I love word play. Thoughtful poems and good song lyrics beg for me to memorize them. And when rhymes are tied to rhythm in a rap, remembering lyrics is even easier.
But word play isn’t just for music.
I recall listening to Sam Horn (the speaker, not the baseball player) sharing a story about her book title, “Tongue Fu! How to Deflect, Disarm, and Defuse any Verbal Conflict.”
What a great name.
Kung fu conjures ideas of self-defense, and Sam ingeniously used the same alliteration for her book title. Of course the content itself (disarming verbal conflict) also plays on the kung fu theme.
Her clever book title grabbed attention. Publishers were ready to offer her a deal on the strength of the title alone.
Songs and books aren’t the only places for drool-worthy titles. I work with two nonprofits that have both landed on excellent event names.
Take a peek at these concepts.
The Eye Ball
The Lion’s Eye Institute for Transplant and Research in Tampa, FL is an eye bank and research center. In short, they save people’s eyesight.
The nonprofit’s annual gala fundraiser has the best name I’ve ever heard: The Eye Ball.
There are eyeballs. And there is The Eye Ball.
Like many nonprofits, this group adds a sub-theme to The Eye Ball each year. The sub-theme also focuses on eyesight.
They have their sub-themes selected for the next four or five years, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise so I’m limiting myself to listing the 2018 and 2019 themes:
- The Eye Ball: Optical Illusion
- The Eye Ball: See and Be Seen
At the gala, guests can hold signs at the photo station that continue the word play. “Eye am making a difference” and “My eyes are towards the future” are some examples of how they reinforce the eye concept.
The Chef Showdown
Loaves & Fishes in Naperville, IL operates a food pantry and runs related services with the goal of ending hunger and empowering self-sufficiency.
Earlier this year they launched a new event styled in the manner of a popular cook-off television show.
They invited two well-known chefs from the community into their market — the same market their clients shop in every week.
The chefs and their local “celebrity” helpers had one hour to prepare a three-course meal using ingredients from the pantry and one surprise ingredient — a fish. At the end of the hour, four judges tasted the meal and selected the Chef Showdown winner.
The rules required that the first course served was a loaf. The main course, as mentioned, was a fish. A la — Loaves and Fishes.
Did you catch that? Let’s recap:
- This is a nonprofit running a food pantry.
- They hosted a cooking competition, whereby the chefs cooked a meal using ingredients from the nonprofit’s own pantry.
- The three-course meal had to include a loaf and a fish — and the nonprofit is called Loaves & Fishes.
That’s a clever way to reinforce their mission!
Here’s my final word play for this post.
In addition to hearing Sam Horn (the speaker) at a conference, I met Sam Horn (the baseball player) earlier this year at a Boston-based Esperanza Academy fundraiser.
It didn’t happen unless I have a photo to share, so … check out the photo.
If you’ve heard some great event names you’d like to share, post it in the comments below!