How to Write a Compelling Event Description

December 20, 2021 |
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Event promotion is a multi-faceted task that can seem overwhelming to some and get oversimplified by many. Getting the word out about your event isn’t just about where or how often you share the information, (though we will get to that). Any successful marketer will tell you that promoting an event starts with a strong foundation and clearly defined vision. That is where a compelling event description comes into play. Before you can stand on the mountain top and shout to the masses, it is important to know what you will be shouting, and why.

The Details

Let’s start with your event information. In one glance, a vendor should be able to easily identify the basic details of your event: what, when, where, and why. It needs to be clear, precise, and prominent–if a reader has to dig for this information, you may lose them in the search before you’ve even had a chance to make a proper impression.

A red curtain hangs with a lit marquee sign in front of it.  The marque sign demonstrates a very weak event description, "The unbelievably vague craft shows, Saturday in Dallas"

When & Where

“When” and “where” are pretty self explanatory, but basic details are crucial to the success of an event. I highly recommend getting specific with your event description here.  That means including an actual street address or cross section for the location of your event. This allows people who are not as familiar with the area to easily map out their route without having to dig for additional information.  It also prevents folks from ending up in the wrong place–it has happened to me more than once, and I live here! The fact of the matter is: shoppers can be fickle creatures. Attending your event needs to be as easy and error-proof as possible.

People fill the streets and a long row of canopies is visible at Arts Goggle, an outdoor art show in Fort Worth Texas.
Arts Goggle in Fort Worth, TX

What and Why

I have processed so many event descriptions that literally said things like “Come check out our arts & crafts show!”  A generic, bare-bones event description like this leaves a lot of questions unanswered, the biggest one being “Why?” With generic, vague text like this, you are failing to tell your readers what your event is about or why they need to be there. Doubt and ambiguity is not the kind of first impression that you want to make. Answering these questions is all about connecting with your reader and showing them on why your event is worth their time.

If you can’t explain what makes your event unique to a vendor, what faith should they have in your ability to attract shoppers?

This doesn’t apply to shoppers only. Simply having an Arts & Crafts show is not reason enough for vendors to start knocking down your door either. They all want to know what makes your event special.  Here are just a few questions you can use to paint a complete picture for your readers:

  • Does your event benefit a local organization or non-profit?
  • Are you hosting any raffles, make and take crafts/classes, or special activities?
  • Will there be live music, entertainment, or performances?
  • What kind of refreshments will be available onsite?
  • How many vendors will be there? Be sure to highlight any specialties your event will be focused on, such as fine arts, all handmade products, vintage finds, pets etc.
  • Who is your target audience? Is your event family friendly?
  • Do you allow pets?
  • Will there be any special appearances taking place?  If so, specify when. This might include local bands, school performances, Santa, the Easter Bunny, or any character performances you will have throughout the day.
  • Is there an admission fee and/or is parking free?

Now you’ve got an outstanding jumping off point for your event description!  Once you know what you want to say, it is a simply a feat of organizing your marketing points.  With an eloquent, informative event description on hand, you are providing the script for vendors (and anyone else) to easily and effectively promote your event to their own network.  Hooray! I bet having a little help with event exposure is sounding pretty delicious to you right about now.

A dark chalkboard-esque background with a drawn lightbulb on it.  There is a piece of crumbled yellow paper nestled in the middle of the lightbulb, and title text reads "How to create an effective vendor application"

Vendors, Shoppers, or both?

Your next step depends on where you are at in your event marketing process. If you are doing all your homework ahead of time, then you are probably ready to start crafting an effective vendor application to attract small businesses to your vendor marketplace. We have compiled a guide to get your started, as well as a Vendor Application Wizard to help with all the hard work.

A person with painted fingernails and an earring cups their ear, listening. They are in front of a dark concrete background

Spread the word!

Don’t pack up your bags and head home just yet… your job far from done. We all appreciate whatever help we can get with event marketing, but keep in mind that volunteer street team will rarely drum up enough exposure on its own. The responsibility of spreading the word and generating enough buzz for a successful event will still rest primarily on your shoulders. It’s a good thing you don’t have to figure it out alone. Our guide to getting started with event marketing has 5 simple steps to send you on your way to buzz town.

A silver laptop can be seen with someone typing on the keyboard.  Title text reads "how to write a compelling event description"

This article was originally published under the name of Vendor Applications :: Part I – About Your Event and has since been updated for accuracy and relevance.

Originally posted on May 19, 2011.


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