The art and science of promotional events

Gah, I miss footnotes on WordPress.com. No matter.

Last Saturday, I went on a gridwide hunt. The Bunny Hop gridwide hunt, to be specific. Normally, I consider the prospect of a gridwide daunting, but this one was supposed to contain numerous Japanese designers, which I know usually don’t make junk just to participate… Naturally, I put on my radar. I had plans to finish before supper. I made a special folder for landmarks of shops I like on the way, to visit them later.

It quickly got daunting. The lag was hell throughout the day, my own ISP’s packet loss did nothing to improve it, the first, second and third sims on the way were packed with the most clueless.

But that wasn’t enough, was it. Some of you had to go and make it harder. I have seen numerous visual decoy eggs (not going to slow me down at all), some name search decoy eggs (and this improves my opinion of your store how?) and a whole installation of objects with decoy names and decoy shapes with disparaging comments about my own customers and trying to have a cheap laugh at their expense (I will now make a point of avoiding having any business with Kaethe Dyrssen for the foreseeable future — and I don’t care WHAT she put into her gift, which I deleted immediately without opening, I found this demeaning and stand by my opinion.) … Well, the attempt to put some visual decoy eggs that contain nothing for L$25 late in the chain kind of takes the cake.

It’s not like any of that did slow me down — larger shop territory to search and higher lag was normally a bigger obstacle.Β But I have still ditifully collected the landmarks to revisit into a folder.

Bleeding 17 hours later, I was done. Annoyed to the point of hissing. And next day, when I actually woke up, I wanted to find something in the collection I would want to wear. Uuuu….

I’m often said to be inhumanly patient. That is not quite true — I’m inhumanly persistent instead. Nobody forced me to start, true, but it I didn’t finish it, I would never be justified in criticizing the whole mess, would I? It took me something like ten more hours, and the results are appaling.

Out of 300 (!) eggs:

  1. Only a handful are so memorable that I can recommend getting them. These are the eggs at Umi Usagi, Zephi’s Shop, Discord, HANAUTA, off-brand furniture. That is, 0.5% — and mind you, these are incidentally the shops I would send people to any time, any day.
  2. Only about 2.5% of all items gained made the cut. Most as separate shirts and pants. I kept their own landmarks with them in their folders like I usually do — when I look for a pair of pants to wear in my endless sea of pants and T-shirts, which, mind you, I don’t wear often at all, I might remember and look them up.
  3. Most of the designers that did not put out a complete piece of trash — even the ones I usually consider good, like Little Heaven — were apparently in the competition on who can make the more hideous shade of purple. Very few people can make hideous shades of purple look good on them, and I’m not among these.

Before any people who actually put some thought and effort in it complain, I have completely ignored almost all poses, all hair, and all skin. I have more than enough unsorted static poses, I only wear one very specific shade of hair which requires painstaking retexturing to get right, and no other skin looks good on my shape.

There were no less than fifteen different variations on the Playboy bunny costume, none appreciably different from any other one and all of them less interesting than the ones I already have, uncountable bunny slippers, tens of very, very similar Easter egg baskets… and mountains upon mountains of outright trash and kitsch. It might be that some of it was even cute in the end, or useful for something. But I’m sorry if I can’t appreciate it after ten hours uninterrupted sifting.

In the end, I couldn’t find anything I was happy with wearing, and wore something completely different.

Then I looked at the folder of landmarks to revisit later.

…and trashed it in disgust.

Now let me tell you something. YES YOU, ladies and gentlemen. The participating designers. I know some of you are reading this! What the frack are you thinking? Are you thinking at all? Well, if you aren’t thinking let me try and give you a lecture.

Repeat after me: Promotional events exist to promote sales and increase exposure.

They don’t exist to promote hate and increase lag, which is what you’re doing!

How exactly promotional events and most importantly, promotional giveaways promote sales? They bring in shoppers, who may (or may not) be interested in the products upon seeing a free sample. In particular, in Second Life, where the origin of every item is readily available in it’s object creator field, the normal way for a savvy shopper to think of where to look for when in the mood for some shopping is to find things in their inventory and go where they came from to see if there’s more in the same vein. Free giveaways increase the chance of this happening in the same way as buying more lottery tickets increases the chance of at least one of them winning. As long as your item results in a landmark to go to your shop, picking it when inventory sorting will result in a visit with intent to spend money, and in Second Life, this is an effect much more prominent than in the First, because it costs you nothing to distribute an unlimited number of promotional items, and visiting your shop after becoming interested in it requires far less effort.

How exactly promotional events increase exposure? There are multiple ways this happens:

  1. Running through your shop, people might remember your brand name and your general style.
  2. Wearing items created by you, people offer others a chance to ask where they got the stuff or, if any attachments are involved, directly look up the creator, i.e. they become walking word of mouth advertisements.
  3. By impressing notable opinion leaders (usually bloggers but not necessarily) with your work, your release may become newsworthy and will be reported and communicated to others in this fashion along with your brand name.

