View Full Version : Time frame discussion for contests
05-09-2011, 06:16 AM
We tried a new date this year for the contest challenge. Was this too late in the year?
Do you think we lose people entering or voting if we do not hold it closer either before Christmas or After Christmas?
I know we diehards are here all year round, but then you have the large number of members who show up around Fall. Would this be a better time for the challenge?
I'm really trying to pump up the contest and prop making here and need ideas from other members. Thanks!
05-09-2011, 06:26 AM
We would definitely have more voters if the contest was held around Christmastime.
But, that's such a busy time of the year for everyone it's hard to budget some time in both the fall and December to actually BUILD a new prop (since most of us are haunters too). Or it's too cold to spend time in the workshop for our northern members.
I like the March or April time frame for the contest myself. I think this year was just an off year for several members. Or maybe the theme was a bit too restrictive. It was my idea and I still had a hard time coming up with a character to build.
So, in my opinion: Fall/Winter= Less builders, more voters.
Spring=More builders, less voters.
05-09-2011, 07:12 AM
05-09-2011, 08:10 AM
Many people may not log in during the "off-season", but might if they knew there was a special event. So maybe an email to all members with the contest theme and rules and then another email for voting.
05-09-2011, 08:28 AM
I agree with Grinch. I even posted on Facebook and hauntforum for our CFC members to come over and vote for one of the props. I got 3 or 4 more to come over and vote but not many. I also agree that the more restrictive we make the prop contest the fewer participants we will have. It is not a big deal over at the halloween forums because they have such a large membership and they are busy all year. No matter what the contest guidelines they will always have participants. I think the time frame is pretty good. A lot of people have home improvement and gardening projects going on in the spring. Would it help to extend the time line for the build allowing us to work on chores and the project? Maybe we need to start advertising the dates for the prop contest around December so people will come back for it, maybe? And would Larry mind if we posted it on the HF, since it is a sister site? (I did it anyway). Also, I know Larry doesn't like to send out newsletter thingies but I don't think once or twice a year would be considered being a nuisance. Perhaps we could send a newsletter to all the members announcing the upcoming contest and invite them to join in, or to vote when it is done. Okay, those are all my thoughts on this...so far. LOL
I posted the same time as Ryb, so sorry I duplicated what he said.
05-09-2011, 10:11 AM
Great thoughts so far guys! I'm compiling the ideas for the next competition, so keep 'em coming!
I'm thinking extending the build time line may not help. (?) Most people wait until the last minute to build anyway.
05-09-2011, 02:12 PM
Oh, I thought it was just me...Queen of procrastination. LOL
05-09-2011, 07:57 PM
Methinks you be in good company. heh
05-10-2011, 01:15 AM
For me this time, I think it was partly the idea. I had a couple of good ones, but then I got busy with yard work, regular work, and I had to find time for myself. I also have 2 roommates this year (I was all alone last year) so they do take up a bunch of my time as well. I also find that I don't have as much time this year to even get on the forum like I have in the past.
I don't think making the time frame longer for the build of the prop would help. Deadlines are deadlines (and I missed it). I do however think that maybe having the contest in November may be a good idea as that is when you/we are actively "building" props for the season. I did find last year having my snowman hanging around all summer until I could actually USE him was sort of a bummer.
That's sorta my 2 cents......
05-10-2011, 03:48 PM
I don't build a lot of props in winter due to the cold weather Edwin, and I think that was an issue for a lot of others as well. Being in the south, I could probably pull it off easier than some, as could you and people like Ryb. I do agree that having a prop kicking around all year is a pain but in all honesty, we will never be able to make it agreeable to everyone in terms of "themes", nor will we ever be able to accommodate everyone on a timeline. Maybe we could alternate each year from spring to fall.
I do have one more thought regarding the longer build time. So it may not play into the spring time frame. But perhaps if we had a contest in the fall/winter it would help in this manner...for example, let's say it ran late Sept through mid Dec. People who are in the north would still have a little not so freezing weather to work on it. People who do halloween may be able to start on one early and finish right after halloween if needed, still allowing time for building their haunt props and setting up/tearing down. And the procrastinators can still wait till Dec 5th to start.
05-11-2011, 02:17 AM
I am glad I am in good company, JW, I made mine on May 1st, and submitted it right after,. my husband did comment that he thought that more would participate if their mind was on christmas cuz it was closer , I told him that haunters and deckers have it on the brain 365! but as far as a longer build, I would probably be thinking about what to make and actually make it at the last minute~
05-11-2011, 03:20 AM
Just quick opinions:
1) Time frame is good - too close to the season = too busy repairing and setting up.
2) Don't make the contest as restrictive. One reason I didn't enter this year (not that that matters but may have put off others)
3) Don't make the length of build time any longer. People wait to the last day to file thier taxes .....
4) Announce the contest in December, when we have the most people logged in here. Promotion is key.
