Hosting an Online Contest with Public Vote
Skill based contests can be a great way to engage a targeted audience. And, if done the right way, you can even get yourself some creative submissions to further promote your brand down the road! We broke down the basics to setting up a contest here, but today we’re talking all things “public vote” and how to incorporate that into your online contest.
WHAT IS PUBLIC VOTE?
Public vote in a skill based contest is allowing members of the public to vote on submissions as a method of determining the final winner. Public vote typically takes place in an online setting, although it can also be incorporated in an on-site event if formatted properly.
WHY IS IT TRICKY?
When judging contest submissions every submission must be judged equally. In a traditional contest where public vote is not present, all submissions would be judged based upon a pre-set judging criteria (i.e. creativity, content and grammar for an Essay Contest). But, when public vote is incorporated, it’s virtually impossible to ensure every single “public judge” fairly reviews and judges every single submission (especially if there are hundreds of entries). Friends will likely vote for their friends over strangers, etc.
IS IT ILLEGAL?
It’s not illegal to incorporate public vote in your contest of skill, but if structured unfairly it certainly could be something argued as unfair in a legal setting. It’s important to note here that the various general laws surrounding promotions are set forth to protect consumers from being scammed, so there’s definitely risk there.
CAN I INCORPORATE IT IN MY ONLINE CONTEST?
How much risk is a matter of preference. We always encourage our clients to reduce the risk by creating a fair environment for public vote. An example of this is structuring the contest so that all submissions are first judged by a panel of qualified judges who determine say, 10 semi-finalists. Those submissions are then posted online for public vote and the public vote is only a percentage of the final score the submissions received. This is a great way to get the public involved but also better manage the process.
There are dozens of ways to structure your contest to incorporate public vote and ensure a fair judging process. We’re happy to walk you through it. Contact us when you’re ready!
Oh, and if you’re feeling stumped for ideas, check out these awesome summer contest ideas!