All of these indirectly bring people into your shop with intent to spend money. Intent to spend is cruical here. It is a very common misconception that high traffic equals high sales, or an indication of high quality of products, but it is anything but true — Waterhead and Ahern are high traffic locations, but have very little interesting things to offer and very little people with intent to spend money. So are highly botted locations which muddle the statistics. There is only so much money you will ever acquire from impulse buyers and the clueless, people who spend the most are also normally people who earn more and therefore have more of a clue.

Marketing done right involves lots of statistical mathematics and meticulous data collection, which you probably aren’t doing — many shop owners aren’t even aware if they’re making money or losing it. However, if you plot the sales by name against time spent in shop by every customer, you will notice that the middle of the curve — the highest chance of buying something and bringing you money — is in a certain hump in the middle of the graph, the median of the normal gaussian distribution. People who spent less time than that, didn’t have a chance to take a good look at your products and decide if they want that product for the price it’s offered at. People who spent more time than that, didn’t do it because they enjoy staring at your product images, (very few designers are THAT good!) they did it because something forced them to — couldn’t find what they liked at the price they liked, or had to wait for something unrelated — and they are now annoyed and are less likely to spend money. The median will be different for every shop and product selection, it will shift with seasons, days of the week and world events, but it will always be there.

So, when trying to create a prize for a large gridwide hunt, (in-store treasure hunts are a rather different beast altogether and different considerations come to the forefront, but I’ll write about that some other day) what you should be aiming for is making an promotional item that will be memorable, recommendable, and has as wide of a general appeal as possible given your strength in making products, promotional item that people will talk about, recommend to their friends, and be seen using. You should not be aiming to keep people in your shop for as long as possible, which will do you no good whatsoever, and in fact, the less crowded your shop is and the faster it loads, the higher is the chance that random visitors that a gridwide hunt provides will buy something — or, much more importantly, come back to buy something, and keep coming back to buy something.

Offering something you did not think would sell anyway, therefore, does nothing to improve sales or increase brand awareness — at best, your shop is quietly forgotten until the next time it comes up in the unending stream of information, and at worst, remembered as the site of a painful experience and recommended against. Get it in your head that you aren’t playing a game against your shoppers, aren’t out to make them work for the honour of owning something you made — you want to convince them to give you their money for your honest work. Erecting artificial hurdles for customers for no good reason does not make you look clever, it makes them hate you and avoid giving you money — but being rational actors, they will still try to get your work if it’s any good, and hate you even more for it.

Do you want to be hated? Really, truly? What gives you a bigger ego boost — more visitors or more money earned for your work? Did you think what will happen?

Did you measure what did happen?

P.S.: A dialog.

Peter Stindberg: What do you want in the first place? Do you want to kill gridwide hunts? Do you want to sell the server? Do you want to sell the radar?
Rika Watanabe: I want people to wake the fuck up. Start thinking instead of kneejerk reactions.
Peter Stindberg: Who? Hunters? Organizers?
Rika Watanabe: EVERYONE. All other considerations are there, true. But they’re secondary to that.

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41 thoughts on “The art and science of promotional events

  1. *clap* *clap* *clap*
    great post! and i sign it. even if i did not participate this hunt so far and honestly: your post bears me in not doing so.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree and this is something I’ve been saying for quite some time. Freebies should not be some piece of junk that you didn’t want to sell. Freebies and promotional should be something really great that will bring people to your shop to see the rest of your stuff. When I go on a hunt (and after hearing your story I am so glad I didn’t do this one) I may not unpack for a week or so. And the lag is almost always too severe for me to gleam much from a visit to the shop in question. So that freebie that I found is your chance to get me back into your shop on a day with less lag where I might spend money.

    Your post should be required reading for every designer.

  3. I agree with every word honestly. I followed two previous hunts and they also put me to think about a lot of crap that went instantly to the trash, along with their precious landmarks. Loads of stores I jsut vomit when I recall either the hunting experience or the “lovely” gift they were offering *runs to puke* ’nuff said.

  4. Thank you for writing a post I can point to in the future and say “see this? read it! it’s exactly right!”.

    I avoided the bunny hunt because we had just completed the Twisted Hunt and faced similar problems; we got banned by one store when she thought we were using a scanner because she had lots of decoys around – and that will certainly bring us back to spend money won’t it!, got told off for flying in a store who had put their prize on the roof, and in the end kept only one or two items from the whole hunt.

    When you advertise you are supposed to show your products in the best possible way you can. Why is that so hard to understand?

  5. I agree that designers shouldn’t put out downright trash, but as a designer myself, i actually put in effort for my dress, and my egg was easy to find.

    The thing that makes me mad about hunts is that SL is now coming into an age where there are multiple grid-wide hunts every month, and the whole SL community expects to get everything handed to them on a silver platter. It’s a business. If you want something, buy it. Now i know some designers did just put out junk they didn’t want to sell. Whatever. but for people who put a legitimate amount of work into their product and then hid their egg in crazy places… so what? You’re getting it for free! The designer put work into it; the least you could do would be to spend a while searching for it.

