Communicating Your Conference Value Proposition To A Short Attention Span World


As the digital wheel accelerates, we find ourselves buried in a tsunami of information… emails, texts, blog posts, newsletters, whitepapers, podcasts, apps.

All this noise is making it harder to spot the greatest hits.

Now think about your conference audience. They’re in the same predicament, yet what do we do? We bombard them repeatedly with conference pitches.

In today’s time-starved world, it’s getting tougher to earn attention, let alone registration commitments. We’ve become a nation of skimmers, most with the attention spans of fleas. We scan emails and delete messages without ever opening them. And video? If we’re not hooked in the first 15 seconds, we’re out.

Keep It Short

People are consuming volumes of information at alarming speeds and most prefer short soundbites.

This “keep it short” maxim applies to conference titles, too. Back in the day, you might hear The 137th Annual Scientific Assembly and Autumn Equinox Consortium.

Today, one or two word conference titles are gaining favor – titles like Great Ideas, Get Smart, Dreamforce.

Capture Your Conference Value In A Phrase

If you were asked to crop your conference value proposition to a single phrase, could you do it? Could you string together a series of words powerful enough to prompt people to take a closer look (or take action)?

Capturing your conference value prop in a single phrase would be a fun brainstorming exercise to try at your next team meeting. If you run with this idea, here are a few ground rules you might share before revving up the brainstorm machine:

  • Make it more about the attendees, less about you
  • Connect with critical problems they must solve soon
  • Be bold, be edgy, but most of all, be relevant

One final caveat

Don’t overlook the audience who already knows and loves you. If your conference attendance loyalty is at 70% or higher (people who attend at least 2 out of every 3 years), don’t mess with your title. Instead, work on developing a powerful tagline that will attract new and qualified buyers to the tent.

What’s the best conference title (or tagline) you’ve seen? What made this so good?

Adapted from Donna’s Meeting Innovation post on Cvent’s Event Planning blog. ©2013.

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  1. […] Does your conference name capture your audience's attention? Does it illustrate who and what your are? If not, it's probably time for a fresh new name.  […]

    1. One of our conferencse iscalled LEAD (short for Leadership Enhancement And Development) with a subtitle of YET (Young Executives of Tomorrow – then Your Emerging Talent) for years. This year we themed it iLEAD, which gave it a flare for technology playing off the iPhone/smartphone technology and it was very well received.

      1. Donna Kastner says:


        Wow – love how these have evolved. LEAD and YET (both the ACRONYMs and phrases) connect with things attendees value – and adding the “i” to LEAD was very smart.

        Two excellent examples — thanks so much for sharing!


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