This week’s Idea: Should you (could you) run a contest?

with Neil Godin 

Our client, colleague and friend, Billy Carpenter, proprietor of Vin de Garde Modern Wine Cellars Inc. here in Vancouver, amazes us (again). This time with a contest inviting designers to submit their ideas for a wall mounted wine display system that Vin de Garde will manufacture. This is serious. The winner of his Design a Wine Wall Contest wins a prize of $3500 in cash – plus a round trip (is there any other kind) to New York City to launch the new product at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (North America’s premier platform for global design, where they exhibit “what’s best and what’s next”) at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, next May.

When I saw the announcement, I called Billy to learn more. He said that Vin de Garde Social Media Coordinator, Shauna Beaudoin, is alerting teachers at every interior design and industrial design school in North America, inviting their students to enter.  This is so brilliant. In so many ways. Billy is introducing the next generation of designers to the existence of Vin de Garde. While letting their instructors know that Vin de Garde exists as well. And they are also inviting professional designers to participate. Perfect.

Billy Carpenter-Design a wine wall contest-MD


View Billy Carpenter’s contest video at 

Call to action:

Quick. Can you think of a faster, smarter way to introduce yourself to the world beyond your existing client base? Is Billy’s contest idea a great idea?  If you think the idea could be tweaked to work for your business, why not jump on board – just so you can see where this train could take you. Start by visiting and then help Billy spread the word – via your social media networks (if you have some) or by emailing your data base. As you can see, I’m helping him spread the word right here. Why not do the same. (And, hey if you have a great idea, why not enter the contest yourself. See you in New York?)


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