    As much as grid-wide hunts help to bring brand-recognition to the consumers-at-large, it also hinders business because everyone now just expects designers to participate and give their quality items away for free. I say it’s a good time for a new age of hunt. Smaller ones where stuff is 1-25L instead of free, and just for good designers. You get what you pay for, right?

  6. come on.. some put ALOT of effort into the things they created…didn’t wanna throw the item away just like that
    plus all that people using prim detectors doesn’t make hiding and searching fun anyways

    then again: dramaing and crying over a HUNT… pretend to change the wooorld rofl
    dream on little dreamer

  7. Personally i think the fact you moaned and groaned about the length of time it took to take part in the hunt, which i would like to point out, it was pointed out publically in all avertising that there was 300 stores taking part.. was hardly gonna be a couple minutes to do, to then write nothing but a bunch of bitterness which took a lengthy time i’m sure, to take up even more of your time. lots of free time perhaps?
    Slamming all the store owners who did take part within the hunt near enough was a bit cruel just as it didnt match you taste, looking at your av within your profile, many would say that thats a hard avatar to match in ‘taste’ been as you appear to have a lack of, in my opinion anyways. but then that might seem out of order, just as i found your entire blog.
    I can appreciate some stores were difficult to find the egg, but that’s not all the partaking designers faults. There are alot of skins, poses, and hair prizes (not everyone can match your god damn hair colour, and tinting takes about 2 seconds to match it if necessary, also this isn’t called ‘Rika Watanabe grid wide hunt’.) As for the amount of bunny gifts, well it’s easter, so go figure sherlock.
    Maybe next time, get out of bed on the right side before taking part in an event that’s put together to give people something to do, it was also spread over a month period, so you didn’t have to do 17 hours straight, or however long you mentioned, i’m too lazy to scroll up the mammoth hating blog..
    Also doing the hunt so early on, it’s obviously going to be laggy, so wait a while, as again it lasts a month… most the stores have no crowds passing through making the hunt a whole lot easier.
    Whether you like the gifts or not, people have put the effort in to make and provide something for free to people, be it your taste or not, your not going to like everything, so perhaps spare a thought for the generouistiy of people instead of just throwing crap at them.

  8. I have to strongly disagree with your post.
    First, if you go on a hunt with 300 + shops and expect it to be done by supper, you are very naive. Secondly, I don’t know if you noticed, but the hunt is hugely popular, and on the day you went there were thousands of people hunting alongside you, which would explain the lag.
    Third. My own verdict of the goodies is a hellova lot better than yours, although I am not a friend of bunny stuff and discarded everything bunny, but the overall quality of the clothing, furniture and jewelry was good, if not great. I, unlike you, checked out the skins which are fabulous, at least some of them, and there were cute shoes, fantastic boots and pretty handbags ( I don’t carry handbags in SL but I can appreciate good work.)
    I put a lot of work into my goodies, and I am sure a lot of the other designers did, too. So really, after your rant here, I guess there will be a lot of designers who will, on their part, try avoiding doing business with you. I will.

  9. There ARE..many designers, who take great pride and love in chosing the contents of their prizes. I am saddened to think, that they might read this and believe it is also directed at them. There were over 300 shops involved with the Bunny Hop and much work put into it by many. If you ever decide, to participate in,or organize a hunt I personally would very much like to know about it and check it out. Being an organizer.. or a vendor, is also..a VERY daunting task!!!

  10. hey πŸ™‚
    iam one of the participating designers in the bunny hop and i gotta say something.YOU ARE TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY RIGHT!
    i cant agree with the stores u listed that had memorable stuff tho. i kept about 10 things that have been okay and i only liked two prizes out of 145 that i collected now and im seriously thinking about not finishing the hunt.
    after unboxing the first 30 eggs i got realy disapointed and after 50 i got angry because i think most of the 300 designers dont realy get what the hunt was about. we all had the chance to give customers something realy good that took a time to work on and wasnt done in 5 minutes or 30 or an hour.something unique that makes customers say ooohh nicee!! i will will go there again and see what else they got in their stores and i didnt regrad to spend my time searching for the egg.most of the participating designers must have mixed something up.this hunt wasnt meant to get rid of the trash in ur inventory!yeh thats what most of the ‘designers’ did. they trashed their old rotten stinky noob inventory stuff. some of the clothes have been that bad that i was asking myself how they are able to run a business in second life anyways.another thing that annoyed me to death was these millions and billions of stupid egg baskets.some came not scripted and u had to run the animation from ur inventory Oo wtf!i dun even start to talk about the 1478514785454586214586 bunny costumes u mentioned too.gawd how uncreative is that.isnt it conceivable that somebody would make a bunny costume or an easter egg basket? why not make something else? there are endless much things u can do and it doesnt even need to be easter related.
    and for those who think its UNGRATEFUL to think like that and not to apprechiate the gifts, ima tell u something, IT IS UNGATEFUL TO TAKE THE TRAFFIC THE HOPPERS BRING TO UR STORE AND LET THEM SEARCH FOR A WHILE AND THEN THEY GET THE LAST CENTURY TRASH FROM THE DARKEST CORNER OF UR INVENTORY.i think u just didnt get what a chance u had and missed with this hunt. u had the chance to stay in the inventory of the hoppers and in their minds.it is realy sad. i spend nearly 17 hours to get my gift done and as i was done i was content with it. if i wouldnt have been i would have started again and make something new. maybe some of u should have done the same.start thinking. this isnt just a game. this is a place where rl ppl spend their real time to enjoy.you should take it more serious.

