The size of the field matters a bit but not as much as you think. Our club has 2 flying sites. We hold our big year event at the airport (which is also our primary flying site) and we hold some smaller, club invite type events at our other field.
I'm wondering if the size of the field (its not big) and location (out in the boonies) how that matters.
There is a tiny airport right smack in the middle of town were I see only small prop planes come and go from...I wonder If they would be willing to give up a day for an event (someone mentioned using an airport somewhere)...I like that idea...more room to fly.
Our primary flying site (the airport) is out in the sticks, that is why we do a bit extra for our guests, the pilots. Because we are out in the boonies, we provide a proper, full lunch (not hotdogs which I HATE), AND a dinner which again is a full spread. Why? Because we realize that we are a distance away from town so we make sure that they can comfortably spend the day there. Not worrying about a poor lunch, getting hungry and wondering where to go. After all, once they leave, they are not going to come back.
Like someone else said, our club sat down, wrote down what we liked about funflys, what we didn't like, and organized ours from that list.
So yes we are the one that uses a full scale airport and we have an incredible relationship with them.
Advertisement plays a role but really the main thing is to have fun. Our event draws about 40 pilots. Would we like more? Sure, but our primary concern is that we put on an enjoyable event. We don't get the pro pilots showing up (in part because our event conflicts with the Joe Nail which they all attend), we don't have manufacturer ties, but the vendors that do support us are very much appreciated.
Some people go to the events only for the prizes. Unless you have the "in" with the companies, you won't ever get the huge number of pilots. Have a great event, do the best that you can, and enjoy it. If you have 20 people show up, that is great, if you have 80 people show up, that is great to. It is all about having fun