Humans love a good, honest competition. When we have the chance to compete against others, our dopamine levels (the feel-good chemical) starts rushing up, and we get a push of exterior motivation that can help us perform beyond our typical levels. We crave a competitive atmosphere.
In fact, people love competition so much that they’re willing to make less money if it means winning a competition. In a study done at the Harvard School of Public Health, the majority of people said they would prefer to live in a world where they earned $50,000, and everyone else earned $25,000 than a world where they earned $100,000, and everyone else earned $200,000.
So, if you’re looking to boost your event engagement and sales this year, hosting a competition can be precisely what you need. It gets people interested and committed to your event. Plus, it can help spark fundraising goals, sell tons of tickets, and make your event more exciting for everyone.
But how do you do it? Here are a few ways to get people interested in your event competition.
1. Make Registration Simple
Whether you’re hosting a trivia game, some tag football, or a marathon, you need to pack your event with people to create a compelling competitive atmosphere. That starts with your registration process. You want to give people the opportunity to register for your event early and as often as possible. Over 40% of event marketers open registration 3 months in advance to give participants enough time to mull it over.
You also want to make sure that everyone has a chance to see that registration is open. Promote your event on Twitter, put out a few Facebook ads, or even kick it old school and campaign door-to-door. Make sure that everyone registers for your event, or at least the opportunity to.
To really draw in a crowd, you can promote an early bird special the first few weeks your tickets are released. This encourages early ticket sales, event engagement and pushes a sense of urgency on your guests to buy now.
2. Tell a Story
Running a competitive event gives you the perfect opportunity to leverage storytelling as a vehicle to draw in attendees. Every competitor has a story, and you should be telling it. Putting a background story next to customer testimonials from current and past competitors is also a great way to bring in droves of attendees. Over 80% of people trust customer testimonials as much as their friends and family. And having solid testimonials can boost conversion rates by up to 380%.
But that’s not all. Did you know that Google pays attention to your testimonials? Local SEO is a big deal for events and testimonials/reviews account for around 9.8% of Google’s search juice. Want a pro tip? Add those customer stories and testimonials to your ads and event pages. 92% of customers want their ads to feel more like stories anyways.
3. Create Promo Videos
We’re in love with promo videos. They’re cheap to make, and they work wonders for your event marketing; we recommend them to most of our customers. But, if you’re running a competition, promo videos go from a “neat marketing trick” to an absolute necessity.
You want to get people pumped up about your competition. What better way to do that than to show them videos showcasing the competition? Want to know how to make amazing ones? Check out our guide.
4. Let People Watch
What’s the #1 most important component of your event? Your ROI. So why not create new streams of revenue? Think about letting people watch your competition online to get more attendees! Your event will draw out a bigger crowd and that crowd will get competitors hyped. Just make sure to have the online viewers input their email before they can watch to draw in extra data for lead capturing. They could be your next event attendees.
5. Highlight the Prize
All right. Let’s be honest. People compete for two reasons. To win. And to win. So, when you’re marketing your competition, highlight the prize. What are they competing for? What’s at stake? And why should they bother? Here’s the secret — you don’t need a big prize. You just need a prize.
What’s the biggest prize for the best football player at the end of the year? It’s a trophy! These people earn millions, but they break their bones to win that trophy. The prize signifies the win and being the best of the best. So, make sure that everyone sees that there is a prize. That way, they can imagine themselves holding it in front of everyone.
OR you can switch it up. The prize might not be an object, but a title or a rivalry ... who will be the next. champion?! Highlight what competitors are fighting for in your marketing efforts to get people excited about the big event.
6. Always Remember Your Purpose
This is our final and biggest tip — don’t get lost in the competition. Remember the purpose of your event. If you’re a nonprofit, that purpose is your mission. If you’re a for-profit, that purpose is your branding.
Make sure that your purpose is highlighted so that everyone understands the overall goal of the event. If you’re not careful, the entire event can become about the competition — not your overall event goals.