  11. Do not complain what is given free, there are people who worked hard for this hunt.
    But you’re such an arrogant freak that you feel you’re above the gifts.
    Honestly, just don’t do the hunt if you’re going to be bitter about it, no one FORCED you to do the hunt in the lag conditions (for which the hunt is not even responsible for) and no one forced you to do 10 hours of mindless sorting. You want to do some damage control? Why don’t you hunt the first #50 eggs then check for quality before proceeding, seeing as you sound like you know what you’re talking about, why do all 300 eggs when you know you’re going to be disappointed?
    Or better yet, why don’t you make something useful in secondlife and participate in the next grid hunt so we can all benefit from your intelligence, because it’s not easy to design (but how would you know that seeing as you can’t even color your hair in a shade that’s actually decent looking) and it’s downright grotesque and offensive to face rude hunters like you who insult our designs or single out fellow designers in your post.

    Rika Watanabe: I want people to wake the fuck up. Start thinking instead of kneejerk reactions.

    Why don’t you wake the fuck up, start thinking for others instead of delivering offensive remarks/kneejerk reactions.

  12. Now, I am not going to agree or disagree with you, but I want to state out a few things. Lag is unavoidable. You started this hunt on the starting weekend of the hunt, of course there will be lag. If you wanted to avoid that, you might have started later.

    Because I am a treasure hunter myself, I try to encourage hunters to make things that represent their store most, and to give it their absolute best making the prize. I did almost everything I can think of to avoid bad experiences on hunt, but I have no power over what a store owner wishes to do.

    Before everyone is scared away off The Bunny Hop as being “another grid wide hunt” (hey maybe I shouldn’t call mines a “grid wide” anymore since there has been so much bad soil on those two words), I want everyone to consider all the effort my staff and I put in reviewing each store before letting them inside the hunt or not. Thank you.

  13. It sounds to me like you think every store experience was horrible. Many of the visits I made were enjoyable and quite a few of the prizes were rather good. I can’t speak for the clothes or the hair (not needing any I didn’t grab those) but I think much of the fare was above average. While my prize (store 223, the Pop Dept Store) displeased some the majority of the comments I received were positive. What from the Hunt did you find that was good?

  14. Yeah, “a participating designer”…I probably deleted your gift anyway
    This girl’s 15 seconds of fame is over, let’s move on to the next disaster

  15. I remember when I was a child and enjoyed hunting for Easter Eggs at my grandparents house. For years, we were given the chance to hide eggs in the backyard for our family members to find, and though it was pretty much the same every year, it was fun to see how kids would innovate and come up with cool things. There weren’t any rules.

    And then one year, this horrible aunt of ours came along and attempted to participate in our Easter pasttime. We hid our eggs as usual, trying to make things as challenging as possible to entertain ourselves, and we had fun. But she couldn’t find many eggs, and the contents of her basket paled in comparison to even the smallest of children in our family.

    She became frustrated. She whined and complained, demanding that we have some rules and guidelines for hiding and hunting. “No it’s SUPPOSED to be like this! Easter Egg hunts are ABOUT this!” No difficult hiding places, no tricks or decoys, no running, no pushing, on and on ad nauseum. She robbed the fun out of our beloved seasonal game, because people weren’t bending over backwards to please her.

    Rika, YOU are that bitchy, whiny, unable and angry, fun-destroying aunt. You are too inept to find some eggs, too technologically mystified to understand how lag works, so you had to write a 15+ paragraph rant about how there is a “right” and “wrong” way to do things in a just-for-fun event on a virtual world. Surely, even you and your inflated ego recognize that this standard of right and wrong only exists inside your head.

    The awesome part about Second Life is its diversity. There aren’t many rules, and you’re free to act, and build, and do business as you please. Maybe next year, there will be a special Rika-friendly hunting zone just for you, so you don’t become too irritated by concepts like “challenge” and “self-expression”, and “fun”. We wouldn’t want you to go apeshit again!

    Hats off to every designer that made the hunt enjoyable, and more interesting than just showing up and getting an item. Double props to the designers that infuriated Rika so much that she had to spew her nonsense on this blog.

    Change your tampon, bitch.

  16. Just because you don’t like EVERYTHING doesn’t mean there aren’t good items. Maybe you shouldn’t be so ridiculously narrow minded. There are many treasures on the hunt that I may not ever use but they are just awesome nonetheless. I don’t care if I don’t like the item, I can still appreciate the work… but perhaps this is the difference between children and adults, ne?

  17. And soon enough, children, now that I have your precious Easter Holiday, I’ll kidnap Santa Claus and Christmas will be MINE! Nyahahaha *Cackle* *Wheeze* *Cackle*

    All presents will be addressed to ME, Rika, princess of all Second Life! All gift wrap must NOT be in anyway, the color purple!!! Failure to do so will have me blogging about you, so I will be watching! Now get to work creators!!! Nyahahahahaaha-hlurk-hahaharrrrr…

  18. You know there is a recession going on, people are homeless, hungry- being raped, murdered, there are “real causes” this is fucking ridiculous that anyone would even be reading this crap. Seriously, people bitching about what came in a virtual egg- time for a reality check people! Move on to something worthy! TGis is just fucking ridiculous. Clearly some people have way too much time on their hands. Let me say it again- Your bitching about “eggs” virtual eggs- lmao wtf………… Sometimes you just need to stop and “think” about how really insane this is. Just stupid.

  19. @Ham Bone
    Silly Ham Bone. She’s from Russia, that means what you listed happens everyday whether during recession or not.

  20. “@Ham Bone
    Silly Ham Bone. She’s from Russia, that means what you listed happens everyday whether during recession or not.”

    Ouch, the ignorant American gets pwnt AGAIN.

  21. “Ouch, the ignorant American gets pwnt AGAIN.”

    Ignorant of you to think that i’m American

    /me spits

  22. Rika, quite frankly, you sound like a bitter individual with nothing better to do than complain about free stuff. I have no idea what other designers put into their Easter eggs. I know what I put into mine and I also made them fairly easy to find. Both contained shoes, one men’s and one women’s. Both pairs are some of my better selling shoes. I have to agree with poster #20 in regard to the incessant whiney rant about what was in the eggs. Secondarily, the fact that you hide behind the shield of generality leads me to believe that you went into this with the idea that it was going to be a bunch of “shitty freebies” in the first place. As a designer I didn’t begrudge anyone the right to use an egg radar. I didn’t complain if they told friends where the egg was. The only thing I wouldn’t do was tell someone where the egg was. And I was quite polite, “Don’t you think it’s more fun to hunt for the egg?” No one complained. I received many notes from participants thanking me for placing such a nice item in the eggs for both the women and the men. Anyway, I digress. It’s kind of sad that you felt it necessary to try to skewer the bulk of designers on this hunt with your mighty keyboard and blundering “wit”. Personally, I won’t lose any sleep if you throw away the landmark to my store. It’s Cattiva e Cattivo btw and it’s in the Agard sim. Oh and if you want to IM me or even e-mail me, please feel free. I’m a big girl and I know how to use the block button. πŸ˜‰

    Sincerest Regards,

    Lissa Maertens
    Owner and Designer; Cattiva e Cattivo Agard (148,199,26)

  23. Why Rika do you feel you are qualified to critisize what other people made and offered for free in the hunt? What do you make? Do you create anything at all besides negativity? I would love to see.

    I was a participating vendor. I love what I made. I spent a lot of time on it. If other people didn’t like it then it is not my problem. Don’t come back to my store. Not everyone is going to love everything that everyone makes. This is why there is such a huge variety in SL. Variety is the spice of life.

    Peace and love, peace and love πŸ™‚

  24. Where I live there is a bakery who always has a plate on the counter with one of their most delicious pastries cut into small pieces for you to try (and they encourage you to have a piece). And it generates more sales because it shows how nice their pastries are.

    Now imagine if they decided that they shouldn’t have to cut up one of their best pastries but should instead cut up something that had gone wrong, that was burned or under-cooked or something because “it’s a freebie and you shouldn’t complain”. Would that generate more sales for them or less sales?

    That was a long post from Rika and I wonder how many read it all the way through because there was a soundly reasoned and correct message in there – it just came towards the end. Boiled down, the message was if you are going to give away samples you have to be like the baker and give away a sample of the best that you have. Otherwise you may be actually driving buyers away from your store.

    Not every store made those mistakes, but enough did.

    So please, all those anonymous posters, please stop with the “how dare you complain about free samples” because you miss the point.

  25. Vivianne Draper And the mighty Ana Lutetia joined in the putting down of hundreds of designers across the grid. I never thought I would see the day. Very nice mass put down by Vivianne and Ana. Neither of you even went on the hunt did you. No you didn’t. So exactly why are you agreeing with this person?

  26. First off, as a designer and though I did not participate as a merchant but as a hunter, your words about it are rude, crude and disgustingly obnoxious!Who do you think you are popping at mouth about all those creators who went out of their provide recipients with gifts? I loved many of them and enjoy them and I also enjoyed the hunt. Yes some merchants were obnoxious about hiding eggs that took an hour to find. So what then don’t shop at those stores, I don’t. But to rant about every merchant? if you are that damned unhappy stop going on hunts PERIOD! It is nasty sour people like you that destroy a good thing. just who the fuck do you think you are?????????? the hunts are fun!! Iwork 24/7 so they are a good relief for me when they occur so dry up already and your cronies too. I have never in my life seen such a bunch a useless snobs in all my life.

