Conference planning is a complex and intense task, with a whole host of ways in which things can go wrong. It’s pretty likely that your focus will rest largely on the big things: booking venues, hiring staff, confirming speakers and attendees. However, one area that is often neglected, but can make a big difference to the experience of the attendees: your descriptions. Attending a conference can prove to be quite disorienting and complicated and a lot of that has to do with specific event descriptions. An event description has to be effective at enticing audience members, but also clear so that people know what is happening, where and when. It can be very challenging to get right, so, without further ado, here are five tips for putting together effective session descriptions at your conference.
1. Get Your Title Right
It will likely be a matter of a few words, but the session title is an area in which a whole lot of things can go wrong for you, and, when done well, a whole lot can go right. “Titling an event is a limited window in which you are able to share something eye-catching and intriguing. You have to emphasize keywords and an economy of language to find the greatest success,” suggests Fabian Hallstad, event manager at BigAssignments and OxEssays. Aim to pique interest and don’t worry about stuffing in all the details; that’s for the description itself. Just make it noticeable.
2. Introduce Some Excitement
One of the biggest crimes committed by session descriptions is being boring. A boring description sends a message that the session itself is going to be a waste of time. You also run the risk that anyone reading the description is too uninterested to even finish reading, in which case you might as well have left the description blank. In fact, if you find yourself with a scintillating title and only boring things for the description, it really is better to simply abandon the description altogether. The best way to inject some excitement is to write as if you were trying to convince yourself to go. Focus on keywords, talk about what will be gained and build hype around the speaker or session leader. Just, avoid boredom at all costs.
3. Nail Down Your Learner Objectives
These are meta descriptions, usually following the actual description itself with a series of objectives, which ought to describe what an attendee can expect to get out of attending a session. There is a delicate balance with these. On the one hand, you have to show a lot of value comes with attendance. You really want to sell the potential attendees a future version of themselves, post-attendance with all their new knowledge and skills. But, on the other hand, you can’t mislead people with your description, and you can’t risk putting anything that an attendee can then come back to you on and find yourself doling out refunds or incurring the wrath of spectators. For example, saying that attending an SEO conference will guarantee an improvement in their site’s ranking is a bad idea. But saying that the session will teach the top 5 ways to manage site SEO for best possible ranking is a good idea.
4. Attendance Guide
Another compelling approach is to advise people on who should attend what session. The counter-intuitive part of this is that it might seem like you are running into issues with potentially turning away attendees based on experience. In fact, being more specific and giving details of who you think ought to attend is a great way to get more people to come to a session. People appreciate feeling ‘qualified’ for a talk and are likely to feel privileged when given the chance to attend.
5. Edit Well, Format Well and Proofread Well
All are crucial parts to putting out an intelligent and professional session description. It’s hard to do this with the degree of accuracy and consistency needed, so here are some helpful tools for writing well: Grammarly, Study Demic and Academ Advisor.
So, in spite of appearing minor in the scheme of a complex conference plan, the session descriptions can have a huge influence on the way that your events pan out. It’s a difficult skill and, in among the general business, is easily forgotten. Use these tips to get it right.