Hey, Queen! At the end of this week’s article, I’ll be making a big announcement. Stay tuned!
You walk into your first rehearsal at the national pageant and sit in the front row of the ballroom. Your makeup artist and hair stylist (or in my case, my mother and I) just finished in time for you to arrive 15 minutes before rehearsal begins. Your heart races as you watch the national choreographers chat on stage, going over the walking patterns for the week. You’ve been waiting for this moment since you were crowned at your state pageant. Nervous, but confident, you wait for rehearsal to begin. Suddenly, another national finalist approaches you with a beaming smile. “Hey! Have I given you one of these yet?” She shows you a photograph of herself with a good luck message on the bottom. It’s a comp card. You shake your head and she introduces herself in response. You start to panic a little as she does so, wondering if you should’ve brought comp cards too… but what are comp cards exactly?
Comp cards, also known as autograph cards, are one of many gifts you can give to your sister queens during Nationals week. Their sizes vary and usually contain the giver’s name, title, contact information (Instagram username and/or email) and a good luck message for the other contestants. The giver prints enough copies for the girls in your division. Sometimes the giver attaches the autograph card to a small bag of candies.
Although I think autograph cards are a great way to give your new friends your contact information, I never knew what to do with it when I received one. I have never given out autograph cards because of this. However, I have come up with a few alternatives that have a little more meaning to them.
Business cards are similar to autograph cards in that they have your contact information, but they’re different because they give you an opportunity to share information about your platform. These are also more cost effective as they aren’t title-specific, therefore you won’t have to print new ones every time you win a new title. Business cards are also smaller, allowing you to bring them with you any and everywhere. You can also handwrite good luck messages on the back to have the same personal touch as autograph cards.
Treat bags are relatively common at national pageants, especially since they are relatively cheap (Halloween candy is on sale!). It may take a little longer to make 30 to 130 treat bags, but national finalists tend to be more grateful for these. Oftentimes you (or your daughter) will be busy for hours on end, given no time to eat in between events. These treat bags become especially popular (and helpful) then!
I’ve only seen two girls give personalized pens before, but everyone has been immensely grateful each time. National pageants have lots of paperwork and pens are easy lose. Pens with your name and title are a thoughtful and useful gift, as you can never have too many!
If you like seeing people use the gifts you give them, you should consider giving out buttons. They can have your platform or non-profit logo or a small crown picture with kind words. The only thing queens love more than putting buttons on their sash is explaining where each button came from. The more sashes your button gets on, the more exposure for your platform! Bonus: buttons are pretty cheap to make.
Positive Affirmation Booklets
This is my favorite one (mainly because I did this recently)! At my last national pageant, I made positive affirmation booklets for each of the girls in my division. Made with index cards, markers, hole punchers, and yarn, each booklet contained 15 positive affirmations as well as my business card and suggestions on when the affirmations should be read. This is a great way to both help your competitors and promote positive pageantry. Since my platform is about women empowerment, this was a perfect fit. Feel free to use and modify this idea to fit your platform better. For example, a platform on breast cancer awareness can include not-so-commonly-known facts on breast cancer and prevention.
In conclusion, autograph cards are great and they do their job well, but there’s nothing wrong with being unique with your gifts! As I always say, pageantry is an expensive sport. Gifts to other contestants have no impact on your overall score or placement. They are completely optional. There is no judgement against girls who do not provide her fellow contestants with gifts. Remember to always say thank you when you receive one.
I hope this helped, and good luck at Nationals!
The Queen Next Door
In Spring 2019, I’ll be expanding The Queen Next Door to include a boutique: The Queen Next Store. This dream of mine is finally being realized, and I can’t wait for our launch. You—yes, you!—can get involved! If you have an eye out for the latest trends, you can be a member of the Queen’s Circle: a group of girls who influence what is sold in the boutique. If you’re social media savvy, you can be a Brand Ambassador, promoting TQNS on your social media. Sign-up here, and don’t forget to spread the word!