You’re browsing a conference website. The dates look good. The city is appealing to you. The hotel seems to offer a reasonable rate. The schedule is jam-packed with offerings.
So does the conference offer anything of education value?
You click the link to the education sessions. There you see a long list of hyperlinked session titles arranged chronologically by date and time.
You start at the top and scan the list.
First title: dud. Second title: ho-hum. Third title: boring. Fourth title: mediocre. Uh-oh, there’s a pattern here.
Boring Titles Equal Boring Sessions
You scan the rest of the list looking for something that grabs your attention. All of the education session titles fall flat. Nothing entices you to click the link to read more.
You feel letdown. Disappointed. And question if the education offerings have anything of value to offer.
Why so much emphasis on the education session title?
If the education session titles are boring, you know the session is going to be worse. That’s right. The session title is usually a reflection of the presentation.
Boring, emotionless session title equals boring, emotionless presentation.
Entry Way Or Exit Titles
What’s the goal of the education session title?
I bet you said, “To get someone to attend the conference education session.”
Well that’s wrong! You just failed conference marketing 101!
The goal of the session title is to get you to read the first sentence of the session description. The goal of the first sentence is to get you to read the next sentence. And so forth until you’ve read everything and say, “Hmm, that sounds like it’s worth attending.”
It’s the whole package that counts and your session title is the entry way or exit for the reader!
Writing an education session title that clearly states what the session covers may be to the point but does it attract?
No, not really.
And when you have lots of boring, ineffective education session titles, the reader automatically assumes that the entire conference is going to be average.
Your Title Should Appeal To The Reader’s Emotions
Communication is the key to effective marketing. The key to marketing is reaching your client at an emotional level.
Your education session title needs to invoke an emotional response in the reader.
Research by Dr. Hakim Chishti shows that our emotions are affected by the sounds of words. Some words have built-in tones that impact specific areas of our mind. Those tones have a meaning regardless if the word is spoken out loud or within in our mind.
Dr. Chishti and his team developed special algorithms that analyzed English words for their emotional impact in three areas: intellectual, empathetic and spiritual. They created a free Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) tool that scores your headline based on its EMV. The tool allows you to identify the business or industry you’re trying to attract with the headline as well.
The higher the EMV, the more likely the headline will attract. Most headlines score between 30%-40% EMV. Skilled marketers’ craft headlines that score between 50%-75% EMV. Check out how to use the tool below.
I suspect that most of conference education titles score less than 30% EMV, thus repelling readers.
The next time you’re working on conference education sessions, use the EMV tool to develop better titles that attract your readers. And don’t forget the emotional appeal!
PS: The title of this blog post received a 84.72% EMV for the community and government industry.
What type of education session title attracts you? Why do so many believe that conference education titles have to be simple and straight forward, lacking any emotional appeal?
Kristi Sanders says
Oooo… How cool! I’m going to have to check out that EMV device. Thanks for giving me yet another little weird online gizmo to geek out about. xxoo, KCS
chris uschan says
This is one of your best articles!
Session titles DO have major influence if people will continue to read more. People buy on emotion much more than they do on logic.
This article reminded me of the 3/30/3 rule…
— 3 seconds to grab your readers attention.
— 30 seconds to engage your reader with a summary to take action.
— Then you have 3 minutes for your prospect to drill deeper.
Hopefully, those people who manage the acceptance of speaker presentations are coaching their speakers to write compelling titles and descriptions.
Sandra Giarde says
I love this more than words can say!
Not only have I shared this post and the online EMV tool with our staff team but we are implementing new changes.
Now, any marketing communication, session title, magazine headline, cover teaser blurb, etc. needs to have the title run through the analyzer and provide its score before it is approved. Our first goal is titles with at least 35% EMV. As our team grows and learns, I hope to have our titles hitting that lovely 50% or more score.