In a nutshell
Who are you?
Karin Evangelides, support worker, Grassland Hasmoor Big Local.
What did you do?
Organised and coordinated an amateur photographic competition.
To provide a new opportunity for community engagement and build pride in the area.
What’s the benefit?
Promotion of Grassland Hasmoor Big Local (GHBL) priorities and activities.
That no-one would enter the competition.
Research and planning
As I didn’t have any experience in organising a public competition, I got in touch with our local Photographic Society in Chesterfield and their President, Andrew Evans, was happy to meet with me and talk through the process.
He gave me a set of standard competition terms and conditions to adapt. I would say always approach those who have the knowledge and experience for advice and support when starting any new project, because when you have done it once you can always do it again. We have an events budget of £9000 a year and there was money available for us to hold the event.
We agreed that the competition would run from 1st May – 31st August 2018 and that we would have 3 category groups: – under 11’s, secondary age and adult. Each entrant could submit 6 photos and the theme was My Hasland/My Grassmoor. We didn’t know what to expect. Would anyone enter? How would they interpret the theme?
Some board members wanted to enter the competition so they decided that they couldn’t take part as judges. For that reason, I looked elsewhere for people to judge the competition.
Social media and word of mouth were the most effective means of communication.
I used our website and Facebook to announce the competition and I put the entry form and terms and conditions on the website for interested residents to access. Due to the length of time that the competition was open, we found that social media worked best because we were able to post reminders on Facebook and our website more frequently as the closing date approached.
We handed out flyers at our summer events; Hasland gala and Grassmoor Fun Day.
Entries and judging
The standard of photographs was high, and the three judges took their time to decide the winners in the adult category.
The secondary category had only attracted one person, so we had a dilemma. The photographs were not really relevant to the theme, but we decided in fairness to our terms and conditions she should be awarded all three prizes. Unfortunately, we received no entries from the junior category.
Our judges came from Chesterfield Photographic Society and North–East Derbyshire District Council Communications and Marketing. It can be a difficult balance for judges to choose between technical quality and a great representation of the theme. We decided that in future, partnership board members would be judges due to their greater understanding of what we wanted to achieve and in 2019 that has worked incredibly well.
Awards ceremony and calendar
We held the awards ceremony at Hasland Working Men’s Club and over 100 people attended.
Each person had 1 vote to give to their favourite photo from the winning entries. We chose Love to Shop vouchers as the prize – for anyone thinking of doing the same, be mindful that these are purchased online, not in high street stores!
To make sure the entries were put to best use, we produced a 2019 calendar with all the photographs submitted. Board members chose the photographs for each month and residents were able to give a donation to obtain a calendar. The money went some way to cover the costs of printing.
This year age categories have been reduced to adult and under 17 and number of photograph entries reduced from six per person to four with judges now partnership board members.
The terms and conditions have been changed to allow GHBL to amend prize categories if only one entry is received in a category but not on topic in the future. Over 100 guests attended our 2019 competition which was fantastic and many people were new to our engagement. Evaluation feedback was extremely positive with comments such as a warm and friendly event, really informative and a great display of wonderful photos. The 2020 photographic competition was launched at the event and a number of people have already said that they are going to enter the next competition.