Contest results are official on the wia web site
This may be a relatively new club activity and this will hopefully cover some of the perceived benefits. These are just some thoughts put together in a hurry. All feed back is welcomed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Wikipedia has a good overview of contesting here
The points below are based on the mission statement of the Potomac Valley Radio Club. This site has a wealth of information hidden away under its menu system. Explore, you won't be dissapointed.