Top Money Saving and Comping Tips from a 21 year-old Student keen to make my limited budget stretch the semester!
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Luck and love!
Thursday, 2 June 2016
Comping at Shows and Events
I am lucky enough to live in walking distance from Glasgow's SECC, which often hosts brilliant events and shows which showcase companies big and small. Events like these are great for a comper, as so many companies run competitions in order to get you interested in their stall, or to get you to sign up to their newsletters. There are also loads of freebies kicking about (I didn't even need to buy lunch at the last one after all my free samples!) and you often get a goody bag on the way out just for turning up! Below are my top tips for making the most of these competition filled events!
Win Your Entry
The great things about these shows, is that there are often so many tickets up for grabs. I saw that the SCROPS (Scottish Cycling Running and Outdoor Pursuits Show) and the OM Yoga show were coming to Glasgow (shows each of my parents have interests in - perfect place to win some presents) and so set out to win the tickets. By searching on Twitter for the name of the show followed by '#win' and 'Glasgow' I found many competitions and entered them all (more Twitter comping tips here). By searching on Google, Facebook and Instagram in a similar way (although Instagram you can only search one word), I found a couple more. Ask friends to tag you in posts that they see to do with the show, and keep an eye on the venues website, where they will announce new shows coming up. In the end I was lucky enough to win a pair to SCROPS, two pairs to the Yoga Show and a pair to the Girls Day Out Show which I found while searching.
If you aren't lucky enough to win your tickets, there are other ways to get involved. Last week, the Ideal Home Show was at the SECC in Glasgow, and I hadn't been able to find winning tickets. So I went to Gumtree, not to buy tickets, but to the volunteering section. I saw that the Erskine charity were looking for bucket collectors at the show and, as a thanks, you would get a free pass to the show. I signed up straight away for two of the four days. I had a great time chatting to people at the show, getting loads of freebies and entering every competition in sight. As a bonus, I helped Erskine collect loads of money, that goes to a really good cause. A win-win for everyone involved.
Loads of stands will be advertising competitions at the event, but many others are running comps and only tell those who come up to them. If you aren't shy, it's worth asking if they are hosting a competition, and also where the winner will be announced. I knew someone who ran a stall at a show like this, and they would take the email addresses, but never actually pick a winner. Keep an eye on the Facebook pages and websites of the company, and don't be afraid to message them asking who won.
I would recommend using a 'comping' email address when signing up (see my beginners comping tips) and make sure that your handwriting is really clear so that they can get in touch with you if you are the lucky winner. If you have a business card, bring a few along to save you some time filling out forms, and bring your own pen so you don't need to queue behind other people! I found a great deal to get 100 business cards from vista print, where I only needed to pay postage. I quickly made some cards full of my comping details and now take them to all the shows and events I go to. Who needs a business when you're a comper, right?
As well as being a great comping opportunity, these shows are a lovely wee free day out. I took my mum and sister to the Yoga show, and we all enjoyed free massages and Yoga classes. I went to SCROPS with my flatmate where we raced bikes as part of a competition (see title picture) and both screwed up our faces trying some of the 'health drinks'. I met some really nice people volunteering with Erskine, and have signed up to do further events over the summer. So if you live near a venue like the SECC, or don't mind travelling, get searching for those competitions and win your way to a comping show!
Have you been to a show like this? Let me know in the comments what you thought and if you entered any competitions!
Luck and love,
For more competitions and updates, follow me on Twitter @LaurieBeat