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How to Write Event Listings that People Will Actually Read

Think back to the last time you took a creative writing class, maybe in high school or college. Remember what the instructor always scribbled in the margins of your masterpieces—“Show, don’t tell”?

Sorry to trigger any academic PTSD, but we’re going to revisit that old (yet valuable) cliché in the context of writing copy for your event listings.

If you want to master the art of writing event listings that make your shindigs stand out from the competition, you’ll need to embrace “show, don’t tell.” The best event descriptions paint a vivid picture for attendees. They entice people to not just to click on your event, but to actually register and show up!

So let’s roll up our sleeves and pull out our fountain pens and notebooks (…we’re seeing this creative writing metaphor through to the bitter end). Here are a few tips for writing effective copy to promote your next event.

 

Choose your words wisely.

 

Descriptive language! Active voice! Engaging storytelling! Whether you’re working on your novel or you’re typing up a description of a young professional happy hour, the pillars of great writing still apply.

In your event listings, avoid language that’s overly technical, and stay away from jargon, as much as you may wish to emphasize the synergies that will emerge at your next disruptive marketing soiree (barf). Instead, use straightforward language and active voice to build excitement around your event.

That said, your event descriptions shouldn’t be too wordy. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of clever wordplay, but your first priority is to write an event listing communicates the vital information to attendees. It’s always best to put clear communication above flashy semantic acrobatics.

 

Write for searchers.

 

If you think SEO copy has to sound like it was written by R2-D2, think again. It’s totally possible to write search-friendly copy that doesn’t sound robotic.

SEO is a low-budget way to help more people find your website organically. That means more people checking out your event listings, which can even lead to a major boost in event attendance. If you’re an SEO beginner, this SEO crash course is a good place to start.

If you’ve got some SEO experience and you’re already targeting keywords in your website copy, be sure to do the same in your event listings. Weave your keywords into event titles and descriptions, and take advantage of the extra opportunity to use custom metadata, alt text, and strategic hyperlinking.

SEO doesn’t have to stifle your creativity. As you write, don’t worry about following any overly rigid SEO formulas, and definitely don’t fall into the trap of keyword stuffing. Just focus on writing descriptive, active copy that features your target keywords naturally.

 

Formatting is your friend.

 

By now, we know that people read differently on the web than they do in print. To make it easy for readers to scan your event listing and quickly find key information, be sure to break up large blocks of text with headlines, bullet points, lists, bold or italic fonts, and images or videos, when appropriate.

Let’s say you’re hard at work on the event description for your young professional happy hour. An effective listing might be formatted with a bolded headline for each section: When, where, what to bring, registration details, and so on.

You may also want to include a video or photo gallery that shows the last happy hour you hosted. Even the most compelling event copy can benefit from some visuals to illustrate just how awesome your event will be and why people should show up.

If you keep these tips in mind the next time you sit down to write an event listing, one thing is certain: You’ll be well on your way to crafting copy that dazzles and delights!

Then, when you’re done, print out your immaculate new event description and write your own feedback in the margins: “A+! Your finest work yet! You beautiful genius, you!” Whatever you want. We won’t judge.

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