Meet the compers: Davina Mellon
Welcome to a new series of ‘Meet the Compers’! My first guest is the lovely Davina Mellon, who along with husband Doug has had a super successful 2016 so far. Let’s here more from the lady herself…
Hi Davina, and thanks for joining me here on SuperLucky for a Q&A! Tell me about how you started comping…
My first competition as far as I recall was when I was about 6 years old. It was a colouring competition and I won a cuddly Mini Egg parrot, along with a hefty supply of Mini Eggs! I went on to use that cuddly toy to enter an Easter competition at a local ice skating rink – and won a puzzle!
Which websites, magazines or resources do you use for comping?
I’m mainly a social comper – so Facebook mostly, then Instagram and a bit on Twitter (it overwhelms me sometimes!). After that I do dip in and out on MSE, Loquax and PrizeFinder. I have recently signed up to Compers News – and of course the Lucky Learners group on Facebook is also a great source of low entry comps!
What’s your favourite type of competition?
Probably picture comps. I like to get out and about so tend to have a few up my sleeve, plus I am not afraid to make a fool of myself (and I force my husband to!)
What’s your favourite prize, and why was it so special?
Winning a trip to Iceland with Aussie Hair. Iceland is somewhere I’ve yearned to visit for years. I studied volcanology, tectonics etc. at University so it has it all for me: the people, scenery, Northern Lights, food… It was also the first fully inclusive (flights & accommodation) prize I have ever won!
Have you won any ‘money can’t buy’ prizes?
Yes! Last year I won a trip to Wimbledon in the VIP area with Stella Artois, which was amazing. After that I added Stella to my ‘see first’ list on Facebook (to do this, click Liked on a Facebook page you Like, then select to See First in your newsfeed – Di). About a month later they advertised a competition to go to the South of France on specific dates, but you had to be the first person to book through Airbnb at a certain time. I sneakily entered at work (it was my last week!) and managed to win the first of four 3 night stays for 4 people! It didn’t include flights or transfers but we arrived at the most amazing 5 bedroom villa in the South of France with its own private pool and tennis courts. We had our own butler, PA, chef & chauffeur to take us on trips! They had created an itinerary for us that included a trip to Saint-Paul-de-Vence (with private tour guide) and the local food market in Cannes with our chef. And of course an unlimited supply of Stella Cidre – it was an unforgettable experience that we will always cherish.
You’re lucky that your husband Doug also enjoys comping – was he keen to get involved, or did it take some persuasion to get him started?
Doug: It was never really something I had a problem with, in fact I have won a few competitions myself over the years here and there. It makes absolute sense to me that if we both enter competitions we get 2 entries for the price of 1. I’d like to think that some of my more creative ideas have worked well for us.
Davina: We work well as a team. I’m more logical and look to seek out the prizes, whereas he has more of a creative mind for the effort comps!
Do you have a winning competition entry that you’re particularly proud of?
I think for both of us, it would probably be our Faces for Florida competition entry. I had seen it mentioned by a few Lucky Learners as they were giving away so many but had dismissed it as some of the entries were way better than I could ever think of. When Doug heard about it he persuaded me to give it a go. We had a brainstorm together and then on one day off we went and took a few different photos. Our winning entry was a combination of Doug’s idea to sit on a traffic island, and my caption to the picture, and of course we completely embarrassed ourselves on a dull Sunday in January! But it was totally worth it for a 7 night holiday to Florida for four!
Are there any types of prize promotions you’d like to see more or less of?
I’d like to see more creative Instagram competitions – I like the fact you have to post a pic and it’s simple to follow and enter. However I don’t like the regram comps – just like RT comps on Twitter it clutters up your feed and makes it look soulless.
Which prizes are top of your wishlist at the moment?
We are currently in the process of buying our first house, so anything house wise. Probably top of the wishlist is a new bed. We almost reach the floor in our current one but I refuse to buy a new one until we can’t cope anymore, and we haven’t won one yet!
What do you think the future holds for comping?
I think it’s apps – there are so many new ones coming out. For me it’s exciting to learn new apps but I’m already starting to feel a little overwhelmed when I visit about 10 different apps a day all with competitions in! Perhaps I will need to concentrate on just a certain few in the future.
What’s the most unusual prize you’ve won?
Davina: a runners up prize of a rugby ball. I don’t know anyone who plays rugby!
Doug: a jar of Jersey Black Butter. It’s not so much butter though, more like a jam. We gave it to a foodie family member!
Do you have any funny stories related to comping?
One of the strangest but most fun prizes I won was a commute home from work from Carphone Warehouse. I asked for a convoy of Hells Angels riders! They planned all the logistics with Doug in advance and planned to surprise me as I walked out of work. Unfortunately Doug is not very good with secrets so I had an idea something was going on, but it was still a shock when I saw how many cameras were waiting for me! It was also a shock for my 200+ other colleagues and they gathered round to see what was going on! I had about 5 different cameras on me at all times as I got on the back of a Harley Davidson, and they took me on a strange route back to our house (as it wasn’t that far). We were then joined by about 20 other riders. It was a mini production with a director and everything! It was the most bizarre experience, but something that never would have happened if it weren’t for comping! Oh and I got a free phone at the end too…
What would be your top comping tip or piece of advice?
Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself for the effort/creative comps. Get a feel for the brand, what they would like and base your entry around that.
Thank you so much Doug and Davina – hope the rest of the year is just as exciting for you guys!