No matter what name you choose, your event should convey the essence and grab your attention. It is not easy to come up with a great name. It might not be interesting enough if it is too logical. It might not be appropriate if it is too unusual. There are only so many words that can be found in the dictionary. Many of these words are already used. The sheer number of options available in your particular category makes Naming even more difficult. SpinGo lists more than 125,000 events each month. What is your name worth?
George Felton’s book, “Advertising Concept and Copy” explains how to name brands, products, and companies. You can see the same process applied to events.
Before You Begin
Before you start the naming process, do your research. Do your research on your event, your audience, and your competitors. Next, ask the following questions and then answer them:
- What is your event all about? What are you trying to accomplish with your event?
- What are you looking to highlight about the event? What is the main idea? What should the name of this key idea be?
- What makes your event different from other events? What are the claims of competitors in your category? Which names do they use?
- Whom are you aiming the name towards? What should you address these attendees? What can you expect from them? What can you do to surprise them?
- Are there any restrictions? You can limit your ability to do certain things, but they also give you direction.
After answering the questions, you can now start naming.
How to choose the right name
Get words straight from the dictionary.
These words may be familiar to attendees, so you can use them in your event. You should choose something appropriate but not too common. Lollapalooza is a well-known name for the famed music festival. Picnic Combining refers to a wine and food pairing event. Open Mic is a live show in which audience members can perform. Country Explosion is Utah’s name for a country music festival.
Metaphors are also a great way to go: Brain Gymnasium refers to a weekly event that offers mental exercises. NPR’s Fresh Air uses both a metaphor and a pun.
Makeup completely new words.
Although it isn’t an entirely invented world, Bonnaroo was initially created to be a music festival. It simply “looked cool,” to its founders. It turns out it is Creole slang meaning “good stuff.”
What is the downside to making up names? Teaching them to your audience is expensive. Once you make it stick, people will not mistake your event for anything else.
Invent portmanteau words.
Felton explained that “two words or parts of two words are easier to understand because they contain identifiable parts. There are many types of portmanteaus. Sometimes, they are a true fusion of part of this word with the part that one to create something new. Sometimes they are two words that have been combined to make a new word (PlayStation WordPerfect ChemLawn PowerPoint FireWire).
Lewis Carrol invented the term “portmanteau” to describe the combination of words that reminded him how different things could be packed into a suitcase or portmanteau. Three words are worth the cost of two. Cotopaxi, for example, calls its adventure scavenger hunting event The Questival (“quest”) and “festival”.
Search for words that are unique to this event.
The history and culture of your event company Manchester could be the source of your event’s name. Perhaps the founder had a pet with a unique name. Perhaps their father was a strange middle name. This type of naming is a hallmark of historic city days. Strawberry Days, for example, is the name given to a community festival in which strawberries once played an important economic role.
You can decide for yourself if a pun is funny or not. Holy Smokes a church-sponsored barbecue. Blood Vessel is a mobile blood drive.
Find out what your event’s heart is and express it in terms that are a bit off-center.
Get people interested. What is a great name for a children’s educational event? Noggin is a good name for an educational event for kids. Apple and Volkswagen created a promotion where anyone who purchased a VW New Beetle got an iPod. They called it “Pods Unites!”
Translate language from another source: pop culture, street signs literature poetry TV music. Breaking Vlad is a theatrical parody (with vampires) from the TV Drama “Breaking Bad”.
Let’s be clear.
Sometimes, the simplest solution is the best. These names identify the event. The Color Run is an example of a themed run where participants are sprinkled with color powder.
The vet is the name.
Your lawyer will need to be involved depending on how big your event is. Vetting the name requires trademark screening, linguistic analysis, as well as determining cultural fit. Does the name exist? Is it culturally compatible with the target audience?
What name should you choose for your child?
After you’ve compiled a list of viable options, you can decide which one to choose. Think about your event brand and its personality. Then consider how the name fits into it. …. is like naming your child. Sometimes you’ll even see it.