Wednesday, 25 January 2017

How To Organise And Execute Any Competition On OAU Campus - Gracious Egedegbe

By Gracious Egedegbe

Times are hard, really hard. In fact, it is so hard that many are taking the unfortunate travails of MMM to heart. However, as an OAU student, you cannot afford to remain broke; you have got to think of something real quick. One of the things you can do is to organise a competition, either a beauty pageant or a singing competition, anything!

The first thing you need to do is to get your reason right. This is very important because you don’t want to spend your time and resources on something that will not benefit you. Get this straight: the reason you’re organising this competition is because you need money. However, you cannot tell other this (unless they are broke niggers like yourself and are fully in support of your plans).

However, to your contestants and the general public, you must make them believe you are doing it for the public good. This can be done with the following statements: “we are set to groom young talents”, “the aim of this event is to give potential youths a showcasing platform” amongst others. The point is this: make sure that making money is all that you care about. You might want to make a name for yourself too but that ultimately ends in using that “name” to make money. You really don’t care if the contestants really develop during the course of the event.

One thing you must be ready to do is to spend some money. Think about all the sensible money making ventures in the world like MMM and iCharity, they all need money to make more money. You need money to print a couple of posters and pay people to paste it around campus. (if you are really broke, you and your other broke friends can paste them instead.) The money in question can be your school fees, house rent or even borrowed! What matters is that you have money to spend. For those of you who want shows that are organised as platforms for development and not mere money making ventures, you should understand that when someone pumps in so much money, the only thing that matters is generating cool profit (soft work!)

Once you have gotten some money, you can now begin publicity. In order not to waste resources, you must target your publicity at part one students who are eager to “dash” you their money without reading the fine print. These gullible students will later come back to grumble but don’t bother about them. The reason to target part one students is simple: most advanced students will do the maths and realise that you do not have the complete money to run the entire program. They will know you have some sleazy moves underway. (Although one or two may be gullible too.)

You need to know that organisation matters; you cannot afford to be sloppy. You need very cool designs for posters and WhatsApp BCs, a team of broke niggers like yourself and most importantly a tiny handful of people who actually care about grooming young talents. The need for such handful to give the event a good “dress”. Remember the proverbs, “the way you dress is the way you will be addressed”; in that same line, you must give your organisation a good dress.

When you have got gullible students for contestants (who have also paid some cash for application forms), you begin to print tickets (with the change left from printing posters). This stage is very important. In fact, it is so important that if you mess up at this point, you may consider the entire business a waste of time. I’m sure you are wondering who has the money to buy tickets in these hard times. Well, the trick is simple: distribute these tickets amongst the contestants and tell them the higher their sales, the higher the chances of winning. Simple!

Some people may begin to grumble at this point. However, just draw their attention to three facts. First, no one was forced to do anything. I mean, these contestants came on their own. Moreover, if they don’t want to sell tickets, no problem – just that it affects their chances of winning.

Second, you need money to run the program. Or did they think you had solved the problem of funds before you began the program? So they expect you to use your personal money to develop young talents? Even you ‘gan’, you are looking for who will develop your talent. It’s from the ticket money you pay the prizes and do other things. It’s like all the contestants are doing MMM. Some will get 100%, some 30%, other will lose. It’s normal!

Third, you need publicity for your program. Imagine you are walking on the street and no one is saying anything about your program as if it does not exist. God forbid! I reject it for you. But we both know you can’t afford a large scale advertisement. Therefore, the best thing is to use your contestants for publicity. Let them look for people who will come to the show to cheer them up. Simple, free and effective!

At this point, you must step aside and allow the tiny handful I talked about take charge. But you are like every other human being, you just cannot let things be. So even among the judges, you should put one or two of your guys. At this point, you must have gathered enough money. Immediately the program ends, you must go into oblivion. What I mean is no one should hear anything about you or follow up plans for grooming young talents.

You want my advice? Well, you can throw a big party for your guys, buy gadgets for yourself, an iPhone 7 for your girlfriend and use the rest to do MMM. Don’t forget to send me some change though…. Things are also hard for writers.


(Egbedegbe Gracious is a student of the Faculty of Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University and a member of the OAU Peeps Team. He tweets at @IamTheGray)

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