I wish more people gave out vested STEEM as prizes. Its a gift that keeps on giving if they don't power it down.
Well I have read other responses to this questions and I will just like to add my own opinion.
The reality is most people would rather have liquid steem as rewards because its easier to convert to fiat. But as a stakeholder here on steem, I believe my major interest is the development of steem which in turn is in my best interest, and thus I will most likely favour incentives that are in the best interest of this platform. With that being said, I think the best form of rewarding participants in contest is upvote. Why? Because they both get liquid steem and sp. However not too many people have that much steempower to give a sizable upvote, thus, I will opt for delegations. Now most people do not value delegations that much. Currently I am holding a contest where I give 5 people 100sp delegation. The response has been poor and I have only managed to give just two persons.
So in a nutshell, I feel whatever contest we hope to create in the future should be geared towards our growth and that of the steem ecosystem.
With SMT coming this year (and possibly mass-adoption too), I think now is the perfect time to start creating a middle-class (users with a decent SP and can give a decent upvote worth).
One of the main problem the Steem platform is facing for months/years now is the unequal distribution of rewards. The fact remains that only a few people can give a decent upvote and is the main reason why many posts are not rewarded enough.
If there are many accounts who can at least give a $1 worth of upvote, the platform would be much more social and active.
If we reward people with liquid Steem, chances are they will immediately cash that out. There's nothing really wrong with that but what Steem needs right now are people who will stay in the long run. People who really believe in the platform and not just try to leech on it.
Kinda like trickle-down economics. The people who we are trying to grow now are the same people who will help the newcomers to grow in the future. And in order for those people to grow they need to power-up their account, they need more vests! :)
I feel "liquid steem" as reward is more valuable. It gives more liberty to spend freely. Where as other form of rewards like vested steem, delegated steem or upvote, one has to wait to reap the benefits out of it. The next best form of reward after "liquid steem" is "upvote" as at least someone will get 50% liquid reward after 7 days to enjoy it and spend it.
So if you compare all the four form of rewards then the instant access to the reward is "liquid steem". The most important part of "liquid steem" reward is that it is calculated based on its worth on usd. That is why when the price of steem is high the liquid steem reward is generally kept low and similarly if the price of steem is low, just like now the amount of liquid reward is kept high. So basically the quantity of steem reward is decided based on its worth with USD. So keeping that in mind it is better to have liquid steem reward and spend it out-rightly as per your wish.
In other form of rewards there is always double mind kind of things where as in liquid form of reward, the mind generally does not have double side thinking and generally people participate in a contest to gain some instant money, however contests with other form of rewards do prevail and they are popular too. But on a comparison basis, "liquid steem" rewards comes first in my honest opinion.
While this is something which does really gets into the mind of a user while taking part in a contest. So in basic thoughts most f us would sure go for the liquid Steem as a reward as after getting the reward there is a liberty to do anything with the reward value.
Whereas, if we look it a different way and see things closely when it comes to a user who has high SP in his/her account than probably that user will sure go for the liquid Steem for the reward and what if the users who are struggling with the amount of SP in their account and due to that they are not able to communicate with other users as of the RC issue. So instead of liquid SP the dsp could really help those users to come to affect and make a proper connection with those dsp in their account.
While as after the the DSP they can see the increse of their activities and can know the real value of SP in Steem Blockchain. For which they will focus on gathering SP in their account so that they can obtain that value for themselves in here.
As the SP delegation could be taken back at any point so it is quite easy to take it back if the user is misusing it.
So basically it depends on the user who is getting the reward and the condition of the wallet of that user. (In a way)
@Uyobong, In my opinion, it should be Liquid Steem because liquid Steem can play the role of other three options. Stay blessed. 🙂