Meet the compers: Chloe Bingham
You may have already encountered my latest guest on social media – with her blog The Life of a Student Comper, and busy Instagram account @thelifeofastudentcomper, Chloe is certainly busy! And maybe you saw her in the news this year too – read the Independent’s article ‘Glasgow student pays off tuition fees after winning £14,000 in just 5 months from competitions’….
Hi Chloe! Let’s get started on the Q&A…
How and when did you start comping?
I’ve been entering competitions on and off ever since I was 11; I first caught the comping bug after winning the Silentnight ‘Book at Bedtime Short Story Competition’ back in August 2008 (my first ever win). The competition required 7-12 year olds to write a ‘My First Bedtime Story’ for younger children featuring Silentnight’s two mascots, the Hippo and the Duck. I wrote a short story called ‘The Sunless Forest’ about the Sun falling down and all of the animals working together to put it back up again. My entry won 1st place and I won a two-night stay at The Silentnight Alton Towers suite and Ultimate Fast Track tickets for myself and my family. My story was also published and I had a book launch at the Waterstones, Piccadilly, and anyone who bought the Silentnight ‘My First Bed’ received a free copy of it for the next year – in addition I received 20 free copies for my friends and family!
After this it’s fair to say that I was hooked and I started looking for and entering the more generic “fill-in-your-details” competitions rather than just writing competitions.
Which websites, forums, magazines or resources do you use for comping?
Well I use SuperLucky of course! However besides that my favourite website to use is Loquax, I just love how easily organised it is and there’s such a friendly online community.
What’s your favourite type of competition?
Definitely creative competitions, I’m quite creative generally and they also tend to have bigger prizes and are lower entry.
Have you won any ‘money can’t buy’ prizes?
Yes, in May this year I won an all-expenses paid trip to the Rio Olympics and £2000 spending money! I met Bradley Wiggins and Jessica Ennis-Hill (one of my favourite athletes of all time!) and totally fangirled. I was literally shaking from head to toe because I was so star struck, and we also had matching ‘Union Jack’ nails, how cool is that?!
It was honestly just such a phenomenal experience to be there and support Team GB from the stadium as opposed to from my sofa; I’ve literally always wanted to go to the Olympics. Also, there were about 30 of us (and our respective +1’s) who’d all won the same prize from different companies. It was really cool to get to meet the other winners and find out if any of them were also compers – surprsingly few of them were, they had just ‘got lucky’! I asked everyone how they won the prize and I’ve written a blog post about ‘How We Comped Our Way to the Olympics’ explaining how I and a few of the other winners won our respective prizes and trying to work out which companies might run competitions for Tokyo!
What’s your favourite prize, and why was it so special?
It’s really hard to whittle it down to just one, but I think one of them definitely has to be the prizes I received from the Silentnight ‘Book at Bedtime’ short story competition mentioned above. I’m a bookworm and so having my own children’s story published and being able to allow kids to experience my own fantasy world was such an incredible achievement.
Do you have a winning competition entry that you’re particularly proud of?
Yes, I was particularly proud of was my entry for the Currys & PC World #WINYOURFEES Snapchat competition that won me £10,000 towards my university fees!
Are there any types of prize promotions you’d like to see more or less of?
Yes! I love the effort competitions when you have to be the first to arrive at a particular spot, I’m a student and so I have loads of free time on my hands!
Which prizes are top of your wishlist at the moment?
Another holiday of course, after Hong Kong and Rio I’ve got the holiday bug! On a serious note thought, I’d love to win a Smart TV, festival tickets, and a bike for university.
What do you think the future holds for comping?
I think there’s going to be a rise in fast-paced social media competitions, there are already loads but I feel that companies will use social media a lot more to try and build their audience/advertise to the said audience, as opposed to traditional targeted email advertising.
What’s the most unusual prize you’ve won?
A horrible green ‘Mother Nature’ outfit from Always Sanitary Towels complete with a wig and all. I can’t remember what the main prize was but all of the losers were sent the outfit – I think I just stuffed it in the back of my wardrobe until I eventually got rid of it.
Do you have any funny stories related to comping?
Yes, loads, however I think the funniest has to be the time I tried to win a holiday to New York from the Paramount Pictures competition to promote the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. They brought a lifesize version of one of the Turtles to different cities across the UK and members of the public were invited to pose with it to try and win the trip. I persuaded my friend to come along and take photos of me for an hour in the cold whilst I did various poses; we’d take a few photos, then let someone else have a turn and then take some more. It was very embarrassing (my face was painted green) at first, but I soon got into it – I was taking lots of photos to create a collage. It was all going well until a fellow comper arrived with the cutest baby dressed up as one of the turtles and then the promotional staff basically told me I’d taken enough photos. I got the message and hotfooted it out of there!
What would be your top comping tip or piece of advice?
Don’t rely on it, don’t quit your job to try and focus on competitions because it probably won’t work out but also be persistent, and don’t just enter a few competitions here and there as that probably won’t work out either! I think both the quality and quantity of my entries has led to my comping success!
Finally, just as I was preparing this blog post I discovered you’ve won another huge prize – tell me about that!
Of course! It was a creative competition run by “Hello Student” and required you to say “Hello” in a creative way, and I’ve won a free luxury studio flat for a year in a private halls of residence in Glasgow. The accommodation is great, it’s a 10 minute walk from my university, is a converted primary school and includes a gym, cinema, massive common room area with a pinball table, sofas etc. I had my choice of 3 flats, the cheapest being £7,600 and the most expensive was £11,250 for the year! This is my winning entry:
This is the last of the Meet The Compers series for now – it will be back for 2017!