I don't go to those big ones, a year ago there was one in San Luis obispo, it went on for over 12 hours. I'm glad I did not go, it gets crazy maybe more than 60 competitors including SPL, I have no interest in SPL ( the loudest) and They had not enough judges, bigger than one in LA they had.
The ones in the local area like this one, are small sometimes less than 30 total people, maybe less than 15 competing for all the different categories and it goes fast, maybe only 1 or 2 judges for this one, and no SPL, very skilled young talented helpers and even judges that show up and a chance to listen to good systems.
I think MECA looks for shops that are willing to host the event, have their show room available, it may bring them sales in the future.
There is always one event per year in the San Jose area, I went to one and it was extremely quiet, over a year ago, less than 25 total people including, kids wives, judges and watchers like myself.
I may post some events, I think the best thing would be to pm me and I will let the ones interested know and I can confirm I will be going. I'm pretty much your ticket to get a demo from some of the best systems in the nation, get to know and learn from these competitors and judges. It may not be for everyone but it does not hurt to try it once just for the experience.
Lately I have heard some decent factory stock systems are available from newer cars offering 8 channels, 3 way front , a center channel with pro logic systems with decent up front centered stage vocals and bass, with similar sound to what a well tuned $500 plus sound processor can do, except not as crisp, clean centered and deep bass with 3 amplifiers and over 1000W of power