Does anyone have any advice on convincing schools to try pyramidal/"good" qb?
That's awesome that y'all are going to try to do this! CO is definitely ripe for hosting more pyramidal tournaments given the many teams who play KB. Definitely search through this forum (especially in the theory section and such) for more advice on outreach to teams on non-pyramidal formats.
I will say though based on past experiences around the country that several of those points that you make are likely not going to be very effective in terms of outreach:
Re: Outreach for schools that play "bad" formats
Be very, very careful about invoking the "good/bad" distinction too soon in doing outreach. While I think the distinction is useful in generally describing better and worse practices, telling someone that what they've been doing for years is "bad' is likely going to lead to a defensive, negative reaction. "Good" quizbowl is very convincing in and of itself for many coaches and players, so your goal should be to stress the positive aspects of pyramidal questions and get teams to pyramidal tournaments rather than label KB bad (and as someone who had to suffer through 3 years of these questions as the only thing my school would play in high school, I am very familiar with how awful the AUK questions are). Just explaining the logic of pyramidal questions by itself should help people understand.
[*] Quizbowl is played nationally
Saying that something is the "national" format is the surest way to provoke a negative response from those who are used to a "local" format. This is especially going to be the case in Colorado where THE AUK began and is firmly enmeshed with the local educational establishment. Arguments that rely on saying "but other states do this" will be met with arguments along the lines of "we have unique educational needs here and Academic Hallmarks has been meeting those unique Colorado needs for longer than you've been living, thank you very much." Trying to argue against this point-by-point will likely get you nowhere.
[*] Pyramidal quizbowl is the main college format, and the one played by "elite" universities (ivies, MIT, Caltech, Stanford, Chicago, Berkeley, etc)
This is almost certainly going to be perceived by a great many people as elitist. Not that many students end up going to those kinds of universities in the first place and again they're essentially foreign institutions. You can certainly mention that all the top universities have pyramidal quizbowl teams, but making it a big point is likely not going to be very convincing. Instead, you might want to say that this is what UC Boulder and other local universities play and that you've enjoyed it immensely (maybe get some people who played KB in HS to "testify" to how much they've enjoyed quizbowl?).
[*] We're trying to make sure that teams have a good experience their first time (Jordan Boyd-Graber has done an absolutely incredible job directing our tournaments).
Now this is an excellent point and the foundation for what I think would be a more productive form of outreach. You want to present pyramidal quizbowl by example as a positive learning experience for everyone that provides teams of all skill levels with a better experience all-around. Make sure that whatever tournaments you run and any new tournaments that you can help organize are well-advertised, well-organized, and well-run. Get to know coaches and talk with them personally in the course of running those tournaments and make sure they have a good time.
Your first goal should be trying to see which coaches in the state know about quizbowl or might be interested in learning more about it. The teams who have attended SSNCT and HSNCT in the past (or this year) would be an excellent foundation. In addition to contacting current KB schools (which should be fairly easy as most schools' websites will have them), you should look for areas of the state that are currently underserved by Knowledge Bowl--certain rural districts and urban districts as well as private schools might be good places to look at. Knowledge Bowl gets a ton of PR already and most schools are already familiar with it, so it might be helpful to have a CO-specific repository of information on quizbowl compared to KB as well.
You're going to meet with a lot of pushback and not many people will be enthusiastic about embracing pyramidal questions. But, a few likely will! It might be only 3-4 out of 80+ emails that you send, but you'll almost certainly get some interest. Take what you can get and be persistent but polite in terms of advertising tournaments and outreach. I'm sure that many others in the quizbowl community would be more than happy to help y'all out too along the way. Best of luck!
Current: Central Coast CA