If so, what was the occasion? Was the prize purchased by you or was it donated for promotional purposes?

If you haven't, would you like to?

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Also I would like to add, that I host contests and giveaways on Hip Mama's Place not only to invite traffic on my blog but also, I get pleasure from knowing that readers will come back and visit my blog over and again because they enjoy reading my reviews and win fabulous contests! It's my way of showing appreciation for visiting my blog. Not only I get to enjoy free things to sample and review from sponsors, I also get a chance to make other moms happy from winning worthwhile things for themselves and their kids. :)

And yes, most of my contests are sponsored.
I've had several giveaways and some bring more traffic than others.
I gave away an iTunes card that brought a lot of traffic on the big bloggy giveaway from Chilihead.com

I gave away things for my 100th, 200th post.

I would love to do more, but so far it is out of my pocket. I do think bigger bloggers have companies that donate or send them things to give away. some day... maybe.

A good question here would be how do you get giveaways sponsored?
In the process of doing my first one... I have no idea yet how it's gonna go... I'm doing beads culled from my personal collection... some are expensive and some are not but they're all pretty and bright and lovely and sparkly and all the things that beads should be!
Yes, I did, a few months into launching my blog. There was no special occasion, I was just excited about the stuff I was sharing and I decided to share it in a bigger way. I purchased the prize myself.

It was insane how many people came out of the woodwork for that one, I did not advertise it and it was a really new blog at the time. :)

I've been thinking lately that I should do another one soon!

-Sarah
Going Bananas Blog
I have been doing contests/giveaways about every 2 weeks on my site and don't plan on stopping.

I love doing it, because I love entering contests, so it is nice to be able to host them. I love getting the replies to the emails I write telling people they have won!

It has brought a ton of traffic and earned me some loyal readers who read and respond to my other posts as well.

Don't be afraid to host a contest just because you don't have traffic.

IF YOU OFFER ONE, THEY WILL COME!
Google "submit blog contest" or "mom contests" or anything like that and you will find a ton of places to submit your contest to for free that will bring you traffic. Check out my sidebar on my blog too for some banners for a few great ones too.

The stuff I have given away is all new, and I got it from trading in points from participating in free paid surveys - shameless plug: check out my free paid survey guide if you don't know about them: http://accidentalmommies.com/paid-survey-guide/

Recently I have been contacted by 2 companies who will be sponsoring some nice giveaways on my site too so I am really excited about that.

I have a tip that has worked for me when running the contests. Make a condition to enter be that they must subscribe by email to your site. If you don't have that, I recommend getting it. It helps eliminate the spam, and it brings people back because they get your updates in their email every day so they don't forget about you. I use Feedburner. It is free.

I currently have a contest up that requires a little bit of work from entrants. It is for educational software from Weekly Reader http://accidentalmommies.com/2008/06/15/giveaway-educational-softwa...

I figured I would reward those people willing to take a few extra minutes to answer the 3 questions I posted (it's really easy) - if there are fewer entrants, they have a better chance of winning. I don't have as many entrants as I have had in the past but I'm not sure if it is the product, or if they don't want to bother with the 3 questions.

I have found that if you don't at least set some boundaries, you will get a ton of people just saying, "enter me" and moving on to the next contest without really seeing your blog, and that's what the contest is there for!

Anyhow...I went on too long...
Not yet but will be soon. I have a little something very small but hey it's something right. I was asked to review it and they included extras to giveaway on my blog as well. So check over the next few weeks to find out what it is
I Haven't yet, very green to all this, but yeah.. I think I'd like to..
well sort of a contest. A blogger had found a copy of a book that she already had so she gave it away in a contest to me. Once I finished reading the book I offered it back up to the blogosphere. Unfortunately the book got stolen in the mail. :( But I intended that the book keep going around the blogsphere so lots of folks could enjoy it. I even had us list our blogs inside. sigh
Oh yes! The bloggy carnival that comes around quarterly. The prizes were t-shirts to promote my own company. It was fun! It's coming around again July 28th!

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