Conducting a massive contest with multiple locations and hundreds of people can often lead to challenges for contest organizers that need to be overcome in order for a contest to be successful. Planners need to prepare details such as who will judge the contest, how the contest will take place, how the winner is contacted, and who will manage the process in order for it to run smoothly. Selfie Events USA recently made a proposal to operate and conduct a Marathon’s costume contest through their Selfie Booth and utilizing its feature of uploading all pictures to Facebook to ensure a smooth and pleasant process for all involved.
The Marathon takes place in large metropolitan cities in the United States. Around Halloween runners are encouraged to dress up in their Halloween costumes and participate in a costume contest. In previous years, the contest was conducted through a popular social media app, Instagram. Runners were encouraged to upload a picture of themselves in their costume and use a specific hashtag that would indicate that they were entering the costume contest. After a given amount of time, a panel of judges were to pick the winner of the contest. The problem the Marathon ran into was that many people were not participating either by not uploading their picture to Instagram, using incorrect hashtags, or runners were generally
confused on what they had to do. After a winner was chosen, the panel of judges then ran into another problem, how to contact and award the winner their prize. This resulted in few entries into the costume contest and frustration among participants.
The Marathon realized that their system was not efficient and they needed another way to boost participates among their costume contest. Selfie Events USA then began discussing alternative options with the staff of the race. One possible option was to bring in Selfie Events USA, have them take pictures of anyone who wanted to participate in the contest and send those photos directly to the runner. The runner would then be responsible to upload their photo to Instagram and use the proper hashtag. This alternative was rejected because it was still left in the hands of the participant to upload their photo to Instagram and use the correct hashtag. This also poses many limits as some participants may not have Instagram and could possibly forget to use the hashtag or use the wrong hashtag like in previous years. Another option was to again have Selfie Events USA take pictures of anyone who wanted to participate in the contest, and then upload all of those photos in real time to Twitter. This option was rejected as well because it left it up to the Marathon coordinators to choose the winner and they were left without a way to contact them.
Selfie Events USA and the Marathon coordinators worked together to solve the problem. All pictures of runners who wanted to participate in the costume contest would have their picture taken by Selfie Events USA either before or after the run. Every photo taken would then be uploaded from the machine in real time to a Facebook album on the Marathon’s Facebook page. Participant’s running number had to be visible in the photo in order for the race staff to identity the runner and contact the winner. The photo on Facebook with the most “likes” at the end of a week would then be crowned the winner of the costume contest. This solution was chosen because it eliminated the problem of making sure every runner uploaded their own photo onto social media, and of runners forgetting or using the incorrect hashtag. It also alleviated the coordinators of the Marathon of having to choose a winner and left the decision making up to the public. The Marathon staff had little to worry about and Selfie Events USA and social media took care of the rest.
During the event, runners would often come back and comment on how much more fun and less confusing this costume contest was than in years past. They were able to take a before and after run photo and could even send their photo to themselves via text message or email. Throughout the event hundreds of photos were taken of the runners. After the run, hundreds of “likes” began appearing on the participants photos. Selfie Events USA was able to eliminate a problem and stress point that the Marathon staff had been burdened with.