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Social Media Contest Prize Ideas for Catering and Event Planning Businesses

Creating a social media contest on Facebook or Instagram is an easy and free way to promote your business and get new customers. But, figuring out how to run a contest or giveaway and more specifically, deciding what to use as a prize can be challenging.

So, an important part of that planning process also choosing the prize you’ll offer. Product-based businesses often give away their own products as a means of attracting relevant customers. This effective giveaway contest idea can work similarly for small or large service-based businesses. Think of low cost, high value offerings. Do you have a skill or a product? Nothing come to mind… get creative or collaborate! Check out these ideas below:

Offer Your Own Services

Great for service-based business like photographers, performers or makeup artists.

Gift Cards:

A gift card for your business is the perfect giveaway to get new and retain loyal customers.


Mini photo shoots are a great prize for a photography giveaway. Use a 30 minute photo shoot as a free prize for a social media contest. This small giveaway of your time can turn into a new customer down the line.

Makeup artists:

Another great example of a service-based business that could giveaway a mini session. Offer a 30 min makeup session to be redeemed by the winner at a time of their choosing. Suggest that they post photos after the session on their own social media accounts and tag you. This would also be perfect to post to your own account after the session.

A “Share to Enter” giveaway will entice new customers to give you a try and former customers to repeat business and spread the word! This form of word-of-mouth marketing will help you reach the friends of those who already enjoy your services.

Offer Your Own Products

Getting more of your own products into the world is always helpful. Let people “sample the goods” while simultaneously promoting your brand across social media and collecting contact information from lots of potential new clients.


If your business has a product component, like a florist, consider a low-cost offering for a giveaway. If you are a florist, you could create a small, seasonal bouquet as a giveaway prize. This could be something that you do regularly with the leftover inventory at the end of each week.


Select one or two items from your catering menu that could make sense to give away on a small-scale for a contest. For example, desserts like a dozen cupcakes, cookies or donuts could make for an amazing giveaway prize. This not only gets people excited about your company but also allows people to sample your food.

Offer Related Products or Tools

Related products are great contest prize ideas for all types of businesses, especially ones that don’t have an obvious product attached.

DJ, Wedding Band, or Performers:

If you have talent, consider sharing the skill! If you can teach a music lessons, a craft, a skill, or a trade, offer a free virtual class to the winner and their friend! This is a great idea for a performer like a DJ.

If you hold regular sessions and normally charge on a monthly basis, offer the winner one month of the subscription for free. If you have never tried teaching a lesson before, a giveaway could be a good place to try it out! It might turn into something that you do more regularly.

Wedding or Event Planners:

Write an e-book on a special topic in your field. If your company plans weddings and other large events, you probably have a lot of knowledge that would be valuable to people who are hosting such events. Offer a special “How-To” e-book free of charge to all those who participate in the giveaway. That way, no one walks away empty handed.


Bartenders and/or bartending service providers could also fit well into this category. Create a guide to your favorite seasonal cocktails or consider hosting a bartending class. These could both be great giveaway options – pair a guide or lesson with a bottle of your favorite spirit and that’s a winning prize!

Give Away an Experience

Great for most service-based and product-based businesses.

Event Tickets:

Giving away all-expenses-paid tickets to an exciting local event can be a perfect giveaway prize. Giving your winner the gift of a great memory with the people they love will positively associate your brand with a good experience. Make sure to offer at least two tickets to the winner(s) as people will most likely not want to go to events alone.

Encourage the winners to take pictures and videos and share the event across their own social media. Let them know any requested tagging beforehand, like the event hashtag.

Depending on the event host and other potential vendors, try cross-promotional partnering with some other companies in the industry to save yourself money and reach a larger audience.

Experience Giveaways:

Are you already a bit of a social media superstar? If you’ve got a devoted following, serious fans would give anything to be a part of the magic behind your company and see the ins and outs of how it all works. Offer to have one lucky winner spend the day with your CEO, learning from the brains behind your company. Be sure to capture the day on film, too! Post that for added publicity to show your audience how great the experience was!

More Social Media Contest Prize Ideas

Social Media Scavenger Hunt:

Every year, Tony Hawk does a Twitter giveaway that is perfect for keeping his fans engaged. It is called the Tony Hawk Twitter Hunt. Boxes of Tony Hawk gear and other sports merchandise are hidden in several locations around the world. Pictures of the hiding spots are posted on Tony Hawk’s social media sites, with clues to help people find the hidden gear. Whoever finds the gear gets to keep it, and is asked to submit a picture of themselves with the gear with the hashtag #THTH to let others know when it’s been found. This giveaway is in its fourth year, and has sparked new interest in the Skateboarding legend and his brand. Small business owners can do a smaller-scale version of this giveaway by hiding their branded merchandise around an outdoor shopping mall and spreading awareness about the event through social media.

Code Word Discounts:

A popular gourmet cupcake boutique called Sprinkles, engages its social media followers by periodically releasing a code word on social media that allows visitors to get free cupcakes during certain times of the day. Reward your followers for their loyalty by posting a code word on your social media sites during the giveaway event. When people come to your bakery or store location and say that code word, they will get a discount on an item or service.

Wedding Emergency Preparedness Kits:

If you’re in the wedding and event planning business, you know that unforeseen emergencies come up during these big events that the hosts may be left unprepared for. Consider creating an emergency preparedness kits that include things like bandaids, double-sided tape, stain removers, breath mints, safety pins, etc.

Gift Baskets:

Partner with companies that offer products similar to yours to create a gift basket full of products your customers will love. Have your partners promote the giveaway on their social media sites to increase the number of people you reach! If your company sells healthy foods and raises awareness about how to eat better, offer a gift basket of healthy and organic foods.

To reach people interested in social change and sustainable food growth, you could also give away gardening tools with your logo engraved on them.

A gift basket complete with the logo-emblazoned tool set, packets of seeds, a watering can, and a book on gardening or a gardening magazine subscription would be the perfect giveaway for someone who is passionate about organic and sustainable growth.

Start Your Social Media Giveaway

Once you’ve picked your prize, and read up on how to put together an effective Facebook giveaway or run an Instagram giveaway from start to finish, all you’ll need is to choose a winner! Ready to begin?

If you’d like to learn more about how we work with small businesses at ThriveHive, get in touch with us here to schedule a demo.

Melissa Coito is a Marketing Coach at ThriveHive where she works with small business owners to develop and implement marketing strategies. After building a career in digital strategy and usability consulting, Melissa helped build several startups in the Boston area and worked as the VP of Marketing and Operations at a Cambridge-based startup. In her role as a ThriveHive Marketing Coach, Melissa has coached over 50 small business owners in a breadth of industries to help them develop holistic marketing strategies and optimize their growth.

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