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Discussion Starter #1
This is my first year hosting a party and we are having a costume contest. We included on the invites that there will be prizes for Best Costume, Sexiest & Most Original. I can't figure out the best way to choose the winners. It would be easiest for me to just choose the winners but I am affraid people will think it's biased. But here will be ~25 guests and I think it would get too confusing to just let them all vote on each category. I thought perhaps I could pick 3 to put up for each prize, then people could vote, but not sure how to do the voting. Any ideas or ways you've tried in the past?
 

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Zombie Inside
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I print out ballots with all the categories and set them, along with pens, next to the ballot box. At midnight I make an announcement for people to put their votes in and give them 30 minutes to do it. At that time I take the box into another room and tally up the votes. Then I gather everyone up to announce the winners and give out prizes. No trouble, in my opinion.
 

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Devilishly Dutch
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I do pretty much the same thing as Rikki....only right before voting, we do a monster stroll so that everyone can show off their costumes. After the stroll we vote using pre printed ballots with the categories on them. Only problem we've had with this system is what people write. Someone will write in 'pumpkin dude' but we have 2 people dressed as pumpkins. Or they don't know exactly what the person is dressed as and they don't know their names. So this year we have decided to use numbers to avoid confusion.

MsM
 

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The way to go when you have 25 people, is to do it by loudness of the crowd.

We have 3 categories... funny, scary, and overall best.


When we are ready to do the contest, we have all the people who want to compete go into the other room and they parade through the main areas one at a time.

The person who gets the loudest noise for their costume/dance through the room wins...

It's fun, people get LOUD and enjoy it, and its not so sterile.

The one thing I have learned throwing parties, especialy for adults, is the less they have to pay attention to detail the better. Having people fill anything out will not be "fun" for the people who just came with iffy costumes.
 

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Never thought about doing it by loudness like that. We have always just done a ballot. But, I agree that the 'pumpkin dude' problem has persisted in the past. I think that loudness might go over really well with my group. :)

-Handy_Haunter
 

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We do the vote survivor style ... everyone is markes down their favorite costume,and places it in a jack-o-lantern cookie jar. then my roomie reads them out like jeff probes on survivor
 

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STARK Raving Mad
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My vote: ballots, especially when we have over 100 people voting. We print & cut out simple 1/4 sheet ballots with 4 categories: Sexiest, Cheesiest, Best Couple or Group, and Best Overall. We also bought a box of 100 "golf pencils". At around 11:00, we pass out ballots & pencils. By "we", I mean the 2 hosts & 5 co-hosts. We tell people if they don't know the name of the person they want to vote for, then just write down what they are. Then, we collect them & start counting. This year, I think we're going to move everybody out front for the group photo while the ballots are being counted. When we have the results, we announce the winners, present them with their trophies, and take a few pictures.

Just as a heads-up... Over the years, we've noticed that people usually start leaving after the contest, so don't have it too early.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Hubby and I just whispered in a corner for about 10 minutes to come up with the winners for last year (our first party).

I really don't think you can be accused of playing favorites your first year!
;)

This year, we're probably doing ballots, but I don't want to... I may just choose (with hubby) again. We reward creativity and weirdness. :)
 

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Ravenous Zombie
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We do ours by ballot, but with over 50 people last year it was taking a long, long time to tally all the votes and we just chose winners halfway through the tally. I know, not very accurate.

Hmmm......having people cheer would be so much easier, but for those of you who do that, do you find that the people getting less cheers get kinda sad, especially if they're kids?
 

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We do ours by ballot, but with over 50 people last year it was taking a long, long time to tally all the votes and we just chose winners halfway through the tally. I know, not very accurate.

Hmmm......having people cheer would be so much easier, but for those of you who do that, do you find that the people getting less cheers get kinda sad, especially if they're kids?
Well ours is 100% over 21 adults... But even the "sad" costumes get cheers, everyone cheers, people SCREAM for their favorite...
 

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Good Ghoul Gone Bad
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We do the ballot system too. I make it easier by having each categorie's ballot a different color. It sure helps when you counting the tally. I was going to take a polaroid picture of each costumed guest and write their names on it and put them on a corkboard, but with the polaroid film being almost $17 for 10 pics, I had to scratch that idea. If you had a photo printer handy, that might work too, but be a little more time consuming.
 

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Fallen Angel
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We set up a picture spot and take a poloroid of everyone when they enter. We write their names on the bottom of the pic and post them on a piece of posterboard. We have ballots and we make a couple announcements through the night to place their votes. After the contest, we give each guest their poleroid as their gift. I don't remember the poloriod film being that expensive....we buy it at Target.
 

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Devilishly Dutch
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We tried the cheering thing the first year or two. That's when we decided to do the ballots lol Sometimes it was really hard to tell who got the most cheers and some people took it very personally. I confess that I too sometimes fudge with the ballots. If I'm more than halfway thru and its pretty clear who's gonna win, I don't finish counting. But I make it look good lol I even gave a prize once to someone who comes a long way each year and had never won. She was soooo close. And the one who 'technically' won had already won a few times.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks everyone for the ideas and experience. I think I am going to kinds try combining methods. I think the husband & I will pick 3 for each category that we think stand out, then do a ballot vote. Our party will be on two levels of our house and people will be all over the place so ballots would allow people to vote when they feel like it. Maybe I need to get a mega phone =)
 
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