First, we'll start with advice for running things.
- Show up early, plan to leave late.
- Over prepare, meaning, bring pens, paper, copies of any FAQ's/or be able to look things up.
- Have a timer of some kind.
- Be flexible. Random stuff happens and it's best to go with the flow rather than impose your will.
- Encourage having fun.
- Try to have some random prizes so that everyone walks away with something.
- Create an environment that people want to come back to.
Now, some advice for playing in a tournament
- Do not try to win at all costs. Gaming is about having fun, not necessarily winning.
- Listen to and respect your TO/Judge.
- Respect your opponent, say something like good game or well played afterwards, win or lose.
- Be grateful that you get to spend some time with fellow gamers who enjoy the same thing you do.
- Bring something to do in case you get a bye match.
- Bring extra stuff, you never know when you might lose something, or be able to help someone out who forgot something.
- Be a gracious winner, and a gracious loser.
- If you don't win, try to find something positive about the experience.
Hopefully none of these things are groundbreaking, but you'd be surprised how much a little bit of common courtesy helps things flow. I've had a lot of fun winning and losing tournaments. The only major issue I've had are with some people who don't know the rules/take far too long on their turns. While I enjoy winning, I've learned that it isn't everything. I'd rather have a lot of fun and lose than have no fun and win.