There have been some comments about and issues with the Facebook voting system in the 2013 Top Gun competition, so we thought we should address it.
The Purpose of the Competition
The purpose of this competition is to provide a platform for Australian florists to show case their floristry skills and imagination to a wide public audience interested in Wedding Flowers and their peers in the Industry.
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We have deliberately kept the rules very simple, just show us what you think is your best work. In working out the finalists we take into account style, originality, use of colour, flower quality and most importantly, appeal!
While it is not a photography competition, we also must be able to see the flowers clearly. Only about 1% of the entrants make it into the top 10 finalists in each category. This selection process is done by more than a dozen experienced florist peers from within our company and the wider industry.
About The Facebook Voting
The winner in each category is then determined by a ‘popular’ vote via Facebook. This is exactly what it says, a popularity vote. It makes no pretence at being a vote for the best florist, but clearly popularity is important when selling flowers to customers that are not trained florists!
Important to the success of the popularity vote is getting a wide audience to view the entries. This year the finalist’s entries were viewed by over 260,000 people before voting closed and will continue to be viewed by many more thousands.
As the competition owners and managers, Tesselaars reserve the right to do whatever is necessary to ensure that all contestants compete fairly. We have had instances where people submit floral work is not their own (this is deleted and no further entries from this person will be accepted in the future).
Controlling popular votes is much more difficult, Facebook has rules that ban ‘buying’ votes and a condition of entry into the competition is that entrants abide by these rules. However, it is clear that Facebook cannot contain the issue.
It is clearly possible for Facebook users to acquire likes. And it’s not possible to know who because it could have been any of the below:
- An entrant trying to win
- A well-meaning but misguided friend trying to help an entrant without the entrant’s knowledge
- Or a competitor trying to get the affected entry banned
In any such case, we simply rectify each occurrence by taking the result from the day before. We have not pointed any fingers, nor do we intend to, however clearly Facebook “likes” are a flawed system for voting and we will look at a different method next year.
What we all need to be remembering is that the other contestants are real people, artists, who are going to see what you comment about them and their work.
Everyone is free to their opinion; however we’d love it if we could all keep any negative comments to ourselves, both for the sake of other’s feelings and also for your own reputation in the Australian floral community.
Apart from this minority of incidents, the 2013 Top Gun competition has been an amazing success that has and will continue to promote the work of Australian wedding florists. We’d like to thank you all for being involved and having so much fun with us – we look forward to doing it all over again next year!