6 Things to Think About When Choosing a Name for Your Conference

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What’s in a name? When it comes to event branding: a lot!

Choosing the right name for your event or conference is a crucial way to communicate to attendees and non-attendees alike what an experience is meant to be. It sets the tone, creates the first impression, sticks in their brains, and can significantly impact the success of your event. Think of the name as part of the overall theme—and the universal story your event will tell across both the visuals (the graphics, decor, marketing materials, etc.) and the experience (the agenda, activities, etc.).

At SEQ, choosing an event name is an important part of our comprehensive Discovery Process. Here are some steps we take:

1. Reflect on an event's core theme.

We start by having a brainstorming session both internally and with key stakeholders to ask for any words that come to mind when they imagine the event. Are there any compelling words or phrases that tie into this event’s goals, or any key messages or announcements taking place at the event? Is there a milestone, season, holiday, or location to celebrate? 

From there, we narrow down a few ideas—and then push those concepts further by looking into synonyms or word associations. Personally, we like to use resources like Thesaurus.com, Merriam-Webster, Lose the Very, Visuwords, and RhymeZone.

2. Keep it simple and memorable.

A name that's too long or complicated can easily be forgotten. Aim for something sticky but straightforward that will differentiate it from other gatherings throughout the year. Think of names that roll off the tongue, can stay in your attendees’ memories, and give guests an immediate idea of what might happen at the event.

But also, don’t be afraid to have a little fun with it! Our general rule of thumb? The main event name should stay the same from year to year, but a flexible tagline or event theme can be used to enhance the name and narrow the focus of programming to timely priorities, if relevant.

3. Consider your target audience.

It’s always important to consider how your ideal attendees will perceive the name. A corporate business summit might require a more formal name, for example, whereas a creative workshop could have a more playful or quirky title. Understand who you're speaking to and what would appeal to them.

Another important consideration? If your event is tied to a particular brand or organization, ensure the name aligns with its public-facing values and overall brand image. Consistency in branding helps in building trust and recognition.

4. Future-proof the name.

If your event is annual, consider how the name will age. Avoid overly trendy terms that might feel outdated quickly. A name that's too specific to a particular year—or that’s too tied to current brand initiatives—might not work well for future editions, for example. 

Another tip? Ensure the name doesn’t unintentionally offend or alienate any groups. It’s important to be culturally sensitive and inclusive in your choice.

5. Make it unique and searchable.

In the digital age, having a unique name is essential for online visibility. Avoid common names that could get lost in search engines. Do a quick search to ensure your chosen name isn't already in use—especially by similar events.

This is also the time to ensure the name isn't trademarked, and that a suitable domain is available for your event's website. This step is crucial to avoid legal issues and to establish a strong online presence. Pro tip: You can check URL availability for free using SquareSpace Domains or Name.com; conveniently, both sites will offer similar suggestions if your ideal name or URL is taken, which might help the brainstorming process.

6. Ask for feedback!

Once you have a few options, seek feedback from your colleagues, potential attendees, or stakeholders. This can provide insights into how the name is perceived and if it aligns with your event's objectives.

Above all, remember that a name is more than just a label; it's a reflection of your event’s identity and mission. Take your time, brainstorm with your team, and choose a name that not only resonates with your audience but also stands the test of time. Your event's name is the first step in telling its story—make it count!

Need some help establishing a name and theme for your next event or conference? Connect with SEQ today.