As you can imagine, running this site has costs in both money and time. Freebruary is a fun campaign for brands to participate in, and so far hasn't come with a cost beyond the samples you provide for contests. Even the sponsors for the last two years have been sponsors in-kind, providing media, and benefits to participating brands.
As I figure out the future of Freebruary, streamlining the process of registration, amplifying the engagement from contests, and generally making it more, bigger, better, stronger, faster--- I have to explore having a participation fee. From GS1 to Retailers to Certifications to Tradeshows to the behemoths like Meta and Google-- I know the fees add up. I'm hoping that this thing, this month long promo called Freebruary is worth a few bucks.
So-- the question: If we charged brands to participate, would you still do it? (less than $200)
Picture an ad you bought in a local paper or what $200 gets you on Instagram--- Freebruary reaches a lot of people, can be as creative or simple as you like, so hopefully I'm framing this correctly.
Also, if everyone says no, that says something too, which helps me evaluate whether to continue, so be honest.
PS: What would we be charging for? You'd get the listing page with all the pictures, links, ecommerce codes, videos, and whatever else you want to include, just like prior years. (Some do more than others on these pages). You would still set your own deals, giveaways, codes, etc--- that's executed on your end. We would continue to do the draws throughout the month which only costs you product (12 items, for example). If your brand makes higher value products, you could do a single grand prize draw, gift card or other option. The point is it's still up to you.