I’ve seen some truly terrible event names in my time. Would you go to any of these events?:

  • Long Term Planning Conference for the Development of Rural Lincolnshire
  • An Evening With Kayleigh Simpson
  • Wine Tasting
  • The London Tower Experience (no relation to the actual Tower of London or Tower Bridge)

These are all fictional events, but I see event titles like this every day. If you’re really interested in one of the topics, you might be tempted, however if you only have a passing interest, these titles are unlikely to woo you. The first is too wordy and sounds pretty boring. The second: who on earth is Kayleigh Simpson? What kind of wine: is it just for wine connoisseurs or will bargain wine drinkers find something appealing there? And the last one is likely to end up with a bunch of disappointed tourists looking for Anne Boleyn’s ghost.

Low attendance is a complaint of many small businesses running their own events, but by putting just a little more thought into what is often one of the quickest-made decisions during planning, it is possible to encourage people to actually seek you out to find out more about your event, rather than you having to do all the running: a good event name can sell itself. Here are my event naming top tips:

  1. It should be catchy. For example, “Learn To Sell!” sounds a lot more exciting than “Sales Training Course”, and even that can be improved on. Avoid long names: if possible stick to one to three key words for the title (excluding connectors such as “in” or “the”).¬†If it’s an annual event, it should sound just as catchy if you put the year of the event after it, because that’s how it will occasionally be known. This also makes social marketing easier, as you won’t take up so many Tweet characters with your username or hashtag.
  2. The name shouldn’t bee too similar to other well known or local events, publications or organisations. For a start, you may not want to be¬†affiliated with them, and vice versa. Secondly it could confuse your audience, and of course there may be copyright or trademark laws in effect. The best bet is to go for something totally original.
  3. Only feature the names of speakers or special guests if they are household names, or will be well known to the attendees. “Ellie Onions Fashion Show” won’t mean anything to your target audience if they have no idea who Ellie Onions is. “New Designer Fashion Show” would be more appropriate, or something incorporating the style of fashion, such as “High Fashion; New Designer”.
  4. Make the most of a sub-heading. The name of your event should draw people to want to learn more about your event. The tagline should tell enough of the story that people will know if they’re likely to be interested. E.g. “A Taste of Tuscany: come try our Italian canapes and the best wines in the world”. This is also where to mention key speakers or notable people involved (such as our fashion designer from the above example) if required. This can also help with search engine optimisation, by filling it with keywords.
  5. Feel free to incorporate interesting elements of the event in the title. For example, if you’re running a wine tasting on a Thames riverboat “Tasting on the Thames”. Seasonal events are also popular themes to include, and if you’re doing any sort of social event in December or even November, cash in on the festive feeling.

Ideally you want an event name that you can whip out when talking to people at networking and meetings, which will encourage them to ask more about it, and which looks good in print and graphics for your event marketing campaign. Keep it short, catchy and memorable, and you’ll have an event you and others will be proud to tell people about.

Note: this blog post originally featured on www.socialquirk.co.uk.

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