Organising contests abroad: what to consider

Organising contests abroad: what to consider

An in-depth study of cultural and regulatory differences when organising an international competition

Organising a contest abroad is an effective and engaging strategy to expand your audience and reach new markets. However, the complexity of the regulations and laws in place in different countries can make this task challenging.

But don’t worry: with a well-defined strategy and impeccable execution, your international contest will be an excellent springboard for launching your brand into new markets or consolidating your reputation in those where you already operate.

Organising a contest abroad: where to start

Let’s start with some general tips on how to organise a contest that includes foreign countries:

  • Rely on a specialist agency to verify the specific regulations of each country.
  • Translate and adapt promotional materials based on local culture and language.
  • Plan a targeted marketing campaign to reach your target audience.
  • Monitor the progress of the contest and analyse the results obtained.

Organising a contest abroad can be a challenging undertaking, but with the right planning and the support of a competent partner, you can achieve your goals with great success.

Regulations on international contests

1. Regulations and laws

Overseas growth is an ambition for many companies. An international contest can be an effective marketing strategy to reach new customers and consolidate your presence in new markets.

However, organising a contest abroad requires special attention and planning as regulations vary significantly from country to country.

It is, therefore, essential to plan every aspect with care by:

  • An in-depth analysis of the regulations, essential to avoid sanctions.
  • Advice from an agency specialising in contests for international prizes.
  • Customisation of the contest to adapt the format to the specific circumstances of each country.

2. Contest mechanism

The feasibility of the contest mechanism depends on local regulations.

In Italy, contests decided by luck and skill are allowed, as are those tied to purchases, but in other countries some of these mechanisms could be forbidden.

If the chosen mechanism is prohibited in one of the countries you want to target, you can find alternative ways of participating to still be able to carry out the promotion.

Read our article to find out if the mechanism you want to adopt is legal in the country where you want to organise your promotion.

3. Prizes

The choice of the prize pools is a key element for the success of a contest, especially if it is an international promotion. The prize is the main attraction for potential participants and its effectiveness can determine the success or failure of the initiative.

Organising a contest at an international level implies greater complexity in the choice of the prize pool. The different regulations, cultures and habits of the countries involved require an in-depth analysis to identify the most suitable prize for each context.

1. Consider the differences:
  • regulatory: several countries have specific rules on contest prize pools.
  • cultural: tastes and preferences vary according to the cultural context. An attractive prize in one country may not be in another.
  • logistics: shipping and customs duties can increase the cost of the prize and complicate its delivery.
2. Know the local regulations:
  • some nations prohibit certain types of prizes
  • there may be limits to the value of the individual prizes or the overall prize pool
3. Respecting cultural aspects:

a prize that does not comply with specific rules or customs could offend the participants.

4. Calculating taxes:

prizes may be subject to taxes and fiscal tax charges that vary from country to country.

5. Planning logistics:
  • shipping: you have to consider time and costs for each country.
  • logistical difficulties: some areas may be difficult to reach.

4. Prize bond insurance

In some countries, in order to protect consumers and ensure that prizes are actually delivered, it is mandatory for the competition promoter to provide a guarantee.

How you apply for and obtain security deposits get can vary significantly from country to country.

5. Authorisation

Prize contests take the nature of a public promise, being legally binding as unilateral contracts. In this perspective, several countries define specific modalities for the formulation of this control of the same.

Some nations provide precise indications on the structure of the regulation and require guarantees to protect the consumer. In other contexts, a complex authorisation path must be followed.

There are several countries that provide specific guidance on different aspects of the competition such as:

  • structure of the regulation
  • consumer protection guarantees
  • the authorisation process

6. Communication of the prize contest

Communication must be clear and transparent because it plays a fundamental role in the organisation of a contest. It must be complete and not misleading to ensure absolute transparency and fairness to participants.

Communication is important because:

  • It fulfils a legal obligation: it must demonstrate that the contest fully complies with the regulations for the protection of consumers, that it involves fair contest, public trust and equal opportunity.
  • It informs participants: it must explain the methods of participation, the requirements, the limits and the possibilities of winning.
  • It builds trust: transparent communication generates trust in consumers and encourages them to participate.

The content and form of the communication must comply with the regulations of the country where the promotion will take place.

7. Taxation aspects

Tax obligations also vary from country to country. In general, most countries have tax obligations for prize events and in some cases a local venue, or tax representative, is required to organise one.

The forms of tax imposition can differ, for example:

  • Tax on the prize, which directly affects the value of the prize.
  • Registration fees, which vary according to the prize pool.

The tax burden, which varies in terms of rates and formulations, in some cases falls on the winners but is more often paid by the promoter.

Why contact a contest agency?

Managing an international contest can be a complex undertaking. As we have seen, the regulations in each country are different and the risk of errors and penalties is high. An international contest agency helps you manage regulatory complexity.

Promosfera, an agency with experience in over 82 countries around the world, helps you achieve your goals thanks to the expertise and experience of its international team.

Contact us to organize a successful contest abroad!