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10 Ways to Come up With Event Name Ideas

Branding is a vital component of any event and can contribute to its success in a number of ways. Coming up with a catchy name for your event is as tough as any event planning task, which is why we wrote this guide.

We are going to share some of the ideas we use when developing a name for events. It isn’t an A-Z list, more a series of ideas you can use to brainstorm event naming.

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1.  Leave it till later

One of the most valuable pieces of advice we have picked up during our time in this industry is to not name or label the event right away. Do all your preliminary work, perform research, audience analysis, decide what you want the event to be, who you want to partner or sponsor with and then come up with a name.

By that time you will know a lot about your event and will have a much better idea of what name will work best.

2.  Dare to be different

It’s tough to stand out in the events business but if you can come up with a good name, you should use it. The usual rules apply of course, make it something family friendly, nothing that would offend anybody, something a sponsor would be happy associating with and so on.

Then check to see whether other events have been called anything similar and make sure you’re not using a name that has already been used. Finally, if you can also make it cool and sharable, all the better!

3.  Short and sweet

Short and snappy names work best. Something that is catchy, on point, sharable across social media, that looks good on a flyer and rolls off the tongue, all the better. Longer names can work but shorter names are easier to remember, can be easily hashtagged, are easy to say and can stick in people’s minds much faster than longer names.

4.  Initials and abbreviations

Checking initials and abbreviations is something every event planner does when coming up with a name. We look for any potential abbreviation, look at the initials and check any slang or shorthand. The last thing you want to do is come up with an awesome event name only to find when abbreviated it sounds like a communicable disease!

You can also use initials and abbreviations for names. Use just initials, remove vowels from a relevant word or be clever with a key phrase and use just initials.

5.  Play on words

Wordplay is great fun but also incredibly difficult to pull off. Double entendre, double meanings, changing a single letter to make the name stand out, changing a vowel for a number or something equally imaginative. As long as the event name idea works for the event and shows it in a positive light, you should be able to use it.

Puns also work well but require good balance to get right. If you can add a little humour to an event name, you automatically increase its potential to be shared and get the PR you’re looking for. It is also something that is very easy to get wrong.

6.  Try to avoid made up words

If you’re trying to name a business event, try to avoid made up words if possible. Too many companies use them and the city is tired of them. Most of them are nonsensical and smack of a lack of imagination and creativity. They don’t convey any kind of meaning either. Those are all things we don’t want from event names so avoid them where possible.

There are enough words in the world to be able to string one or two together to come up with an imaginative event name without having to make one up!

7.  Portmanteau

Technically, a portmanteau word is a made up word but it is made up of real words combined in creative ways. For example, PlayStation is a portmanteau word and is now a global trademark. PowerPoint, FireWire and others are equally recognisable. If you have a selection of shortlisted words for your event name and cannot decide between them, why not combine them?

This would be the only exception to made up words that we can think of. As long as your portmanteau word makes sense, is easy to understand and still gets the meaning across, you’re all good.

8.  Ask the audience

Asking your audience or holding a name competition is a fantastic way to generate names you would never have thought of. Offer a pair of tickets or other prize as inducement and crowdsource your event name. You will be amazed at the creativity that’s out there. We tend to become blinkered when we are deep into event planning so having an outside perspective is valuable.

Hold an Instagram Poll, hold the competition on Facebook, go on local radio or whatever you use to spread the word. Then let the new names roll in.

9.  Competition analysis

Competition analysis is a key part of event planning. We don’t want to hold the same kind of event as our competitors and we don’t want to use the same setup, naming convention or template that everyone else does. A key element of a successful event is originality.

However, looking at what other successful events like yours have been called could generate some new ideas. Use previous names as indicators or as inspiration and come up with something original and memorable.

10.  Vet and check

Once you have your name, check it for any possible negative or rude connotation. Check the initials as mentioned above, check it for any previous events that didn’t perform well and have someone from the outside sanity check the name before you commit.

We have said it before and we’ll say it again. When you’re in the middle of the planning phase of an event, it is too easy to become blinkered. Having a fresh perspective to check, vet and edit your name and any marketing material you’re planning to use could save a lot of red faces!

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