Naming Your Event – First Annual vs. Inaugural

Annual Events - Inaugural EventsThere are many event names that include the words “First Annual.”

Someone much older and wiser once suggested an event can only become an “annual” event if the event occurs more than once. Add the term “annual” during the second year, not the first. Instead use the word “inaugural.”

Stating your event is the “First Annual” puts a lot of pressure on any event organizer to succeed. It also creates a promise for a future event without any idea if the first one will be well received.

From a purely pessimistic point of view, do you really want to put the word “First” in your name? It signals the event has never been done before, has no track record, no reputation and is unproven.

It surely would set an event organizer up for a long list of questions from a seasoned, potential sponsor who is regularly asked to dole out funds to any of a number of worthy causes. Many of those asking for funds or sponsorships are non-profit agencies that have been in business for years and are well versed in asking for money for a year-round need.

As a sponsor, would you seek year-round exposure or a short-term opportunity at an event, possibly impacted by the weather and organized solely by volunteers?

Kind or not, a “First Annual” event is like putting a target on your back only adding undue and unspoken pressure.


To learn more about event and festival management, check out “Secrets to Successful Events:  How to Organize, Promote and Manage Exceptional Events and Festivals.” For those with event planning experience, consider, “Secrets to Successful Events Resource Guide:  42+ Easy-to-Use Tools and Resources.” Both are written by internationally known author and speaker Lynn Fuhler and are available on Amazon and at major booksellers.

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