One of my favourite things to do in my spare time is to attend conventions and exhibitions, there’s a multitude of them out there and something for everyone. My particular favourite type to attend is ComicCon and gaming conventions. If cosplay and gaming isn’t your thing then there are plenty of home and beauty exhibitions too.
There’s a lovely little bonus to attending these type of events and that’s the multitude of competitions that are usually ran whilst at the convention or exhibition.
Comping at Conventions
I’ve walked away with some lovely prizes at conventions, from massive merchandise packs, special edition games, shopping vouchers, make-up and super cute toys. I’ve also come across competitions to win holidays, amazing PC gaming rigs and even hot tubs!
The type of prizes on offer do vary hugely between conventions and the type of prize will usually tie in with the type of convention you are visiting.
So how do you win these type of prizes? First of all you need to be attending the event. There are two ways to do this, 1st of all buy a ticket – or my favourite option- win yourself some tickets to the convention/exhibition of your choice.
How To Win Tickets
This will serve as a loose guide to the best routes to find competitions to win tickets to an event of your choice. Different events will possibly require a slightly different tactic depending on how tickets are distributed.
Step 1 Pick a convention or exhibition
There are many available but this is a list of my favourite conventions that I love attending and/or have regularly seen competitions to win tickets for
- MCM ComicCon
- Showmasters Film & ComicCon
- EGX Gaming
- EGX Rezzed
- Stylist Live (renamed to Stylist Live Luxe this year)
- Hyper Japan
- Ideal Home Show
- Ideal Home Show Christmas
- The Baby Show
- Taste of London
- The OM Yoga show
What you may notice is that the vast majority of these events are large events based in London or Birmingham. The larger the event the more likely you will see the chance to win tickets to the event plus the more likely there will be some awesome competitions to add that little extra bit of excitement to your day out.
There are probably so many more shows I could add to this list. I’m currently working on a project where I can list the upcoming events with dates and keep up to date so you can know when to start looking for comps to win tickets to the events.
Step 2 Figure out what to search for
This is actually quite simple. I simply type the name of the event followed by the words win tickets and that’s it! So to find tickets for Stylist Live I would type into google ‘stylist live win tickets’ I would use the same search for Facebook and then filter to just show results from the last month.
On Twitter I set up two searches. One would be the same above ‘stylist live win tickets’ the other needs to include the conventions handle. Stylist live’s handle is @stylistliveluxe so I would have a second search with ‘@stylistliveluxe win tickets’
The reason for this is because some companies offering out tickets will tag the convention rather than type their name out, this will get missed in your first search – but will get picked up by your second search.
Step 3 Save Your Searches
The next step is to actually set up some searches for finding the tickets. I personally set up a folder on my toolbar labelled with the convention that i wish to attend. Then in that folder I save searches. I set up a search on Facebook, and a search on Google. You could also save a twitter search but I prefer to use Tweetdeck for my Twitter searches. If you’re searching for lots of events at once you could pop them all in one folder. You can then simply right click your bookmarks folder and select ‘Open all in new window’ and every single search will open in one click!
Step 4 – Find out who is going to be at the convention
One of the less known ways (and also a great way to find comps for tickets on Instagram) is to find out who is going to be at the convention. Large sponsors and big companies showcasing at the events are usually given tickets to give away to fans of their social media accounts. I check social media, the conventions website and also have a look at who the convention is following on social media to get ideas about who might be attending to showcase at an event. I then simply turn on notification for their social media about a month prior to the event and wait for the competition notifications to come to me!
For Twitter accounts I set up a list naming the list the convention/event and simply adding all the companies I think may offer out tickets.
Step 5 – Search Regularly
This may sound obvious but it’s often overlooked. I like to start searching for tickets to an event I wish to attend months in advance. My general rule is I check all events I wish to attend once a week. When there is less than a month until an event is opening I try and check once a day. Competitions can come and go very quickly and searching everyday in the weeks leading up to an event means you won’t miss out.
You won’t win tickets to a convention or event every time but if you are persistent you will eventually win some. We’ve been very successful in winning tickets to many events which helps tremendously with the family budget. Sometimes we may only win 2 tickets but it still massively reduces the cost of the day out for the family.
Once you’re there at the convention it’s time to have fun and spot if there are any competitions there. I’ll be following this up with a blog post with some top tips on finding competitions once you’ve made it to the event. Subscribe to the blog or follow me on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with the blog!
If you are new to social media and are confused about Twitter lists or search engines I highly recommend a visit to Super Lucky Di’s Beginners Guide section!