Optimal Meeting Title Text

If your calendar is full of meetings, you’ve probably had to dig for details as I have to figure out with whom and what I’m meeting about. Having a comprehensive Meeting Titles at a glance can save everyone’s time and energy. Our opinion on how to write optimal Meeting Titles is to have the two most important components up front. The optimal Event- / Meeting Title will tell you two things; who you are meeting and why (read “why” as in briefly indicate the purpose of the meeting). 

  • Participant (Who)
  • Purpose (Why)

That is not to say other variables such as Meeting Duration and Location are not equally important, which I believe they are, but I would argue that they are independent of the Meeting Title.
This suggest a meeting title text comprised of the following three items:

  • Participants + Separator + Purpose

However, this is not just as simple as stuffing the above three variables with available information. Meeting titles have to employ scannable text, given one of the primary uses are Agenda, Day- and or Week-views in your calendar, where the sum of all meeting titles should provide a clear picture of the day or week ahead.
Participant (Who)
Most calendar applications, personal assistants and intelligent agents, this including x.ai, send out only one invite for all participants. Given this de facto setting of all participants seeing the same invitation and thus meeting title, one of the first choices you have to make is which participant you choose to list first. This will inevitably be a compromise, but a choice owned by the person who sends the invitation nevertheless. At x.ai, we work for the host, so we put the name of the guest first, which slightly favors the host as it is easier to scan the titles with guests first. Which brings us to the following setup:

  • Guest Name(s) + Host Name + Separator + Purpose

That said, adding 5 Guests to a meeting title breaks two concepts; the idea of scannable text and actual available characters, given the obvious constraints in calendar applications of showing the meeting in a list or grid.
Accepting the fact that we cannot add an unlimited amount of Guests Names to the Meeting Title, I suggest we apply two optimization techniques; Use first names only and if more than one guest, only show the most important person, while adding a count of guests to the end of it. My justification for this is married to the fact that the purpose of the meeting, if proper, in many cases reveal exactly which person it is. Writing “Dennis” and “x.ai due diligence” in the same meeting title should create a mental connect to exactly which Dennis is being referenced. Which brings us to the following setup:

  • Guest First name (#Guests) + Host First name + Separator + Purpose

I think some people in organic search optimization still argue over what is the best Title Separator or whether it matters at all in this day and age. With Meeting Titles however, all we optimize for is readability. This suggest a separator which clearly designate Participant Text on one side and Purpose text on the other side. So, using an underscore, plus or similar wouldn’t work, but a Dash, Hyphen and Pipe are all valid. I personally prefer the Pipe “|“ as it is short and well recognized as a separator, but if in doubt, make any random search on Google and you’ll see Dash’s and Pipes both vowing for highest Page Title separator use.
Purpose (Why)
This should clearly explain the purpose of the meeting as related to the participants and it needs to be an ultra-short abstract – concise to the point of you moving towards a list of keywords. This immediately excludes puns, “clever” Meeting Titles and any type of marketese.
Make sure the first word is important and truly heavy on carrying information. Do not write; “Talk about Search Engine Optimization”, instead start with “SEO”. Finally, make sure you skip leading articles such as “a”, “an” and “the”.
Optimal-Meeting-TitlesAll that said, how does a great Meeting Title text look like in the end ?

  • John, Dennis | SEO tactics for x.ai

OR for multiple participants

  • John (2), Dennis | SEO tactics for x.ai

Cheers 🙂

n.b. There are also length constraints which I did not speak to in detail, but all calendars will truncate the actual data or the viewable portion at some point and this deserves a separate post.

Pro Tip: Customize your meeting titles using x.ai’s Dynamic Meeting Titles setting.

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