote:Certainly, we could have done so. I'm not honestly certain how interested other schools would have been; some would and some wouldn't, probably. Until one of us ended up on an NAQT staff invite list (thanks to College Jeopardy) nobody at Gonzaga had heard of either NAQT or ACF; I can't speak to other schools on that score either.
Well, at the last CBI tournament, I did reach out to some other schools (notably Gonzaga, Idaho and Idaho State), and I did manage to get in touch with one player at Gonzaga. They did come to a few tournaments for a year (one at UW, one at BSU, and they hosted one), but then they stopped coming. There was also a staff person who was involved in this.

I don't know if this predates or post-dates your involvement with NAQT, but there was some small amount of activity there.

(Unfortunately, I think in Gonzaga's case, they were still operating under the Student-Activities run model, in that the Student Activities tried to pay for everything. They paid for travel and hotels, which got expensive. They didn't try to be a self-supporting or self-sustaining club run by students. I don't know if they quit when Emily lost interest, or if they decided they couldn't afford it before then, but now Emily has long since graduated, and I have no more contacts there.)
Colin McNamara, Boise State University
PACE
Idaho Quiz & Academic Teams

Locked