Give people a few good reasons why they would want to come to your event:
A strong and clear event description excites people: tell them what will happen at the event, who will be speaking, and what they might get out of attending. Your event may be brilliant, but no one else will know without you telling and convincing them.
Good event descriptions can also lead to more media coverage. This is important—both for encouraging people to attend events and for talking about your subject with a broader audience.
Tips for writing a great event description:
- Write a short, catchy event title
Good examples include ‘Can science save humanity?’, ‘Epigenetics: you are what your grandparents ate’ or ‘The mathematical magic of The Simpsons’. They are attention grabbing or challenging, descriptive, fun and/or convey a lot in a few short words.
‘Healing week in Sydney’ isn’t a great title—people will know the event has something to do with healing and where it is but not much more.
- Put the tastiest bits upfront in the summary
In the summary, tell people what will happen at the event and what is interesting about it.
Include the most interesting and most important information in the summary as this becomes the first paragraph on your event’s web listing. It is read first and needs to engage people quickly.
Note that only the event summary and date/time/location/cost details are included in search results without the full description.
- Give people information, not opinion or rhetoric
Avoid empty, superfluous words that don’t give the reader useful information. For example, ‘a fun and exciting celebration of chemistry’ followed by a list of the organisations involved doesn’t tell us much beyond narrowing the topic to chemistry.
An alternative might be ‘hear about the chemistry behind the hole in the ozone layer, and experiment with and taste the chemistry in cooking’ or ‘hear a prize winning scientist talk about her career in chemistry, her science heroes and what the future holds for her field’.
Don’t rely on adjectives like ‘fun’, ‘interesting’ and ‘exciting’. Let the things you’re planning speak for themselves.
- If your initiative has a suite of different activities and events, give examples
Don’t be tempted by a wide range of topics and activities to over-generalise. You still need to provide people with enough information to tempt them.
For example, ‘an exciting celebration of all things science’ doesn’t really say much. An alternative might be ‘working scientists talk about the science that has inspired them, such as the discovery of the Wollemi pine, Australia’s role in astronomy and the invention of needleless vaccinations’. An astronomy enthusiast might pass over the first version but look into the second.
Highlights and examples make the event tangible. They also provide a wider range of words relevant to the event that can be identified by the website’s search engine.
- Tell us who your experts and speakers are
If experts or speakers are a key feature of your event, tell us who they are!
Your guest speakers don’t have to be famous but do explain who they are and why they’re relevant, or bring an important perspective to the topic.
Remember that you can login later and update your event description, so register early and include speakers or panellists as they’re confirmed.
- Include an captivating picture
Humans are visual creatures. A captivating, interesting picture can help tell the story and promote your event. It might be a photograph of people participating in a previous similar event, it might be related to the topic of the event or it could be a photograph of a drawcard speaker.
- Make it searchable
Remember to include the words people might use to search for your event—such as ‘sport’, ‘robotics’ or ‘art’—in your description. This is particularly important if event speakers are interviewed in the media. Listeners might not remember the expert’s name, or know how to spell it, so including words that are related to their subject matter will help people find the events they’re promoting.
Presenter Petra Webstein