Although I've participated every year, this is the first year I've been able to create a display to encourage my patrons to participate as well:
My display is pretty simple. The sign at the top explains the reasoning for the display, and each section on the display focuses on one award list. Fore example, the top left display is for the Printz award winner and Printz honor books. When Grasshopper Jungle gets checked out, I'll put another book in its place, and the list is right there behind the book, which makes it really easy for me to figure out what needs to go in that space.
I also made a chart with all the award winners and top ten list honorees, sorted it by author's last name (the same way the books themselves are sorted), and printed it out so patrons could keep a copy of the list if they were interested. I haven't heard any enthusiastic exclamations of excitement, but I have seem people looking at the display, which is a start.
There are 83 books on the final list for the Hub Challenge; participants are encouraged to read 25 for the chance to win a bag of books, but I will be attempting, for the third year in a row, to conquer the list by reading all 83 titles. We'll see how long that takes me.
How do you encourage patrons to participate in competitions that are library-related but not specific to your library? Does your library hold a Mock Newbery or Mock Caldecott or something similar?