5 Steps For Running A Prize Competition

RedBalloon For Business

Businesses want to build a connection to both existing, prospective and past customers, as well as build relationships with other stakeholders – employees, suppliers and community. Research has shown that offering aspirational prizes is a great way to get attention.

In this blog, we look at how to run competitions that really work. Here are five things to consider when planning your next prize competition.

1. Find the right prize 

When we remember the best things in our lives, it’s pretty apparent that the things we did mean so much more than the things we had.

The experiences that we have help shape us, and they linger in our memories forever. By giving someone a RedBalloon voucher as a prize for your competition, you’re giving them an experience and in doing so, engaging them in a more powerful way than you could with a more tangible prize. That’s because experiences build connections between people and even between brands and consumers.

For your prize competition, you can choose to give away a specific experience, or leave your gift voucher at a certain value so the recipient can choose their own experience. People love having flexibility, which is why all our vouchers are transferable so they can swap any experience for an alternative, and are valid for five years.

2. Add a little bit of luxury

Everywhere you go in life and online, advertising is truly the one constant. In fact, it’s estimated we’re faced with about 5000 ads on any given day.

In an environment where attention is the new currency, creating an emotional connection to your brand is paramount not only to success but mere survival. As such, brands must create an experience of trust so that customers feel their exchange of time with us is worthwhile. 

Using experiences as prizes for marketing promotions can do just this. Given we’re all operating in an increasingly online world, exciting life experiences are more valuable than ever. While material things are easily forgotten and impersonal, experiences create space for people to truly enjoy something they’ll remember, and cement that positive connection to the brand that made it happen. 

It’s hard to put a price tag on an unforgettable experience like learning to fly a helicopter, or finally doing that skydive you always said you would. And that’s why experiences are such effective promotional vehicles – the memories are something money-can’t-buy. 

3. What you need to run a competition 

Before launching your prize competition, you’ll need to establish seven fundamental things:

  1. A competition goal outlining what you want to have achieved when the competition is wrapped up. This can include goals to promote awareness for your business, grow your customer base, attain feedback from your target audience or to generate sales.
  2. Know your ideal customer. This is vital, as you need to run your prize competition for this ideal customer. These ideal entrants will give you their details or follow you on social media in return for an entry, details you’ll use for marketing purposes to turn them into paying customers over time.
  3. Crafted competition messaging targeting your ideal customer to generate brand familiarity, trust and awareness. If your company has one, your tagline, vision or mission can be a great place to start when creating your competition messaging.
  4. Work out your budget for the competition. Being able to stick to a budget is essential for the success of your prize competition. The biggest cost is going to be the prize itself and the licences needed to run a competition.
  5. Establish a timeline of key dates. Competition timing is a balance between giving yourself enough preparation time, giving your competition time to gain momentum, and stopping before competition fatigue hits your audience.
  6. Know the prize you’ll give away. Our RedBalloon vouchers are a no-brainer. They’re flexible and valid for five years, meaning your winner can choose an experience they’ll love, whenever they want! After all, there’s no prize more valuable than an experience that creates memories.
  7. Select an entry method for the prize competition. Choose from a game of chance, where all entrants have an equal chance of winning, or a game of skill, where the winner is chosen by a judge based on their ability to perform your competition criteria.

4. Running your competition 

After applying for the relevant permits and taking the steps to create an engaging prize competition, it’s time to launch your competition!

 Using your competition messaging, you’ll be abble to encourage entrants by informing them of the prize, or how easy it is to enter, is a great first step in running your competition. 

Then, it’s time to make the most of your socials. Email your existing subscribers and post on your social media accounts with information to promote your prize competition. Go a step further by linking the competition’s entry page in your social bio!

5. Why RedBalloon worked for this client 

As Covid-19 continues to impact communities and businesses, human connection and engagement in experiences has never been more important. 

While seeking to increase engagement, lift morale and build cohesion amongst remote teams, organisations are doing away with material gifts and are instead, investing in high impact experiential gifts.

MetLife Australia has recently started using RedBalloon vouchers to surprise team members, as they recognise the positive impact experiences can have on employee wellbeing.

Director of Communications at MetLife Australia, Sarah Kelly, explains, “we are able to recognise and reward our people who have worked tirelessly for our customers during the pandemic. It’s a way of injecting money back into the economy and supporting regional communities while providing a sense of hope for our people to have an experience to look forward to.”

Research further supports this, consistently showing that the joy felt participating in experiences far outweighs happiness felt when receiving material things. Experiences build over time through memory, story-telling and ultimately form part of our identity.

As Dr Thomas Gilovich puts it, “we are the sum total of our experiences”.

QLD: Twilight kayak tour with grazing board and wine


A: Prize competitions are run by businesses to create buzz, in the hopes that it will attract new customers. These competitions can be a game of chance, where all entrants have the same chance of winning the prize, or a game of skill, where the winner is judged on their ability to perform your competition criteria, such as designing or writing something. Prize competitions are also a great way to solidify the loyalty of a business’s existing customers.

Q: How do you start a prize competition?

A: For a successful prize competition, businesses should have the following;

  1. A competition goal outlining what you want to have achieved when the competition is wrapped up.
  2. Know their ideal customer.
  3. Crafted competition messaging based on their customer.
  4. Work out a budget for the competition.
  5. Establish a timeline of key dates.
  6. Know the prize they’ll give away.
  7. Select an entry method for the prize competition.

Q: What are good contest prizes?

A: Some great prizes include:

  1. RedBalloon gift voucher
  2. Flying Experiences
  3. Wine and dine experiences
  4. Water experiences
Bv load URL: