As fall draws near and school starts back up, a Labor Day contest is a great way to re-engage customers with your brand. Many feel sad at the thought of summer ending, but why not frame this time of year as a celebration‽ By highlighting some of the products or services your business offers, you can reconnect with current customers and reach new ones. Need some Labor Day contest ideas? You are in the right place!

Labor Day is a fabulous time to run a giveaway!

The History of Labor Day

Labor Day was first celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. This trend began to take root in many other U.S. cities in subsequent years. It began as labor unions’ response to the fact that factory workers were working 70- and 80-hour work weeks in poor conditions. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law making the first Monday in September a national holiday to recognize a very dedicated and often under-appreciated workforce. While the law did not mandate that workers have a day off, those who passed it suggested that it be celebrated with street parades to show “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community. Labor Day was meant to be a time of advocating for workers’ rights. It was also meant to be a holiday of recreation and celebration for workers and their families to enjoy together.

Labor Day Today

Though today’s celebrations look much the same, not all workers have Labor Day off. In March 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that about 9% of U.S. workers work on Labor Day, and the majority of those people work in the service industry, though at least a small subset of workers from all industries report working on this holiday. Hopefully these dedicated workers receive extra holiday pay in exchange for giving up a day that is meant to recognize all workers. Those who have a day off may celebrate by staying home or attending parades, picnics or parties with family and friends. And it’s important to point out in this age of coronavirus remote work that many are connected to work 24/7 even if they are not “at work” in the physical sense, so Labor Day can be a work day regardless of whether a company is technically open for business. In short, it’s complicated! 

Help Them Celebrate

Regardless of whether your customers and potential customers have a day off or find themselves working on Labor Day, a contest can help you celebrate them and also drum up interest in your brand or any new products or services you are introducing. Promotions are a fun way to highlight a holiday with important roots and remind people to take some time for themselves and their families during this time of year, all while keeping your brand at the top of their minds. Need some ideas? You’re in the right place!

Red, White, and Blue?

Labor Day is traditionally a red, white, and blue holiday. When you create your contest theme, you’ll want to consider a color scheme that not only makes sense with your brand, but also coincides with Labor Day. Using these colors can be a fun way to tie the two together, especially if your logo or website theme incorporates some of them already. But what if it doesn’t? If red, white, and blue really clash with your logo or the products you want to highlight, feel free to choose a color scheme that goes well with what you plan to feature on your contest page. If you need ideas for colors that go well together, Coolors is a great resource for playing with fun color palettes or exploring color trends.

Prizes for Two (or More!)

Family and friends are a huge part of Labor Day celebrations! Many have annual traditions, including picnics and outdoor events that make the most of the last days of summer and prepare everyone to gear up for fall fun, too. Why not feature a contest prize that encourages people to spend quality time with family and friends?

Think “twofer” when you brainstorm contest ideas. If you run a spa, give away a free service, such as a massage or a facial–but make it for two! This way your winner can also bring a friend or family member along. You will get more exposure to your customer base, and they will have an opportunity to enjoy their prize with someone special. A travel agent might consider an airline gift certificate for the winner and an identical one for a friend or family member. These could be just the ticket to inspiring these two customers to book a fun trip with the travel agency. An Etsy seller might give away two identical DIY kits that the winner and the person of their choice can do together! Organizations such as museums, theaters, amusement parks, or other social or cultural institutions can remember that two tickets are always better than one! No matter what good or service you provide, tying your “twofer” to the fact that you are celebrating Labor Day with your giveaway will help your brand make a bigger impact.

Rest for Mind and Body

Why not center your giveaway around giving people a much-needed rest on their own time? As discussed previously, many people do not have Labor Day off of work. Those folks have to look for off-times to engage in all-important self-care practices. A giveaway encouraging this is a great tie-in to the Labor Day holiday.

So many contest ideas come to mind! A book store might give away a set of fall-themed reads or a curated collection of books on health and wellness signed by the authors. A restaurant can give away a kit to make one of their most popular dishes for two at home so that the winner can enjoy his or her prize whenever it’s convenient rather than during the hours and in the place where the restaurant operates. A veterinarian can give away a doggy daycare gift card so that one lucky pooch can have a day to play while his or her family takes a day off knowing that Fido is well cared for and having a blast, too. Any type of business can capitalize on this sort of theme to entice users to enter a giveaway.

Help People Celebrate!

Sometimes hosting a holiday event can be a daunting task! Everyone is so busy that it can be difficult to find time to prep for a big group meal or plan activities that will keep people of various ages and with various interests engaged during a party. Why not host a pre-Labor Day giveaway around the theme of making this type of undertaking easier?

Contest ideas abound! catering company might give away a gift card for catering services to one lucky winner. If you run an outdoor equipment store, you could give away something that can help people have some outdoor fun during a party, like a croquet set, bocce set, or corn hole set. A liquor and wine shop might give away a set white wines and a few different craft beer 6-packs that pair well with traditional barbecue menu items to help a party host make sure the beverages taste great with the food served. Again, creativity is key. If you run a home maintenance company, offer a free outdoor power washing service to a lucky winner so that they can host a Labor Day party knowing their home’s exterior is sparkling clean. The sky is the limit, and your entrants will appreciate the chance to take some of the burden off of playing party host!

Take an Idea and Run With It!

No matter what type of contest you decide to host, tying it in to the purpose and theme of the Labor Day holiday increases your chances for success. Encouraging people to spend time with loved ones, easing the burdens on the modern worker, and making it easier for people to host a celebration are all great themes around which a great Labor Day contest is centered. Thinking about color scheme–whether you choose red/white/blue or another color palette that works better with your logo and branding–will help to make your contest page pop and attract the eyes of more entrants. The bottom line? Get creative, stick to your theme, and watch the entries pour in! Ready to go for it? PromoSimple’s intuitive platform has all the features you need to get started right away!