Excuse the superlative, but literally the hardest part of creating anything—whether it’s planning events, world building for a novel, or, yes, blog writing—is coming up with the perfect name.
When it comes to the name of your event, you want it to carry the tone of the actual event, as well as give a sense of what exactly the event is. As a bonus, it should be catchy or easy to remember, to help stay top of mind for attendees.
And while it’s impossible to say for sure that using this word instead of that word will guarantee your event is going to be a success, we can take a look at some of the best event names of all time (IMO anyway) to get an idea of how we can name our own events. So in a sense, this can double as an event name generator.
Check out some of the best event names in history below, plus ideas for coming up with your own:
What it is. Going all the way back to classic Roman times, the biggest, most popular event of the year was the Saturnalia, so named after Saturn, the god of wealth, renewal, and liberation (if you’re familiar with Greek mythology, his equivalent there is Cronus, Zeus’ dad).
Because he symbolized wealth and liberation, his festival was all about reversal, feasting, and revelry. Work was suspended, slaves were temporarily freed, a mock king was chosen, and people partook in food, drink, and entertainment. Houses were decorated with greenery and lights, and gifts given to children and the poor. Sound a bit familiar? That’s because this incredibly popular festival is believed to have had an influence on the medieval Feast of Fools, and on modern day Christmas.
Why it’s one of the best. If you were a Roman, even if you’d somehow never heard of the festival, the name alone would give you an idea of what to expect. And you’d probably be pretty spot-on about what you’d be celebrating, and how—Saturn was a pretty household god.
Takeaway. Lean on well-known figures. Call on well-known folk characters or historical figures for inspiration. Be careful not to take from other cultures or copyrighted material, and make sure the name reflects your event’s tone and objective; this will help you work towards your objectives as well.
What it is. This is probably my favorite event name of the bunch. It really takes the concept of the event itself and formulates a great name out of it. HopScotch is not actually a festival celebrating that ubiquitous playground game. No, this is a festival where attendees can taste many different types of whiskey, beer, and spirits—many of which use hops, and of course, the drinks include scotch. Get the joke?
Why it’s one of the best. Because puns.
Takeaway. Use a pun. Subtle puns make the best event names because they’re pithy, memorable and (with the right crowd) incredibly funny.
The Golden Raspberry Awards
What it is. You may have heard of the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year, but what about the Razzie for the Worst? Conceptualized as “blowing a raspberry” to some of Hollywood’s most terrible offerings, this deliberately cheeky ‘awards’ show has been gaining prominence since it was first held in a living room in 1981.
Why it’s one of the best. The Razzies conceptualizes their awards with playfulness and irreverence, and the name perfectly captures a childlike, harmless mockery that we’re all familiar with.
Takeaway. Overturn an idiom. Play off of turns of phrase when thinking of the best event name for your event. Well-known idioms can even help attendees remember your event because of the sense of familiarity!
Lights Out at the Observatory
What it is. When the meteor showers this summer were at their height, the Observatory at the local university hosted ‘Lights Out,’ an evening where attendees were invited to spend the evening at the observatory. They would turn off all the lights—hence the name—and allow attendees an amazing, unhindered view of the meteor shower.
Why it’s one of the best. Not only is ‘lights out’ a literal description of what happens at the event, it’s also a strong image that calls back to soft, quiet nights under the covers.
Takeaway. Use strong visuals. Focus on a single action or visual, particularly if you have one that can succinctly symbolize the event or venue.
The best event names are straightforward.
Simply speaking, the key to having the best event names is being straightforward. And although the examples here have used puns or some symbolism, they are always popular, well-known, or niche enough that the targeted audience will know the reference.
When you’re coming up with the best event name for your event, it can be helpful to ask yourself what the tone of your event is, and what type of name would be best suited. Ultimately, of course, you may find that the best event name is the one that’s been in your spreadsheets all along—Company Name Conference 20XX, or ABC General Meeting. Sometimes the best event names are the ones that say exactly what it is.
Do you have a process for naming your events? What’s the best event name you’ve ever seen? Share your thoughts with us and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog!