...Unlike most invitationals, we generally don't have the coaches run events (there are some exceptions to this), and thus it's often difficult to pull in people to volunteer their time for some strange thing called Science Olympiad....
Actually, from my count, 9 or 10 events were run by coaches this year. 7 of those coaches had teams at the event.
Having coaches run events gives their team an advantage (with a known test style, test setup, or material).
Before this year, I had previously been opposed to the practice because I have data that shows those whose coaches run the events tend to win those events.
Now, I'm beginning to thing otherwise.
I would suggest for next year:
Since the events with problems tend to have a building element, assign an experienced school to serve as the "mentor" to the outside party running the event. Many of these schools have been to many invitationals (ours goes to 5 /year) and know how the event has worked in the past. They can also help troubleshoot any problems without actually writing the test or doing the testing.
If you need test setups (which I understand was the case with Wind Power) someone should ask. Many teams have them and would gladly offer them up.