Many tournaments have been started up and run for short periods of time, only for players to begin losing interest. This is a chronic problem as with less ISK from entry fees the prize levels will drop and you'll get less interest. The key to keeping interest up is to get the word out and vary the format a little now and then. Things that can turn people off entering include not being able to use their favourite size class, entry fees being out of their price range or other competitors being notorious for winning. Some people will only enter cheap frigate deathmatch arenas while others want to go toe-to-toe with their most expensive battleship. Likewise, some people will be happy with standardised ship setups while others consider creating their own setup and anticipating the enemy's fitting to be part of the challenge. As the event organiser, it's your job to find out what people want and make it happen.
One of the best tools for generating interest is simple advertising. Promote your event on in-game channels, the Events forum and if possible get the word out on EVE Radio. They run a number of their own tournaments and competitions for listeners every week. The better organised your event is and the more effort you can put into it, the more they can do to help. In a chat with EVE Radio Director "MrBlades" on their IRC channel, he revealed that for fun events like PvP tournaments, they can "do coverage if the time keeping is good". MrBlades went on to describe the level of help they can give to well-organised events, which ranged from helpful advice to creating radio advertisements and even sponsoring your event with prizes. We ended the chat with the helpful information that "For asking us about getting involved in events, first point of contact would be qgazq AT gamingradio DOT net ".
Keeping the ISK safe:
The biggest point of contention with entry fees in tournaments is that some people have in the past run PvP tournaments and lotteries as scams by just running off with the entry fees. This can be overcome by using a universally trusted third party to hold all the ISK such as someone the EVE community holds in high regard. Chribba and a few others are among those that regularly offer their services as a trusted third party. They survive solely on their reputation for being a neutral and trustworthy go-between, a status that once lost is almost impossible to regain. This is something EVE player F900 found out first hand when he confiscated an extremely rare State Issue Raven from a client and lost the position of trust within the community he had built up.
Chribba or the nice fellows at EVE Radio remain the best choice if possible as this will assure your entrants that their ISK is in safe hands. After a number of successful tournaments, players may even become comfortable with trusting you with the ISK and the go-between will no longer be neccessary. Building up your own reputation is a lengthy but highly rewarding process that opens up a lot of doors within the EVE community. A strong reputation is everything, allowing you to start your own lotteries, investment schemes and competitions whenever you wish. After years of honourable dealings with pilots in-game and managing public ISK for ISS alliance, I myself was able to secure investment 60 billion ISK of public money for a moneymaking scheme on nothing but my reputation and a promise.
Organising your own events can be a lot of work but it's a very rewarding experience. In addition to putting yourself or your corp in the community spotlight, there's a good deal of ISK to be made by taking a cut of the entry fees for your effort. With support from groups like EVE Radio and a little hard work, you could start a PvP championship of your own and maybe even develop a new tradition for pilots across EVE.
Brendan "Nyphur" Drain is an early veteran of EVE Online and writer of the weekly EVE Evolved column here at massively.com. The column covers anything and everything relating to EVE Online, from in-depth guides to speculative opinion pieces. If you want to message him, send him an e-mail at brendan.drain AT weblogsinc DOT com.