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The activity description is your introduction to the general public visiting the Culture Days website. It needs to hook people in a few sentences with a compelling reason as to why they might want to attend your activity out of the possible hundreds of activities happening in your province. Here are some tips on how to write a great activity description. These can also serve as guidelines for issues and logistics as you get started on planning your activity.
Think journalistically: provide who, what, where, when, why and how at the top of your description
- Who are the artists, presenters and collaborators? Make sure you include the names of all the artists leading workshops, tours or talks once they are confirmed. Not only is it good recognition for their contribution, but visitors to the website might know of them and want to attend for that reason.
- What is going on? If there are multiple activities happening at your location, don’t lump them all together. For instance: if there an open house, a hands-on workshop and a guest lecture all happening over the course of the weekend, register each as a separate activity. After you save your first activity, you can click “New Activity” from the main “My Activities” page to add another activity.
- Where your activity takes place is entered into the activity address box. While signage will be important on the weekend, please also indicate in the specific directions box if there are unusual directions to get to your activity. Nothing is more frustrating to a participant than poorly explained directions.
- When activities occur (date, start time and end time) is selected using the calendar function after you enter the activity description. This means that you don’t need to include date and time in this description. However, an important detail to flag is whether or not people can drop-in to your activity or if it is important that people arrive on time to participate.
- Why should the public want to attend your activity? Tell us what makes it unique and interesting.
- How will the public engage? Avoid general words such as interact, participate, collaborate without qualifying in what way the public will get to do these things. For instance, this is too general: “the public will interact with craft artists.” Tell us how the public will interact, such as: “the public can pick up a needle and a pair of scissors to be part of a community quilting bee.”
Try to keep your full description short and sweet
3-4 compelling sentences is usually enough to convey all the essential information for a single activity. Visitors to the Culture Days website will want to get the vital information without having to read long descriptions, which brings me to my third point...
Provide a web address if you have one
Visitors to the Culture Days site can follow the link to your website to get background information about you or your group, your art form and your major career highlights. You don’t need all that information in your activity description to make it compelling. This also provides you with a cross-marketing opportunity.
Avoid too many exclamation points!!!!!
Yes, we know you are excited and we are too! But if you put an exclamation point after everything you write, the exclamation loses all meaning! Visitors to the Culture Days website will be reading many activity descriptions, not just yours. It is best to avoid exclamation overkill. Instead, use descriptive words to convey the excitement of your activity.
Indicate if there is a target audience or preferred age group
Be clear that the craft studio is meant for kids, or the dance class is only for seniors if that is how you have conceived of your activity.
Just a bit of reassurance
You don’t need to know all these details right now. When you register, you will see that your activity is indicated as DRAFT. If you hit the PUBLISH button, you are approving that the information is correct and ready to be viewed by the public. But don’t worry! Even after you publish, you can go back into your activity to make edits, so if details change, you can always adjust them and then re-publish. We encourage you to PUBLISH sooner than later, so that your activity can benefit from our marketing and promotions as early as possible.
Written by Aubrey Reeves, Ontario Arts Council’s Culture Days Animator/Coordinator
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