[Contest] Inception - The Contest to Define a Contest!

One of the things that we're actively trying to do here at Cigar Federation is to draw new users to the site and increase discourse on the forums.  We've been working on lots of different ideas for how to do this - and you'll see some of those in the coming days, weeks and months.

Then, on Saturday, my cousin came over the house to watch the UFC Heavyweight Championship fight between Cain Velasquez & Bigfoot Silva and he asked to smoke a cigar.  When I opened up one of my humidors for him, he started laughing at the overflowing mound of cigars and my wife gave off a grunt.  At that point, I thought it might make sense to have a contest and give away some cigars to empty the humidors.

Next, I started thinking through contests to have that could draw new users to Cigar Federation and increase discussion on the forums.  I came up with several ideas, but then I thought maybe it would be better to make that the contest - what do you think would be a great contest to add new users and increase discussion on these forums?

So, that's the contest - INCEPTION!  Reply to this forum post with a contest that you think will do both of the following:

  • Bring the most new users to Cigar Federation
  • Add the most discussion (new topics, replies, etc.) to the forums

I will pick the suggestion that I like the best and I will send the winner a cigar sampler (it will be at least a 5er and I promise it will be worth your while).  Then, we will hold the contest that wins and I will give that winner a similar prize.

Make sense? Let me know if you have any questions.  Only replies to this post will count.  Promoting on Twitter, Facebook, other cigar communities will not officially count, but might endear me to your cause! ;)

Suggestions will be accepted through Wednesday, June 5th at 11:59pm.

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People use their social media expertise and of course the people they know in person to get people to sign up, everyone that signs up has to go into the forums and introduce themselves and mention the member who signed them and how they know that person. Everyone gets an entry for each member they sign up and the new members get one entry for signing up and posting in the introduction forum. And of course all the new members can do the same to get the people they know to sign up. Might be a little hard to tabulate but with a little work I think it could be a good contest. At least that will get some introductions out there and drum up some interests to post in the other sub-forums.  

Nice idea.  This was actually one of the ideas I had, but, yes, the tabulation scared me off and made me decide to go in this direction! ;)  Still a distinct possibility, though!

Greetings, Matt. Dandy idea, but it actually seems like two different issues need to be addressed. The first is getting people here, and two, then making them want to stay/return often. I can certainly be mistaken, but my guess is that the folks that are here are pretty well entrenched in the cigar world already and are not particularly new to cigars. And that means a lot of us are already "aged" ourselves. I would think you'd have to target younger adult media outlets, or even wine or beer forums.

Once they're here, the easy answer to getting folks to stay is naked cigar women, but I imagine that that is not in the plans. Maybe something that is catch-all for questions. The forums are good but you have to hunt for your somewhat specific topic. An "Ask the Tobacconist" section (or link) on the home page could suffice, kinda like "Dear Abby."

Also, most everyone likes contests and giveaways, be it like this one, or even a simple random drawing contest every couple of weeks or so gives people the incentive to return. Perhaps even get a sponsoring cigar company to do an event every so often. I would think a consistent time table of these various events would also promote people coming back regularly.

And there's always room for naked cigar women... (or whatever the ladies on the forum might prefer).

Aside from just using the typical rafflecopter for a contest? If there's a way to add a field when registering, a new user could enter the name of the person that referred them. That could even be used in conjunction with Rafflecopter to help spread the word via social media. That's basically piggybacking on Clerkin's post, but would save you from going through each new member post to tally names.

An idea I've had for a contest would be to make your selection of cigars you're giving away, but not tell. Then the contest would be for everyone to guess what they were. So if you're giving away 5, make your selection, then who ever picks the most out of those 5 wins. Doesn't help with the getting people here bit, but is simple enough after spreading the word of the contest, should draw some people in

Great idea Matt!  How about guessing how many diapers your baby goes through in one day or week. Or guess the color of the poop on Friday.  All fun choices!

Oh yeah, you want more members....have everyone submit 5 cigar reviews and post 1 each day. If you have regular content you might get more traffic. That's one problem I've had with my site. No time to update it!

The Cigar Federation, needs to mirror the model of the CRA, with "ambassador's." the CRA Ambassador's I've met have had the ability to sign people up on the spot. For something like Cigar Federation it can be as simple as a dedicated Federation member with an iPad and a wifi connection to sign folks up at various cigar events including tastings, launch parties, tweet-ups and other industry events. But the there is the challenge of What's In It For Me from both the ambassador and the new user.

And also promote the cigar via social, I.e join your cigar federation "Ambassador", XXX brand of Cigar at XXX location...challenge you need to have the buy in if the rep manufacturer and the B&M for this to work

Thanks for all the entries, guys.  We'll post a winner shortly.

Of course, this late in the game, I come up with... manufacturer coupons. They can "help a brother out" when purchasing cigars and simultaneously be advertising for the sponsoring company. You could be the Groupon of the cigar world!

Okay, its the moment you've all been waiting for! ;)

After several days, lots of good entries, and a few people not following the rules (JEREMY!), I've made a decision and the winner is actually the first entry - HardlyClerkin!  HardlyClerkin can send me a PM on CigarFed with his address and I'll get a package out ASAP.

For those that didn't win, my apologies.  Some of you had some fantastic ideas, though, and you can expect to be contacted by myself or Logan or someone else at CFed to discuss those and flush them out a bit more.

Additionally, immediately following this post, I will post Contest #2 and you are all - including Hardly - welcome to participate in that.

Thanks, and congrats to Hardly again!



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