Online event and exhibition listings outline all of the essential information needed for a potential visitor to know what you have going on, how to attend and how much it might cost. Writing the best listing you can is essential in ensuring that your events and exhibitions are properly communicated to audiences.
There are many places that you can list your upcoming events and exhibitions, including on your own website, on your social media channels and in listings databases such as Culture24’s DDE system. While these platforms may require slightly different tactics, the most important points are similar across the board.
It’s great for exposure if you can get your event listed in as many places as possible, but if you’re short on time you may want to choose just one or two – think about the audience that you’re aiming your event towards, and what platform they’d be most likely to use.
Why online listings are important
Essentially, online listings help you get your event seen – no one will come if they don’t know it’s happening. Posters and fliers in your own venue are good for targeting recent visitors, but if you’d like to reach out to new visitors, or visitors who haven’t been in a while, it’s well worth advertising your event online – here you’ll find the biggest reach, and most platforms will be free.
Another good reason to take advantage of online listings is that it makes your events much more shareable. People who are interested in your event are able to share the information with their friends and followers quickly and easily, which makes the potential reach even bigger.
It’s important they are well written, so you have the chance to turn potential visitors into actual visitors. Visitors can be put off if they need to seek out extra information from you.
If you are adding your listing to your own site or social media channels make sure that any important written information is in text, rather than in an image (ie a digital version of a poster). This is important for both accessibility and discoverability, as screen readers and search engines cannot read text that is on an image.
Some essential things to include
Title – be succinct but clear what the event is. You don’t need to give away the whole content of the event – there’s room for that later. For an exhibition listing you’ll want to simply use the name of the exhibition, and for an event you’ll want a very brief description (ideally no more than 60 characters) of what the event is, eg: ‘Black Veterans of World War Two – An illustrated talk’. If you are running your event to take part in a wider festival or commemoration (such as the Museums at Night festival or British Science Week) don’t just give your event the same name as that festival, because that doesn’t set you apart from the rest of the events taking place, and doesn’t give your potential visitor any idea of what to expect from the event.
Description – here you can add more information, be clear what the purpose of the event is and what the visitor can expect to see and do. You can also outline if there is anything the visitor should bring with them, such as sturdy shoes and waterproofs for a walk, or a torch for a bat walk.
Date and time – one of the most important pieces of information, visitors must know when your event is.
Target audience – be clear who can attend, whether it’s for kids, families or adults only.
Charges – make your admission charges very clear and ensure you state how your visitors can purchase tickets. Make it as easy as you can for your visitors to buy their tickets.
Weblink– if you are adding your event either to a third party listing website or to social media make sure you include a link, either to the event on your own site or a ticket purchasing site such as Eventbrite.
Image – pictures are so important for making your event stand out and look appealing. For exhibitions, a good quality, large picture of one of the artworks or objects on display, or an installation view is a good idea. For events, a photograph of people engaged and having fun at a previous instance of this event, or at a similar event, will really stand out. Remember that when adding your listing to a third party site you may have no control over whether the image crops or what size it is shown at. Because of this you should steer away from using text in your image, as it is unlikely to be easily readable.
Often events listing/ticketing services will have their own guides online so look out for those too, for example: