Chaos Dwarfs Online (CDO) have a long, unbroken tradition of running competitions, since the start back in 2007. The process have been tweaked and honed rather a lot, and there is certainly room for improvement (I always view it as experimental tinkering, like a mechanic). At any rate we could more or less copy over CDO's way of running contests to the Warp Storm, and then advertise on other sites and Facebook groups & Reddit for new contests. Always have a handy link list document for this careful spamlord activity. I've already overseen this export of CDO contest routine to the Ninth Age Forum (T9A), and done a couple of Oldhammer Art Contests on the Oldhammer forum as well.
Prizes will draw more people. Whether it is leftover miniatures of someone's private collection/bits box, or company sponsorship. Prizes help. Contests are actually about stimulating hobby creativity and throw a fun event. Prizes and the glory of winning are bait. The competitive element is merely exploiting human nature, since similar events without the nature of competition draw less people. The actual goal is to get people to paint, convert, write stories and doodle art, and then there are some winners and prize handouts as a byproduct.
I ran various contests for T9A for a while, until overworking and burnout meant I had to cut back on almost everything. Without me handling it as a central figure (with a crew of go-to helpers to get the word out etc), contests like those have not happened on T9A. I could volunteer for one or two contests in the beginning, and perhaps jump in every now and then when I feel like it (probably not often), so it would be best to have others willing to take up the mantle on the Warp Storm going forward.
If you are interested, I could eventually take the time to copy CDO/T9A contest rules and tweak them for Warp Storm duty, for you to review and change around. Most of the demanding work is setting up the general rules and the first announcement. Once you've got a template ready, it's largely a case of copy-paste and changing where necessary. It's easier to maintain a steady stream of contests if you make it easier for the organizer to work through - this is why I've been able to keep doing contests on CDO, and an Oldhammer Art Contest, in the midst of overworked exhaustion.
I can explain more in specifics if you like, just ask.
One important overarching discovery that I've made time and time again during hosting of CDO contests since 2014, is that needlessly strict rules is an unwanted obstacle to freewheeling creativity. On CDO the old staff (still occasionally active, but they have not had time to run contests since 2014) ran contests with an eye toward building up toward an army book (straitjacket format), including rules on base sizes and whatnot. There was also a strong spirit of trying to create an even playing field, with rules around blank backgrounds and so on. This created needless friction and really served no purpose whatsoever:
Let people base their stuff how they like, and let them use scenery and cool backgrounds for picture-taking - we all want beautiful pictures of hobby work at the end of the day, so why restrict it overly much so that we get less beautiful images out of it all? If someone want to go the extra mile and create a diorama with extra models from other armies, then why hinder that project?
So a lot of rule tweakings in my years on CDO have consisted of streamlining and removing clunky rules which came about for well-meaning reasons, but ultimately just restricted people's hobby in vain. It's the rules born out of this long contest tradition and process of improvement that I'd like to export to the Warp Storm, and see if throwing some contests could help draw a lot of new members.
First off, what contests to start with? I can volunteer to handle a general painting & modelling contest around some vague open theme, and then an art contest after that if you wouldn't mind.
In case of interest, it will probably take a couple of weeks at least before I can get around to this rules write-up, so please don't expect quick work; it'd be something I would tackle an evening when I happen to have energy and time left over to do so.
Also, I can donate an alien head kit for one of the winners (gold if no other prize donations pop up for the first comp). Deadlines ought to be up to 2 months. Never less than 4 weeks, and preferably at least 6 weeks. Then about a week of PM voting before announcing winners.