  27. Oh and by the way you have managed to alienate yourself with your attitude I am sure you will be banned GRID WIDE from all participating merchants from any future hunts lol as surely you are banned from all of my shops lol.

  28. What the heck!?
    Are You for real? Yes a hunt is a way to gain exposure and yes it’s for promotion. But it’s free stuff! How can you complain? And furthermore, there are a lot of really good things in that hunt too.
    Personally i think all the participating vendors should ban you from all their stores, purely for your rudeness.

    Quote “Offering something you did not think would sell anyway, therefore, does nothing to improve sales or increase brand awareness”

    Umm. A LOT of places made items especially for this hunt. Try again.

    As for the idiots clapping and joining in with Sparticus here, you should be banned too.

  29. As Faerie mentioned yes, this is supposed to be about educating store owners about the “art and science of promotional events”. But it got overshadowed by all that bitching, she should’ve chosen her words more carefully.
    To be fair, she DID bad mouth about bunny hop hunt and called out the participating store owners. If she went ahead and posted blog without the first half post with the hunt bashing, or give more examples of all other grid wide hunts then maybe it wouldn’t have pissed off a lot of people, that’s like throwing a piece of shit at someone’s face then trying to talk to them about serious matters.
    Bunny hop hunt has numerous stores for all different types of people, not just stores those Rika likes, if it was then it would be called “Rika’s favorite store hunt”.
    Do I think she’s an ungrateful whiney fucking cunt? No. It’s obvious she’s very picky as shit, and she’s entitled to her opinion, and as you know opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one.
    Perhaps Rika should organize a perfect hunt that’ll please entire population of SL.
    I am one of the bunny hop hunt store, and i made my prize just for this hunt, and i put my egg out easy enough in plain sight so people don’t have to wear use tools like “treasure hunt radar”. As matter of fact I think Rika should be thanking those stores who hid eggs really hard otherwise people wouldn’t be buying her 99L treasure hunt radar right?.

    Before you get mad at comments Rika, remember not everybody’s gonna agree and be happy with what you post, just like grid wide hunt prizes πŸ™‚

  30. In recent months, the popularity of grid-wide hunts has increased dramatically, with the numbers being held far in excess of what was being done even six months ago. The format of a regular grid-wide (and I have not known any to be dissimilar yet), has been the use of a starting point (or several starting points), with the contents of one prize leading to the next, which then leads to the next, and so forth. All participating vendors offer one prize, each of which is placed somewhere in their store. That much, anyone reading this blog, should know. My opinion is that the current system is flawed.

    Vendors participate in grid-wide hunts for a variety of reasons, with a variety of expectations, at a variety of skills in the execution of their work and commitment levels to the event. Similarly, hunters have pre-conceived notions regarding the way a hunt should be run, how a gift should be provided, what a gift should be, what they should be doing and so forth. It is unsurprising that not all of these things mesh together in such a way as everyone is pleased with the outcome of an event. The question, therefore, remains ‘why can’t we make it work?’

    Differing expectations always tend to lead to at least one set of people unhappy: vendors because they had a rude hunter, hunters because they had to search too long and hard for a prize, everyone because of lag… the list goes on. Everyone has an opnion, and not few are afraid to state it, with tempers flaring easily when someone feels wronged, unappreciated or slighted. I don’t think that the current grid-wide model being utilized is condusive to the reduction of these things.

    Lets take ungratefulness, shall we? The view of a number of vendors seems to centre around the idea of a hunt, especially a grid-wide being ‘something for nothing’ – that they are doing people a service by providing them with something for free. In the strictest sense of the words, in a 0l gridwide hunt, it can be percieved this way – there are no lindens offered in exchange for the goods being purchased, after all. However I personally believe this not to be the case – in reality, vendors are performing a transaction with hunters just like any other.

    People pay with their time, with their effort, with their foot in your door and in most cases, the unspoken promise that they will at least look at your work and consider its wear. If you’ve done your job well, they will hopefully return and become customers, purchasing full-priced items. Even if they don’t, at the very least they may wear what you give them in the hunt, or display it, and others get to go ‘where did you get that!’ to them. Perhaps the big one to consider though, is what is probably most important: time.

    People’s time is valuable: just think of what you can do in a few hours as a creator, and what your earning potential on that time may be. If a customer were to come up to you after buying something and demand hours of customer service out of you with the excuse ‘I paid for it, I should get all the support I need’, you might offer some – but only up to a point. This transaction goes the other way too. When someone is expecting something for free, it is confronting to then be billed in time, if not in money, especially when the end-product of that time is not on par with what they were expecting out of it.

    People expect to wait with lucky chairs: its part of the initial contract. They already know they are going to have to sit there for a while, teleport in friends, and try to make it as quick as possible: but the likelihood is that it is still going to take some time. At the very least, they know what they are getting out of their time-investment and they have made the conscious decision to use their time in this way.

