This came up in the Natl's Results thread, but it kind of petered and died before it actually became either useful or interesting. In the vein of the "What would you do if you were ED" thread, I am curious as to others suggestions as to how we can improve the running of national tournaments, both in terms of the prep work (day schedule) and actual management. As people have figured out, I'm fairly opinionated on this, but would be very interested in other POVs.
The largest things in my mind are:
1) Clear BC command structure with assigned jobs. One person needs to be In Charge of the tournament. People should be assigned jobs of data entry, running of the tableaux, etc. Someone in the BC area should have the sole task of fielding questions from curious parents.
a) Appropriate use of delegation. Some tasks should not be centralized at the BC table. National venues are large, to the point where it does not make sense. If you are running the D1WE table, you should be in an arranged place by where D1WE is fenced.
2) Isolate the people doing the work. Running a tournament is stressful enough without questions flying at you from all directions. In most regional events I've worked, we keep the people actually doing the work (computer monkeys) behind a second row of tables. We put the people who are around to answer questions in the first row, too.
3) Post results/seeding in a more manageable fashion. This has gotten somewhat better, with some events having up to 4 posting locations, but even in these cases, results are only posted on one side of the board. In an event like ME, that's still 50 fencers trying to see size 10 font in a crowded area. Large, obvious posting of results reduces misseeds, enabling the tournament to run much smoother.
4) One slow ref destroys an entire tournament. Develop and implement strategies to identify and accelerate slow pools. If you aren't aware of how done your pools are, you aren't running your tournament well. Be able to allocate resources where they're needed.
What've you got?