By October 22, 2010on
In addition to setting up and managing The British Council’s eTwinning Design a Card competition, Spark & Fuse has also been asked to handle the winner management. With the judging process now complete and the winning entries and judges’ comments uploaded to the winners’ gallery www.etwinning-competition.com/gallery.php, Spark & Fuse is busy designing certificates and sourcing the prize vouchers. We’ll ensure the prizes and certificates are safely in the hands of the winning schools and will be on hand to answer any queries the schools or our client may have regarding the competition or prize fulfilment. If you would like to run a competition to celebrate a birthday or special event, or to raise awareness of your brand, please drop us a line to find out how Spark & Fuse can help to make your promotion a success.
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By October 14, 2010on
Orange Exchange business magazine (www.orangeexchange.co.uk) asked S&F’s Director and event guru, Juliette Thomas, to advise its readers how to host a perfect celebration to boost their business. So from under a pile of venue spreadsheets, theming ideas and Christmas party updates for her clients, she retrieved her laptop and sent the magazine her top tips. Here’s what she had to say…
‘If you’re going to throw a party, make it a good one! Your guests’ experience will leave them with positive lasting memories of your company and brand.
Understanding the aim of your event will provide a way to allocate budget and just as importantly measure its success. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with suppliers – like the venue and caterer – on both cost and service that they offer. And at the event itself, a friendly welcome, making it easy for guests and ensuring that they feel looked after are vital elements that don’t cost a penny.
Successful events are all about the details. Walk through the event in your mind’s eye and leave nothing to chance – think about where guests will hang their coats and how to avoid queues for the ladies’!
Take time to reveal the event to your guests – don’t give everything away at once. And, offering a keepsake when they leave will act as a positive reminder long after the hangover has worn off.
Hiring an event planner may seem extravagant, but at Spark & Fuse we know it’s an efficient use of time and budget. An event planner will advise, create, negotiate and plan on your behalf leaving you free to concentrate on what you do best – run your business.’
- christmas party, company party, corporate event, corporate party, event, event management, event organiser, party, party planning, party planning tips
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By October 12, 2010on
Here at Spark & Fuse HQ, we are already loving The X Factor. Our Monday morning debate focuses on who’s the best dressed judge, (Danni, natch) and why Cheryl Cole appears to be oh so very orange this year. And whilst we’re enjoying the general madness of the competition – Wagner to win anyone? – we are certainly not impressed by the apparent controversy that surrounds certain competitors making it through to the live finals. Sure, Dot Cotton look-alike, Cher Lloyd fluffed it at the final audition, but as far as we know there’s nothing in the rules that says a place cannot be awarded to someone who bawls in front of Cheryl. No, what really troubles us is the alleged bending of official terms and conditions. We won’t mention any names, but allegedly two finalists already have either a recording contract or management deal. It’s one thing for an entrant to cheat, but it’s the promoter’s responsibility to act as the control and prevent these individuals from qualifying. Yet the papers are full of stories accusing X Factor bosses of buying out said existing contracts. We are very careful to impress upon all our clients that they cannot ignore judging criteria or reward entrants that have broken the rules simply to suit their own marketing objectives, but it would seem according to the press that The X Factor has been allowed to get away with this. Perhaps someone can advise us for a change?
Our favourite X Factor finalist, Aiden Grimshaw. He’s sensational and we really hope he wins:
- Cher LLoyd, Cheryl Cole, Competition management, competition rules, competition terms and conditions, compliance, Danni Minogue, The X Factor, Wagner
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By October 8, 2010on
We’re often asked by clients ‘is there really a difference between a prize draw and a competition?’ Yes, is the answer and here’s why…
A prize draw is very straightforward. It requires absolutely no skill or judgment to enter – the winner is chosen purely by chance. A competition, however, does require an element of skill or judgement in order to enter. For example, consumers may be expected to answer a number of questions and then complete a tie-breaker. In both cases an independent person must be involved in the selection process.
The above seems relatively simple, but there is an area which causes further confusion to our clients; can consumers pay in some way to enter either a prize draw or competition and when does a ‘no purchase necessary route’ become necessary? The Gambling Act 2005, which came into force on 1st September 2007, clarifies this issue. For a prize draw, as long as the price of a product is not inflated and there is no other charge to the consumer, there’s no need to offer a no purchase necessary route. However, if the means of entry has a charge attached to it, like a premium rate phone line for example, a free route must also be offered, such as email or post. The only exception to this is for prize promotions in Northern Ireland where a no purchase necessary route must be available to customers.
For competitions, it’s not necessary to offer the no purchase necessary route, but the winner’s success must absolutely be dependent on a ‘substantial degree of skill’ otherwise it is considered unlawful. The Institute of Promotional Marketing aptly summarises The Gambling Act 2005 definition of ‘substantial degree of skill’ as ‘it must be sufficient to either prevent a significant proportion of people who take part from winning or put off a significant proportion of people from entering’. So it’s okay to charge people to enter a competition as long as there really is an element of skill involved.
Hopefully this straightens up the matter but if you’re still not certain, it’s always best to have your promotion checked before it goes live to check that you’re skating on the right side of the law. Get in touch if you’d like our help.
- Competition management, competition rules, competition terms and conditions, compliance, prize draw rules, prize draw terms and conditions, Prize promotions
By October 6, 2010on
Today sees the launch of the prestigious HSBC/British Council Mandarin Chinese Speaking Competition.
Spark & Fuse has played a vital role providing the British Council with advice to ensure all the details and logistics for this complex competition are fair, without ambiguity and fully compliant with the CAP code. Because the competition has been growing steadily in popularity year-on-year since its inception in 2003 to become a regular annual highlight for students of the Mandarin language, Spark & Fuse recognised that legal feedback from the Institute of Promotional Marketing would be invaluable.
Regional heats for the competition take place in December with the finalists competing in March 2011 for a fantastic first prize to Beijing. Isobel Oliveira a consultant at The British Council says, ‘The kudos of participating and reaching the prestigious final at the British Museum has become increasingly important, and the value of the competition in motivating students and teachers is evidenced by the consistent feedback from competitors and their teachers’.
Spark & Fuse will continue to provide support throughout the promotional period and will also attend the final with an additional independent judge to oversee the proceedings and help with the adjudication.
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