Names Have Power. Be Sure to Pick the Right One

The government market is not known for having catchy or memorable slogans. Job titles of executives routinely spread over two lines. Legislative actions are named as blandly as possible and then later nicknames are coined for easier pronunciation, quick recall or political branding. Look at how the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act became the Cheeseburger Bill and how the Affordable Care Act became Obamacare.

It's not surprising then that events for the government audience tend to follow these same naming patterns. While music lovers have Lollapalooza and entertainment fans have Comic Con, Federal workers attend Government Software Forums and Data Analysis for the New Threat Landscape. While these are important and serious topics, we'd like to challenge government meeting planners to come up with more creative naming conventions to drive interest and excitement around these critical topics.[Tweet "Ideas for getting creative with government event names. #GovEventsBlog #GovernmentMeetings"]

Here are some ideas to consider when naming your event:

What's the Theme? - Many events listed on GovEvents have really provocative subheadings. Phrases that capture the proverbial "what is keeping you up at night" theme that runs through the program are used as almost an afterthought. What would you want a headline to read if there was an article summarizing your event? Make that your title.[Tweet "Names Have Power. Be Sure to Pick the Right One. #GovEventsBlog #EventPlanning"]

Bury the Host - Many vendors produce and host events as a marketing effort, but typically these conferences provide so much more than a platform for selling product. They feature government speakers, panel discussions, networking, and more. Sometimes leading with a vendor name actually does a disservice to the event. People may see it as a sales gimmick as opposed to an educational opportunity. While you should always be forthcoming about who is producing the event, if it is more than a product demo, consider dropping the brand name from the main title and instead opt for a "hosted by..." subheading or disclaimer on all materials

"Names are not always what they seem."
- Mark Twain, Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World

Initial Check - When looking at names for children, many parents take a quick look at the initials to make sure they do not spell/stand for anything that could be embarrassing when monogrammed on a backpack. Same goes with events. In the acronym-heavy federal market it's likely your event name will be abbreviated or shortened. Make sure that well-meaning shorthand does not compromise the integrity of your event.

Think about SEO - What are your potential attendees googling? What questions and keywords are they researching? Incorporate those into your name to come up in the searches they are already doing. Incorporating key phrases will also extend beyond the website. Presumably they will also be a part of your social handles and tags, creating even more relevancy for search.[Tweet "Has an event name either drawn you in or turned you off? #GovEventsBlog"]

We'd love to hear from you. Has an event name either drawn you in or turned you off an event? Let us know in the comments.

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