How to Host a Successful Design Contest on 99designs or crowdSPRING

Here are my tips for hosting a successful design contest:

  1. Purchase a Bronze/Economy package but state in your contest title that you are doubling the winnings to $400 (so you’ll award an additional $200; 99designs takes $99 from the $299 Bronze package) and that they will be distributed to designers that contribute elements to the final design.  Do either that or make your contest blind, it’s only fair.  It also should be blind if you offer over $1000.
  2. Purchase a Bronze package, but state that you will award an additional $200 (or $100 or whatever) for another reason too:  99designs and crowdSPRING are a complete ripoff when it comes to their commission.  For the Silver/Standard package they charge $200, or 40%!
  3. Definitely DO invite great designers who are part of the community.
  4. Consider inviting only proven designers for a private contest so that you don’t waste your time with lower quality designers.
  5. If you do not host a private contest, quickly eliminate designers that you determine by their portfolio cannot finish the design so as not to waste time communicating with them.
  6. Don’t invite designers who do not already have a successful account with the community; if they don’t already have an account they may not work well within that system even if they’ve proven their worth as a good designer.
  7. Guarantee your contest immediately if possible, and state that it is guaranteed in the contest title.

Those are all the tips I’ve got for now.