What should we name our association’s event?

Choosing a name for your association’s event falls into two camps. Either it’s easy because you will use the name of your association, along with a word such as “convention” or “expo”, or it is a major undertaking because your association has to come up with a new, exciting, dynamic name.

If your association falls in the latter camp of coming up with a new name, consider the following before you begin the process of creating the moniker. None of these points are “show stoppers”, but they may make you rethink the need to use a separate name for your association’s event.

– From a branding and media effectiveness/efficiency standpoint, there can be a large advantage to using your association’s name for the event. This is because you are able to enjoy the “frequency halo” of other association marketing and communications which necessarily includes the same name.

– If your association does not believe that using the association’s name is relevant because non-members are invited, keep in mind that many associations successfully attract significant percentages of non-members to their events. Moreover, these non-members often gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the association through their attendance. As the non-members realize that their needs exist 365 days per year, not just during the event, many join the association.

– If your association does not believe that the association’s name accurately reflects the subject matter of the event, this begs the question as to whether the association should change its name, or the event should change its focus.

– If the event is jointly produced by more than one association, that may be a good reason to have a separate event name. On the other hand, it may suggest that the associations themselves should merge. This is of course a much larger issue, but if the associations are not able to separately produce successful events, it may be that they are failing in other separate pursuits, making a merger even more compelling.

– If your association produces more than one event and a predecessor event already uses the association name, consider renaming the other event so that both can use the association name along with a modifier.

Using a completely different event name may be the right decision for your association, but you will likely lose some of the branding and marketing benefits of using the same parent name for all association offerings. Always consider the above points to ensure that using a separate name is truly the best possible strategy for your association. You may find be that changing something else in your association is instead the proper solution.

Does your association use a different name for your event? Have you considered changing it to include the association’s name

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