Friday, December 16, 2016

How to promote your contest

I often see folks post to the forums advertising upcoming model contests, but their promos often fall short of being completely effective. If you're talking about an upcoming contest, your goal is to entice people to attend, so you need to make it as easy as possible for prospective attendees to:

1. See that you’re promoting a contest.
2. Quickly determine if the contest is close to them.
3. Learn where specifically the contest will be held.
4. Learn more about the contest, vendors, and related events.

Here are a few suggestions.

First, always include the following items in the subject line of the discussion thread:

  • The name of the contest
  • The contest date
  • The contest state *

* This is a US-centric suggestion, so those of you in another country should find a suitable reference point.

In the body of the message repeat the above items and include the following:

  • The complete address of the contest
  • Directions (not everyone uses GPS)
  • A link to the contest web site
  • Contact person and his phone/email

You should also use the opportunity to mention anything that might further entice modelers to attend. For example:

This year’s theme is Eggplanes Weathered in the Spanish Style!

25 vendors will be attending, and they’ve all promised not to sell mold-covered models.

Master modeler John Smith will give a demonstration on how to paint your armor so that is looks like everyone else's.

Last year’s contest included more than 300 models (although 15 were dusty as hell).

Registration is only $5 for 5 models.

My long-time readers know I’m a big proponent of contests. Contests should be the heart of the hobby, so don’t neglect the importance of fully promoting yours.

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