so you think you can build a snowfort?

One of my favourite people in Canada is Andrew McMartin of the PINE Project.

And he just shared with me a brilliant example of authentic Marketing 2.0, becoming a hub and community building: a cross Canada, snow fort building competition.

People are invited to submit pictures and a story to them ( by Thursday evening at 9pm, and we’ll judge them all up based upon a variety of factors including:

  • Size and scope
  • Detail
  • Functionality
  • Creativity
  • Story associated

Consider the marketing benefits of something like this for the PINE Project.

  • it gives them super fun and amazing content to share on their blog
  • it helps them advance their own mission of getting people outdoors and reconnected to nature
  • instead of them selling TO people and doing a one directional marketing pitch – they’re engaging the community to do something together.
  • this exact event could be run annually, sponsors could be gotten etc. Done well, this event will grow every single year reaching people they would never have reached which will help them get more people to their events. Think about your own business – what are the things you get spontaneously inspired to do that others might actually enjoy doing too?

Ways this could be made even more amazing for next time:

  • get amazing prizes that this kind of crowd would love (if it’s an outdoorsy crowd – think MEC gift certificates/shopping spree, think free outdoorsy workshops, think ‘a weekend in a beautiful cabin in the mountains etc).
  • more advance notice – people never check their facebook event invitations. You need to have those things up 6-8 weeks before the event for it to be most useful.
  • create a kick ass poster that can be used as the photo for the facebook event
  • show photos of the best snowforts from last year
  • create a form where people can register their teams and create team names, choose a mascott etc. And down the road – they could have a competition in multiple cities run by local organizers and the website could handle team registration for them all too.
  • invite people to submit 2 minute videos of their fort and the creation process.
  • host a live snow fort competition at a local park and get media to come out to it. And film it and post it on the blog. Maybe even make it a multi day event so people don’t have to try to build it all in one day. Serve hot chocolate and have a bonfire to get warm at. The local, live competition is vital because most of the PINE Project’s workshops are local.
  • at the end of the competition send people the final report but also a special offer to attend one of their upcoming paid events.

For more info on the contest go to:


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