Event marketing is typically done before and after the event. It’s what boosts attendance and revenue before check-in, and facilitates engagement after everyone goes home.
But what should organizers be doing to keep attendees engaged between events? Also, how can we create that same energy and excitement we feel when an event is right around the corner? We’ll get into all this and more, and give you our favorite things event planners can do to hold on to their attendees between events.
BTW – Want to hear more about how event pros are keeping attendees engaged these days? Check out the replay of our webinar: Don’t Lose Your Attendees Between Events!
Create a marketing plan.
The first step to staying connected to any audience, on any platform, is to create a marketing plan to keep track of all your future content.
Start by getting an idea of how many “audience retention” posts your team can complete on a weekly basis. If only 1 video or 1 written piece is the max, then that is totally fine, especially if it’s original content. Next, schedule all of the posts on a content calendar, and assign who needs to do what, and by when.
There is no perfect number of posts, videos, stories, reels, TikTok, blogs, or newsletters that you need to create in a week, there just needs to be some consistency. Your audience sees tons of content, so you have to appear in their feeds at regular intervals to stay connected.
ProTip: Schedule blocks of time specifically for brainstorming. Idea generation requires a different mindset than content creation. There’s probably a scientific reason, but just trust us!
Make use of event data and analytics.
Your event data from past events is essential to determining the types of content your audience is interested in and the platforms they want to engage with it.
Take a look at which sessions were most popular at your last events. What topics did the audience gravitate towards? Which panels had the best questions and discussion? This will give you a starting point for the themes that will shape your content.
Also take note of which platforms your audience likes to engage with. Is it Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, or the next big thing? You have to go where your audience is, at first at least. After you build a following you can post more on the platform of your choosing.
ProTip: Make sure your entire marketing team has access to the event data and analytics. This info can be helpful in building and shaping your brand, and business as a whole.
Create short-form content.
Shorter content, especially in video form, is going to get the most engagement no matter where you post it.
According to a recent Forbes article, the most successful content traits are, “short-form content, personalization, and exceptional delivery.” This trend obviously began with TikTok, but it’s also taken over Instagram, Facebook, and even Youtube.
Plan for 5-15 second videos, maybe a minute if you have something really special. The content should also feel like it comes from a personal place (almost like it’s from a personal profile, not a business profile). Lastly, the content has to be exceptional. The text on-screen needs to be clear and concise, the voice confident, and the video quality acceptable.
ProTip: If you’re new to making content, have your team create a handful of practice videos, and then start to post when you feel like you are ready to share.
Write thoughtful newsletters.
An original and thoughtful newsletter is one of the best ways to create a lasting connection with attendees and expand on your short-form content.
Think of your newsletter as a way to show your attendees that you are a thought leader in the industry. You’re not just here to parrot the same things everyone else is talking about, you have your own unique view on issues that your attendees care about.
These newsletters are also a good place for former speakers, panelists, and even attendees to write pieces about what’s on their mind. The more everyone feels like the newsletter content is a community effort, the more attendees will be engaged with it.
ProTip: Include your best video content in each newsletter to break up some of the words.
Keep the conversation relevant.
The best way to stay in touch with attendees is to talk about issues that are relevant to them at the moment.
Your event may have happened 6 months ago. Recutting event footage or talking about old panels will only get you so far in keeping people engaged. You have to make sure you are talking about topics that your attendees want to know about right now.
One way to do this is to create a reel or story with a past speaker or panelist, where the speaker can preview a new presentation or concept. You could also take a poll on Instagram to gather fresh questions and topics from attendees, then answer those live on Instagram with your marketing team.
ProTip: Look at comments on social media posts from yours and other similar events to see what’s on everyone’s mind.
Produce a short virtual event.
A short virtual meet-up or webinar, much like the one we hosted, creates an engaging event that anyone can attend without having to travel.
Think of this as a 10-30 minute event or roundtable where attendees can interact and feel that live-event experience. They can ask questions, say hi to each other, and stay engaged with their event community that they maybe only see a few times a year.
ProTip: Virtual events are great for discussing pressing topics. You can get everyone together on short notice and create an experience that feels real and organic.
Keep attendees interested in YOU.
The best way to hold on to attendees between events is to keep them interested in your content, your ideas, and your event experience.
Using data specific to your event will ensure that you are connecting with topics attendees enjoy. Creating a short-form video that mimics the best of social media is one of the best ways to keep eyes on your event. And putting out original thought provoking content in newsletters, will give attendees a real reason to stay in touch. In the end, you’ve got to get people excited about YOU, just like if you were marketing before the event!