Keeping Attendees Engaged After the Event:
Maintaining Excitement Post-Event
As all event planners are well aware, planning an event starts months – or even years – before it’s showtime. But just because the tablecloths are folded and the signage is recycled upon event close doesn’t mean it’s time to kick back and relax. Post-event marketing is only just beginning! ?
Think about when you make an online purchase; even after your item is delivered, you will receive a series of emails from the company asking how satisfied you are with your purchase, suggestions for related items you might enjoy, and future promotions. Regardless if you make another purchase, those companies are creating brand awareness through continued engagement and interaction. This type of marketing is just as effective in the event planning industry and when done right, is extremely effective in boosting future attendance numbers and increasing the number of repeat attendees.
Let’s dive in to some tips and tricks to successfully maintaining engagement and excitement post-event:
Have a Plan in Place Before the Event
In between figuring out the catering menu and booking your keynote speakers, plan out how your post-event email communication will look. When your post-event email strategy is pre-planned, you can hit the ground running as soon as the final shuttle bus heads to the airport, which will ultimately saving you oodles of time and giving you a better idea of how to most effectively relay your message. Start simply with a thank you email shortly after your event (and while the information is still fresh in your attendees’ minds!) and follow up throughout the year with updates on upcoming events, promotions, relevant content, and to solicit feedback. All of these communication touch-points help to retain your clientele and encourages attendees to attend other events.
Have an Open Ear to Feedback
Everyone likes to feel appreciated, so it’s imperative to not only send out a thank you email to your attendees, but also listen to their feedback. Find out what your attendees thought of various components of the event through a post-event debriefing email, post a survey or poll on the event web page, and don’t forget to review session feedback using your event registration management system. Give your attendees a platform to voice their opinions and make them feel heard. That way, you’ll be able to give your audience what they want in the future and garner repeat attendees.
Encourage Post-Event Networking
We live in an era where information and interaction can be accessed at the tap of a finger. Why should networking be any different? No doubt that your attendees jotted down notes, live Tweeted, and took photos throughout the event; give them a platform in which to share their excitement! Creating an event hashtag is the first step in encouraging attendees to share photos and information after the event, and even offering contests, giveaways, and incentives for people who share and engage through these outlets.
Recap Your Event with Highlights
Everyone loves a highlight reel. Give your attendees a reason to relive your event through a highlight article recapping their experience – think “Top 5 Highlights” complete with photos, social media posts from attendees during the event, and quotes from speakers that made an impact. Share your article with your social network, in an email to attendees, and on your website to boost organic traffic to your website – make sure you have optimized keywords throughout! This single piece of content can be re-purposed as your gearing up for future events as well.
Marketing to your attendees after your event is just as important as the promotion leading up to it. Keep your audience engaged between events so that you’re top of mind when budgets renew year over year and calendars are being planned.
This article is part one in our three part series on keeping attendees engaged during various stages of your event. Tune in next week for How to Keep Attendees Engaged Before Your Event.