Convention Idea: Different Prizes

The List of Convention Ideas is here.

How many conventions have contests with assorted prizes?  Figures and books and comics and more are given out for guessing songs, writing, skits, and more.

Having run a few contests, I certainly enjoy finding interesting prizes; obscure videos, interesting collectables, and more.  However I also enjoy giving away books.

Career-oriented books.

Now I'm not recommending your Sci-Fi con use copies of "What Color is Your Parachute" or "The Unwritten Secrets of the Highly Effective Job Search".  What I'm recommending is making some of your contest prizes books relevant to careers appropriate to the attendees.

I've given away books on anime and manga-style art at anime cons.  Think of what else you could do:

  • There are how-too books on virtually everything out there, from art to writing.
  • There are career-specific books on various geeky careers.
  • Considering books that profile the careers of famous people – those are often inspirational.

I you're going to add profan elements to your cons, why not take it a bit further and work it into your contests.  It may seem a small thing, but it's just one more addition to making your convention cater to those who want to use their hobbies in their careers.

– Steven Savage

Convention Ideas: The Contest Route

The other articles on ideas to add more professional content to conventions is here.

There's something about competition, about challenge, that spurs us on.  The most quiet, polite person can become disturbingly focused and energized by a little competition.  Let's face it – we usually like a challenge.

Now conventions often run all sorts of events that are competitions.  Thanks to an anime art competition, I will now be unable to forget the idea of Vash the Stampede from Trigun re-interpreted as a pinup-style model, but I am trying.

At your convention, leverage the competitions – or add new ones – to add more professional content.  Art contests, writing contests, what have you.

JUDGES: Get professional judges if you can and have them critique from a professional point of view.

AWARDS: Make the prizes professionally oriented.  That manga contest could result in a gift of books on drawing or history.  The graphic art contest could result in a gift certificate to an art store or something similar.  The writing contest could result in getting published in a pro publication.

THEMES: See about making (or adding) contest themes that fit a more professional bent.  Don't have someone draw your mascot for the 50th time – have them enter 4 pages of original concepts.  Make that writing contest serious.

Contests fire people up.  If you're running them at your convention, see about adding a professional edge to them – or adding new contests.  Use that drive.

– Steven Savage