One of the most popular culinary shows in Mindanao, and arguably the entire country, is the Kumbira Culinary Show and Live Competitions. A flagship project of Cagayan de Oro Hotel and Restaurant Association (COHARA), it is actually the biggest culinary event in both Visayas and Mindanao and is already on its 22nd year. There are several food and beverage competitions that are available to aspiring contestants, and this year’s event will feature Mindanao cuisine at its center, with the theme “The Kitchens of Mindanao.” It is held during the month of August, which coincides with the city’s fiesta celebration in honor of Cagayan de Oro’s patron saint, St. Augustine.
Every year, thousands of people flood the venue wishing to partake in the festivities being held in the event. These usually showcase products and services related to cooking like LPGs, kitchen equipment, and plastic containers, but can also feature others from fire extinguishers to professional photographers. It’s not just cooking, as there are multiple booths that showcase their wares as well, and there are also multiple lectures and seminars that are headed by the biggest names and authorities in the Philippine culinary industry.
One can imagine how such a large event would most likely be a nightmare to coordinate. To successfully organize a large scale gathering of all the culinary enthusiasts all over the country, any group would need a large amount of manpower, time, and communication. In 2016, COHARA partnered with RedLemon Digital Media, and they have maintained this professional relationship for three years. RedLemon developed an online registration system for the aspiring contestants, as well as a tabulation system that is used by the organizers throughout the entire three-day event. This lessened the burden on the organizational side and allowed the staff to focus their efforts on the other aspects of the event.
In most events that feature multiple competitions scattered across various categories like Kumbira, keeping an organized track on participants can be especially tiring. Considering the scale of the event, it would be impractical to have a single physical registration venue and allowing multiple venues would have the organizers needing to collate all the information from all registration branches. This also means there’s a chance of some information being lost, or mixed up, which will be a massive headache when the time comes for the event to be held. That is why one of the things RedLemon prioritized in making was the online registration system.
Any participants wishing to compete in any of the events are able to register themselves online a full month before the event. This allows the event organizers to properly collect and check the data being input, which lessens the amount of work they need to do at the event itself. The organizers are also able to enter any number of events they wish, and the criteria for judging may also be included in the forms. The forms also serve a secondary function, wherein the organizers will also be able to keep a list of participants who have already handed in their entry fee, and any other fees they might need to pay.
The system, however, is not able to process online payments for the participants, so anybody who wishes to pay for their fees will need to do so at a later date. Despite this though, the registration system still has a lot of value for both organizers and participants, and there is always a possibility of further developments in the future.
The tabulations system
Another iffy task when organizing a large event comprised of multiple competitions is tabulating the scores every single one, and then making sure all the data is accurate. It isn’t unheard of for scores and team names to be mixed up in the confusion, although it is a bit of a rare occurrence. However, the possibility is always there, and since RedLemon was already able to develop a system for the participants’ online registration, they also went ahead and created a system that would allow the organizers to keep track of each team’s performance during all the events, while basing the information off of the data in the registration system.
Basically, the tabulation system relies on the registration system’s data to know which participants are competing, in which event, and in what category. Organizers are able to simply input the scores of the participants, and the system then automatically marks who won in that particular competition. Because of this system, organizers will no longer have to sift through pages and pages of judges’ score sheets and other documents just to know who won in a certain bout, and all the information they need regarding winners and their scores during the awarding ceremony is accessible with a few strokes of a keyboard.
Another great feature of this system is the ability to generate how many awards a certain school or hotel has garnered. With this, organizers will be up to date on which group has the most wins at any given time, and they can also easily bring up who the overall champion is.
If you visit the RedLemon office for the first time, you would probably wonder why a digital media company has a plaque of appreciation from the biggest culinary event in the region. This goes to show just how flexible and powerful technology can be, and how even an unlikely pairing is able to solve some major problems. Who knows what the coming years will bring, but there are definitely interesting things to look forward to when it comes to RedLemon and COHARA’s partnership.