How To Host A Successful Jigsaw Puzzle Competition Fundraiser  The Missing Piece Puzzle Company

How To Host A Successful Jigsaw Puzzle Competition

How to have a jigsaw puzzle competition or fundraiser.

Jigsaw puzzle competitions are popping up and are a fun, interactive, and memorable way to raise money for an organization or cause.  At a typical jigsaw puzzle competition, you would see teams that compete against each other with the ultimate goal of completing a puzzle faster than the other teams.  Usually, the first team to assemble within a specified time period wins.  Whether one round, or several to determine the winner... it's completely up to you! 

The Basics of a good jigsaw puzzle competition:

1.  All teams receive the same puzzle.

2.  Puzzle boxes are placed face down until the timer begins or use a gift bag or branded bag that is also suggested.

3.  Assembly of the puzzle begins in a quiet environment.

4.  Each round of play has a specified time limit.  If no one has completed the puzzle within the allotted time, a winner can be declared by the remaining number of loose pieces.

5.  Should there be a tie, teams can be given additional time (series of 5-minute intervals) or as warranted.

Setting the tone at your puzzle competition:  

1. it is suggested that separate tables be provided per team and that there are 2-3 feet of separation between team tables.

2. Teams should be restricted to their own table and may not approach another table during the competition, nor shall they be allowed to study an opposing team's puzzle.

3. Cell Phones or outside devices should be prohibited during the competition.  Headphones should be allowable to prevent distraction.

4. Teams may not distract other teams or purposefully to create an environment of distraction. 

5. Every team will complete the same puzzle.  All puzzles are placed with the image facing down until the sound of the buzzer.  Branded bags that are not see through are advisable.

The Goal of the Jigsaw Puzzle Competition:

1. Individuals or teams try to put the puzzle together the fastest.

2. Rounds are a specified amount of time; if there is no declared winner by the end of the time limit, the winner is chosen by their remaining number of loose puzzle pieces.

3. In the event of a tie, individuals or teams can be given an additional five minutes to work on the puzzle.

4. If opting for multiple rounds, progress by piece count with the top puzzlers proceeding to the next round, ultimately leading to one team winning the event.

What You’ll Need to Host a Jigsaw Puzzle Competition of Your Own

Some planning and organization will be required for your puzzle competition to take place. You’ll need to determine where you will host the event and how to make people aware of your event, too!

1. A Venue for your Puzzle Competition.

Finding the perfect venue is a must for your jigsaw puzzle competition.  While looking for the perfect venue, please keep in mind that you will need to select a venue with space for your expected turnout.  You can easily contact your local Fire Hall, School System (cafeterias can easily be rented out) or Chamber of Commerce for some suggestions.  

2. Tables and Chairs

You may be able to find a venue that includes tables and chairs.  When looking, please remember that tables should be the same size per team.  Tables should have the same surface type for fairness.  If the tables do not have the same surface, I suggest that you purchase similar table cloths so that all teams will have the same surface for assembling their puzzles. 

If tables and chairs are not included with your rental, please check your local listings for rental companies in your area. 

3. Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles are the main ingredient to any jigsaw puzzle contest.  Determining the number of similar jigsaw puzzles and the piece counts are an important factor in setting up the jigsaw puzzle competition.  This is an opportunity to showcase your logo or image as custom jigsaw puzzles are an excellent branding opportunity.  An excellent source is The Missing Piece Puzzle Company as they make custom jigsaw puzzles that are high-quality and quite affordable, with tiered pricing for bulk orders. 

It's important to keep these points in mind when selecting jigsaw puzzles:

1.   The number of teams or individuals that you plan on participating in the jigsaw puzzle competition.  This will help you determine how many puzzles you will need to order.

2.   To brand, or not to brand the puzzle.  A jigsaw puzzle competition is an excellent opportunity to showcase your brand.  Custom puzzle companies, such as The Missing Piece Puzzle Company, will work with you to set up the perfect puzzle for your competition. 

3.   Not all jigsaw puzzles are created equal.  Please remember that jigsaw puzzles that are Made In America are usually better quality than those made abroad, IMO.  Look for a high-quality jigsaw puzzle manufacturer that is willing to do low volume orders.

4. Moderators

I suggest that you choose a minimum of two people to help moderate your competition.  These moderators will record the event and observe that all rules are being followed, as well as answer any questions that may arise.  Volunteers wearing bright vests/clothing that identify them as Judges or Volunteers are encouraged.  

A moderators job will include ensuring that teams are adhering to the rules and regulations.  A moderator will also record times of completion.  Teams should raise both of their hands to indicate that they have completed the puzzle.  Moderators will record their team number and time.  

5. Prizes

Prizes should be provided for the winner, as well as second and third-place teams.  Feel free to reach out to local businesses or your local Chamber of Commerce for donations or sponsorship.  Puzzle manufacturers are also willing to work with established puzzle competitions.  Branded puzzles that have never been assembled are suggested.

6. Participants

For any jigsaw puzzle competition to be a success, you need participants! There are many social media outlets where you can advertise your event with the community.  Placing flyers, post on social media, and advertising in your local newspaper are great ways to advertise.  Don't forget your local radio station to help make the community aware of your event. 

7. REGISTRATION for your puzzle competition.

Creating an organized registration process with help in tracking your potential puzzle participants to ensure you will have enough space for everyone at the competition. Deciding on the number of participants, either single or team members, will ensure that you have enough space and puzzles for your competition.  Whether you charge for the competition or offer it for free, having fun it the goal!

Remember, have fun and puzzle on puzzlers!

The Missing Piece Puzzle Company