Last year I recieved an e mail directing me to the site to enter / vote. No e mail this year and frankly, I got involved in other projects, I forgot about this one. I really should have.....
my 2 cents.
05-11-2011, 05:24 AM
Excellent opinions, folks! I'll remember about the mass e-mail. Excellent point.
It has been mentioned about the theme being too restrictive. This very well could have been the case. Personally I like restrictive, because that allows me to think how I can be "outside the box" and still stay within the theme. However, this does not work for everyone. Would anyone like to elaborate on examples of less restrictive themes so I can get a clearer idea? More like a one word them? Like "Elf" or something?
05-11-2011, 06:07 AM
Yea, a one word theme would probably work.
OK, let's start the next contest now! :)
05-11-2011, 06:29 AM
LOL If only I could! Reliable vender sponsors are few and hard to find. Val has been the most reliable with her incredible products by far! Our members have also stepped up and offered gift cards, etc out of their generosity.
If I had another reliable sponsor or two, I would LOVE to have 2 or 3 contests a year!
05-11-2011, 05:49 PM
well, I may be in the minority here, but personally don't like a theme, every one here has their own idea of what Christmas decorations are, and I for one don't do what I consider props. that is my Halloween gig, I like elegant and beautiful for Christmas, glitter and glitz and lights, the more the better, and this is the first contest I have done mostly because of that, I had another thing in mind when I first heard we were doing one. but had to put it aside, I want to make something I will actually use in my house, in all the snow we have, I don't do out side as much, it would be buried real quick, prop to me is out door decor, and that I don't do as much , so actually don't even like the word prop in it at all, I know I am probably the only one that feels that way, but my 2 cents anyway for what it is worth,
I do think that mentioning it while alot of people are on , right about the holidays makes sense, along with the mass email sounds like a good idea for getting people involved, even if just in the voting
05-11-2011, 06:12 PM
Thank you Bethene for your input. Whether in the minority or majority, every opinion of each member here matters to me. :)
05-11-2011, 07:24 PM
I agree with you Beth,
Even if we still call it a Prop Contest, I don't think it should be confined to props at all. I think it should be able to include any type of decor. A lot of people on our forum do more indoor than outdoor decorating. I would love to see more of them be able to participate. I like less restrictive, it allows for more imagination and broader use of available materials and more varied uses in our own holiday theme. What is the point of building something for a contest we can't use, no matter how cheap or ingenious? Perhaps we can come up the "theme" the way we do many things here...accept ideas and then have a very quick poll to vote. Perhaps to even the playing field, some years we can specify it must be a non-animated prop. It can still be animated, but not mentioned or shown in action until after the contest so it doesn't add "value" in the contest, because a lot of people on here also do not do animation.
As far as sponsors go, I was wondering if members would be willing to donate cool items if they could be donated anonymously and then still be able to participate in the contest. That way it wouldn't sway voting, and we may be able to get more prizes more often. Just a thought.
05-12-2011, 06:07 AM
I really like the idea of the anonymous sponsor gifts.
Would a non restrictive theme be "Electrical" so someone could use something as simple as a battery operated light or as complicated as a motorized prop?
05-12-2011, 09:01 AM
I really like all the ideas that I have seen so far and really agree that the contest should be announced before Christmas so the most users will see it and hopefully get involved. I know as far as myself I would have loved to have done one if the start was in January. This would probably be best for most people seeing that alot of places have stuff that can be useful on clearance and most haven't started taking things down and storing them. The spring start time is hard for most since if everyone is like me they have too much on their plate with spring cleanup to make time for anything else.
05-12-2011, 09:20 AM
Dave, I think the reason we have been keeping it in the spring was due to cold weather keeping a lot of people from being able to work in their garage or workshop comfortably in Nov through April. But I may be wrong.
I think anything simple like "include one of the following...Elf, snowman, greenery, electricity, snow, reindeer, etc." The item to actually be included in your project can be picked from suggestions. Then it can still be a prop or a centerpiece or wreath, etc. as long as it has that item or concept in it. Let's just say, for example, that the item was reindeer. You could make a wreath with a reindeer, and other stuff on it. But the wreath would not have to be judged solely on the quality of your reindeer, but the outcome of your completed project. Just another thought. Maybe I should quit. :)
05-13-2011, 05:37 AM
No JW, I think you are on to something, maybe have a list of possible subjects to pick from, like you said, and then the person can pick one of the listed items and make what they want with it, that opens things up, someone could still make a out door themed thing, or a indoor, depending on what they decide,
yeah, I think the cold might of had something to do with the spring time dates of the contest, but if we start talking about it early enough, with a long time for deadline, maybe some things will be in the stores on clearance.........
i don't know, hard to please every one!
05-13-2011, 06:06 AM
Everyone has given excellent ideas and opinions. Thanks for your help! I'm going to close this thread now so I can mull over the suggestions for the next contest. Thanks again to everyone who participated in this discussion!
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