Truth be told. If it wasn't for competitions I would not have started April. There is a lot more to coffee competitions then what you see from the outside. Importantly, I think that baristas around the world are building up a wall of excuses to not compete. Many of them along the line of "if I compete I want to win", "I haven't been to origin" or "I don't want to do what everyone else is doing". Excuses are many and the main thing they seem to have income is that they are all really bad. That being said, competitions aren't for everyone. I know that from experience. Still, competing is one of the best tools out there for anyone that want's to build a career in coffee.
It is important for a lot of reasons but the two most central things are (1) you will learn something and (2) you will meet new people. Remember that the only thing that for certain is separating you from the person that won is the fact that she or he most likely lost a lot more times than you ever did. Winning is a process. And there is a lot more to gain from competing than placing nr. 1.
Organizations that are investing in competitions as a team are usually successful in their everyday business.