Make Your Next Event Memorable with a WordPress Event Plugin and the Peak-End Rule

pictures of memories

Think about the events that you participated in over the past year. Some may have been online or in-person. Which ones do you remember the most?

My guess is that the events that stand out in your mind right now have one thing in common. They are the ones where you felt a sense of belongingness. It is part of human nature to want to connect.

Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project, touches on the value of activities like events: “If you do new things –,” she said. “visit a museum for the first time, learn a new game, travel to a new place, meet new people — you’re more apt to feel happy than people who stick to more familiar activities.”

In this article, we’ll explore how you can make your event unforgettable by using a WordPress event registration plugin and learn about the science behind the peak-end rule.

  1. How does an event help an organization?

We already know that events can provide opportunities for people to connect. However, there are more advantages for a business or an organization. Hosting an event can position you as an authority on a topic.

For example, let’s say you’ve had a lifelong passion for gardening and you run a local plant shop in your city. You could organize a series of workshops where customers can learn about specific topics across the year. Here are a few examples:

  • How to prepare for spring vegetable gardening
  • How to care for your houseplants during the winter
  • How to grow fruit trees in containers

Within the workshops, you’ll be able to share your experience and expertise with fellow gardeners. An added benefit is that this could be a source of revenue for your plant shop. For instance, during each workshop, you could tastefully offer plant supplies for sale, such as pots, quality free-draining potting soil, and fertilizers.

But before you can host an event, you need attendees. Next, we’ll talk about a tool to help you handle event registrations.

  1. What is a WordPress event registration plugin?

Do you remember helping organize an event that used a paper registration process? Perhaps, it was during your college/university days or even with a group you volunteer with. Here are tasks that may sound familiar:

  • Managing stacks of paper registration forms
  • Following up on “checks that are in the mail” from attendees
  • Having to go to the local bank several times to deposit the payments
  • Keeping track of who has paid

The process may have worked. However, it was likely frustrating.

A WordPress event registration plugin makes it easier to collect event registrations from attendees. It takes you from being filled with uncertainty to being calm and in control. Plus, you save a lot of time that would otherwise be spent manually doing tasks.

Here is the list above with notes on how a WP event plugin handles them for you.

  • Managing stacks of paper registration forms → Let attendees register from their computer, tablet, or mobile phone
  • Following up on “checks that are in the mail” from attendees → Send a one-time email reminder nudging an attendee to pay online
  • Having to go to the local bank several times to deposit the payments → Collect secure event payments online through credit cards
  • Keeping track of who has successfully paid → Automatically mark an attendee as paid and add to an attendee registration list.

A WP event registration plugin is like a swiss army knife for events. It can help you sell tickets or event registrations to various events. Imagine being able to expand your impact from your local city to online. You could reach significantly more people with your events by teaching online with Zoom.

Next, we’ll talk about how to make your events more sticky.

  1. What is the peak-end rule?

Let’s say you are on a family holiday at your favorite theme park. It is a beautiful, cool morning on the first day of vacation. You step off the guest shuttle with your family and walk towards the park entrance.

You move through security with your family and approach the check-in area. This is where your excitement begins to build. You allow your family to go first as you reach into your bag to grab your theme park ticket. After a few seconds, your excitement crumbles, and you start to panic. A team member at the theme park asks you to come forward, and you frantically explain you can’t find your ticket.

They smile and wave you forward to join your family.

Another team member walks over and asks you for your name. They quickly look up your reservation with a tablet and confirm it. Within a minute, they hand you a new ticket. You thank them for their time and enjoy the day exploring the theme park with your family, which wraps with an amazing fireworks show.

This story likely resonated with you if you’ve been to a family outing recently where everything didn’t go as planned. It is also an example of the peak-end rule.

“…what we remember about pleasurable quality of our past experiences is almost entirely determined by two things: how the experiences felt when they were at their peak (best or worst), and how they felt when they ended,” the psychologist Barry Schwartz writes in his book on decision making, The Paradox of Choice. “This ‘peak-end’ rule of Kahneman’s is what we use to summarize the experience, and then we rely on the summary later to remind ourselves of how the experience felt.”

Psychologist and economist Daniel Kahneman coined the peak-end rule. Your mind makes memories from your unique experiences.

They aren’t stored as videos like you would record a video from your phone. Instead, they are closer to taking pictures. Plus, it happens even if they are bad or good. For example, a team member at a theme park saves the first day of your family vacation from a disaster by helping you check-in, take photos, and enjoy a spectacular fireworks display.

So what is the best way to use the peak-end rule with your events?

Remember that what sticks out the most for memories is 1) the peak, which can be positive or negative, and 2) how you felt at the end.

Using an event registration plugin for WordPress is a great way to sway the tone of your event positively. This is because a busy attendee can quickly register and pay online. Then your event plugin can send a custom registration email which helps them prepare for the event.

Next, you want to design your event to have several key opportunities for positive moments. Here are some questions to ask:

  • How do you want your attendees to feel when they check in?
  • How can you make your event interactive?
  • What is the biggest takeaway that you want an attendee to have?

The gist here is that at least one of the moments you incorporate into your event will connect with an attendee and instill happy emotions.

In this article, we touch on why events matter. Then we highlight several time-saving advantages of using a WordPress event registration plugin. Next, we explored specific ways to introduce positive moments into your event using the peak-end rule.

As you plan your next event, follow these recommendations to help make your event worth remembering.

Make Your Next Event Memorable with a WordPress Event Plugin and the Peak-End Rule
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