In a world with no shortage of live events and digital distractions competing for attention, driving high registration numbers is a challenge for many event organizers. But gamification – using game-like elements in a non-game context – can help motivate attendees, build hype, and boost registrations for your event.
By tapping into the psychology of rewards and achievement, gamification makes the registration process feel engaging and fun rather than tedious. Everything from progress bars to badges to leaderboards taps into the human desire for challenge, status, and accomplishment. The more registrations come with that sense of reward, the more people will register to achieve and unlock.
Here are some of the ways gamification boosts event registration:
- Badges and Achievements: Offer badges, points or levels as people accomplish registration milestones. For example, award a “Super Early Bird” badge for registering in the first week. This taps into the completionist mindset and gives social status, encouraging sharing on social media. Digital Summit in NYC offered special access and perks for different badge levels, from “Attendee” up to “VIP Summit Warrior”.
- Progress Tracking: Use a progress bar on your registration page to show how many spots are left. This creates a sense of urgency and FOMO (fear of missing out), motivating registrations to secure a spot. Lean Startup Co uses a dynamic progress bar for their Summits and online courses, updating in real-time as spots fill up.
- Leaderboards: Display registration leaderboards highlighting individuals, teams or companies with the highest numbers. This motivates competition and a desire to reach the top of the rankings. stip’s annual tech conference used leaderboards to drive over 2,000 registrations, offering rewards and recognition for leaders.
- Challenges and Quests: Issue challenges, quests or time-bound missions around registration that unlock rewards. For example, register 5 colleagues to earn a prize or get entered into a drawing. These challenges encourage advocacy and motivate team participation. SXSW’s “SQUAD Goals” challenge asked people to register 6 friends to receive 2 free Film Badges and other benefits.
- FOMO Marketing: Leverage a fear of missing out by highlighting how many tickets have sold, sharing excitement from influencers and attendees on social media, and promoting any scheduled price increases. The imply that space is limited and people should register right away not to miss the opportunity to participate. This sense of urgency and social proof compels registrations.
- Scarcity: Limit the number of discounted Early Bird tickets or make a fixed number of All Access Passes available to create scarcity and a fear of missing out. Scarcity, whether real or perceived, motivates people to act quickly not to lose out.
Case studies show that gamification, when thoughtfully implemented, can drive up to a 30% increase in conversions and registrations. By tapping into human psychology around rewards, achievement, and competition, gamification makes registering for your event irresistible. And the more people register to achieve and engage, the more buzz and excitement builds around your event.
Gamification turns what could feel like a transaction into an experience, and experiences are what motivate us most. Use game-like elements to craft an engaging experience around registration, and you’ll drive greater attendance numbers through the power of play and rewards. Let the games, and registrations, begin!