Inaugural vs First Annual

First Annual vs Inaugural

Quiz: You are invited to the inaugural/first annual 10k benefiting the zoo!

Which phrasing is correct when announcing the new event?

Answer: Always pick inaugural.

When planning an event, no matter how big or small, the people involved hope that the event will be a success and happen annually. Many people decide to use the phrasing first annual so that guests will plan to attend the events for years to come. Unfortunately, there are many things that can prevent the second event from happening – so if you do claim that an event is the first annual, and the organization does not follow through with the second annual event – you accidentally lied to your guests!

Let’s look at a few definitions from Merriam-Webster:

Inaugural: happening as the first one in a series of similar events

First:  coming before all others in time, order or importance

Annual: happening once a year

Combining the words First and Annual means that the event came before all others while happening once a year. Once an inaugural event successful concludes, the planning for the second annual event can begin. So do the grammar police a favor and replace all first annual with inaugural – if that doesn’t feel right to you, just delete annual and we will let it slide.

What would you rather see on an event invitation, inaugural or first?