How to Host a Giveaway

Giveaways are a great way to generate leads and draw attention to your brand.

Just like a booth at The NAMM Show, there are a few items to consider.

There are three types of promotions used to give things away: sweepstakes, contests and lotteries.

While they often go by many different names (giveaway, raffle, drawing), legally all promotions fit into one of these three categories.

  • Sweepstakes are prize giveaways where the winners are chosen by the luck of the draw, or are given to all participants. Prizes can be almost anything you can think of, from handmade cards to an all-expense-paid trip. Prizes with a value that exceeds $600 will be subject to tax considerations, so we recommend keeping all prizes below a value of $600.
  • Contests choose a winner based on some merit. The winner is chosen based on some criteria such as best photo, most votes on a video, best recipe, etc.
  • A lottery is a prize drawing where people must pay money to buy a chance to win. Lotteries are highly regulated and should not be run without consulting legal counsel.

We suggest considering a Sweepstakes as it is the most common and easiest to manage, and we recommend drafting a simple set of rules so all participants know the details. Here is a checklist of what rules should include:

  • “No purchase necessary”
  • The alternative method of free participation
  • Geographic area of the sweepstakes and/or who is eligible to participate in the sweepstakes
  • Opening date and closing date of the sweepstakes
  • Complete name and address of the sponsor and promoter of the contest
  • Number of prizes, the accurate description of each prize, the retail value of each prize and the odds of winning each type of prize (if applicable)
  • Whether all prizes offered will be awarded and how the prizes will be awarded
  • Manner of selection of winners and when a determination of winners will be made
  • Where and when a list of winners can be obtained

If you have any questions, please contact us at