    When people go into a grid-wide with the view that they will be getting something for nothing (or near nothing), and then find out that suddenly that changes when you hit certain stores, they feel wronged. When one store offers their prize out in the open where anyone can see, and another hides it away in the deepest darkest corner, the first being easy to find, the other taking hours, it is no wonder that a growing sense of annoyance may begin forming. This is especially true when, after getting home, the hunter unpacks their prize from the difficult location only to find that it is something of extremely low quality, but the prize from the easy-to-find location is fantastic.

    With a force-flow model (one prize gives the location to the next) in play also, the hunters are given less opportunity to skip the places that are hard to move onto the ones that are easier, to skip the places that they have no wish to invest their time at to increase that vendor’s traffic numbers, to move onto the next one with a prize that they will willingly do that for. It isn’t a regular hunt, where you can happily just search for what you want – its having to find all the nougat chocolates even though you don’t like nougat, just to make it to the caramels which you do.

    Lets throw into this the fact that even the best vendor is viewed under the banner of the event as a whole, shall we? Even if someone hides their item in clear and plain view, because of the overarching nature of the hunt (where you have to invest time, sometimes more than you wish, at the other locations who hide their gift hard to reach this one), even if the gift is easy to find, hunters can end up feeling hurt that what they’ve been given is not of at least as good a quality as your other items. The time they spent at your location may be little, but the time leading up to it (or going after it) is still going to skew their view of events.

    At best, they throw out the item. At worst, you might end up generating some word of mouth you certainly don’t want started. If you’ve offered them work which isn’t up to your usual standard and made them hunt forever to find it, you can bet that the experience will be memorable for those potential customers: but not in the way you desire. I’ll take good word of mouth over a forced increase in traffic (when everyone else is forcing their traffic up over a short period also, so really, it evens out) to bring people to my shop any day.

    If you are a vendor in a grid-wide, you also have to consider that each person who completes it start to end have to then slog through all of those items at home when they unpack. It takes something very special to shine, if you want it to stand out from the hundreds of other things they are likely to unpack at the same time. Even the ‘its not bad, but I’m not sure if its the best, either’ can find a date with the trash-bin when that glance at the inventory numbers convinces them that they probably shouldn’t keep all that they’ve been given. Everyone functions at a different skill level: not everyone is going to be able to make the most brilliant gift in the world – I know that, hunters should know that, if they know what is good for them, and vendors should know that too.

    Anyhow… I’m going to let things trail off here. I can see both sides of the ball when it comes to hunts such as these: I am both creator and consumer. This is in no way meant as an attack on either hunters or vendors – it is simply a personal opinion which you are quite free to not agree with. I could go on forever regarding the way I think, but the fact of the matter is that most people already have a strongly formed opinion regarding this. We all have our views – I’ll respect yours, if you can at the very least respect mine.

  31. Simply Pathedic!
    Bitching & complaining about 100% FREE Items *shakes head*
    What the hell has SL come to when even Free items are judged.

    It’s NO wonder you’re alone real life, NO wonder your Easter must have sucked – or what ever holiday the lonely crybaby Russians do start of April, and NO wonder you writeup a complaint about FREE items when even your Own ‘Clever Things’ items I would consider trash myself! hahaha really, really, SAD!

    Very simple solutions to this ‘critical problem’ of yours and your freebie followers…..

    >>>> DON’T DO ANYMORE HUNTS, NONE, NADA, ZIP, IGNORE INVITES, HIDE IN YER CAVE!!
    as a longtime creator on SL, I DON’T WANT YOUR CRYBABY BUSINESS — FREE OR PAID FOR!!

    It’s Impossible to please Everyone not to mention degenerate (this blog example) low-life complainers, but to publically Complain about freebies that apparently Should just cater to YOU and ONLY YOUR tastes and Opinions of what is worthy??

    Give it a break.
    Log out and delete your account Rika.. we WON’T miss you πŸ™‚

  32. Reading this, looking at your items, and then re reading simply to catch a grasp on what your talking about you HAVE NO IDEA none the time people put into what they make. SO fuckin what you don’t like it, Honestly your a bitter person jealous of the fact that YOU aren’t half as talented as the designers and builders who entered and participated in this hunt. I don’t enjoy hunts no and I don’t generally go on them but I will tell you something there are people out there who like what they get, who enjoy the hunt DESPITE the lag. If you were smart you wouldn’t have contemplated being done by supper. 300 stores is more then enough to keep some people busy for days. you’ve obviously got no life, and decide that since your miserable you need to make everyone else miserable as well.

    News flash to you, Your ingrateful and take things for granted. don’t like it don’t do it, bashing people like this on a blog could slam you a lawsuit for slander and defermation of charactor.

    Find something better to do because from what I’ve read you’ve nothing good to say about anyone or anything. Your noobish looks, and noobish style can go right along with it, if it’s such a disaster and such a travesty perhaps Secondlife isn’t the place for you.

    Further more

    someday, someone will write a review about you and when they totally tell the world that your stuff is shit, and worthless and not worth the Linden they put into it what will you do then… I may not be the best builder but what I do I put my time in, and I put alot of care into it because it reflects who I am and what I do. You dont like it fine by me, then you’ve no reason to be at my store. All in all if the price is right, the quality is right and it’s what the buyer wants, who gives a damn if you like it.

    I rate your products now as over priced, tasteless, and insufficent and should be thrown out with yesterdays garbage

  33. I was disappointed by the bunny hop hunt too. There were NO prizes relating to bunnies, there were NO easter related prizes like eggs, baskets, bunnygirls, there were no bunny slippers (of which I am an avid collector and just cannot get enough) and hardly any ugly purple shaded stuff. 😦
    Instead there was a wide varied selection of original products which could be worn throughout the year, and which represented the quality and unique style of each store. HOW SHIT!
    The day I did the hunt there was hardly any lag which deprived me of what I like to call ‘crash funz’ and I completed the hunt in 17 minutes. How am I supposed to fill my friendless empty days when its so freakin short!!! Did any of you even think about that???
    You may call me an emo but I dont care because my mom says I am handsome.
    My best find was the purple and purple striped bunny wedding gown basket egg with frogs attached. I have worn it every day since. It was made by Hoo Thunk It in Admonish sim.

    MOAR HUNTS PLEASE, THE VOICES BEGIN AGAIN
    (I love you rika goddess of dreams and silent souls)

  34. Umm ok so I am looking at your profile pic of your avatar and all I can think is HOW on earth can you possibly be picky about anything looking like that?

  35. wipe that smile off your face number 35, rika is smoking hot and you are gonna get burned by her fire, you will never be as good as her in a million years, quit trolling you lame troll and go back to troll land to troll some more. Troll.

  36. i am not totaly agree with your story.some sellers give trash away to get more people to their sim/store.thats a fact sure. First it is their choice what they put in or “if” they give free stuff away.
    They don’t need to do that. Second,you don’t like what you got for free, delete it,easy enough insted to make such a story public.
    Not all designers gives free items away that are better for the trash then to wear.Maby look a bit better then you search for it ..10 hours?

    I am a designer myself and i give alway’s my exspensive clothes away as presents or as free stuff in my lucky chair or like with easter. Outfits from 300 till complete armor outfits for 1000 lindens. Special holliday gifts are even made with high quality and created with love . The reason is simple for me. I would be ashamed of myself if i give free items away that are far from what i sell in my store. And i am not alone with this,there are more great designers/sellers that gives quality free items away. Maby you didnt search on the right places?

    But what if a designer gives a dollar bee away,that is high quality made and very detailed,but some people that buy it for 1 linden are not apreciate it by to rate it low were they have no any reason for to do that,becuase how you can rate a 1 dollar high quality made items bad? common, people got it for 1 linden dollar.
    That is very rude and in my opinion those people make it that designers gives sh*t away to people.

    Maby if you like cool clothes,skins or whatever and not happy with what people gives free away . Go work for it so you can pay for good quality clothes insted to give people in public a bad revieuw for the free things they give away,what they arnt supose needy to do . The sun goes up for free,for the rest you realy need to urn to get it.Not whant to? be glad that there are people that gives free stuff away for those people . Some are bad and some are good. Sometimes you need to delete it and sometimes you will find an awsome freebee. But that is in the game for freebee hunt i supose…

    10 hours search for free items? maby you realy need to create things for yourself to see how many time and effort and money it will cost to create clothes or other things in sl.After you know how exspensive that is and what the costs are and the effort it takes for to make just 1 outfit, i realy know for sure you would be getting more respect for people that creating in sl and choose to give free things away.

  37. My comments have been short and, as such, juvenile here but speaking from a PR and Marketing standpoint, which is (unfortunately) what I do in RL, if one of my clients were to distribute samples of his or her product to the media and the public for a day, I would advise nothing short of making that sample spectacular and memorable.

    When Carl’s Jr. (a former client) unveiled its OH-SO-AWESOME Six-Dollar Burger, we decided to give them away free for a day. People lined up around the block from morning until night (of course). And later that burger sold like hotcakes, because that burger is the stuff that DREAMS are made of! But many people might not have gotten to try it and consequently crave it later had the company not decided to give out its high-end burger for free one day.

    That’s my bedtime story for you, kiddies!!!

    And that’s the part of this post I agree with.

    So far, I have not found a cheeseburger in my Bunny Hop prizes and am pretty bummed.

  38. Sounds to me you had a bad case of PMS while egg hunting….your whole post is nothing but a spoiled brat bitching text, and i’m afraid that many in SL are sharing your rude ungrateful attitude.
    Repeat after me: they are freebies and always remember: some creators are not that desperate to cave in to your blackmailing bullshit of “please me and offer me what i want or else i will trash you in my little blog”.
    You want quality items? buy them. Nobody is offering Ferraris as freebies in the real world. Grow up and learn to tell the difference between marketing initiatives and your own personal need to fill your inventory with free items.
    I also recommend anger management classes to get you through a hard, laggy day of painful freebie collecting, not fair on creators that you should use your blog to vent your frustrations.

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