Organizing an event is hard work from start to finish. But if you think your work is done after the last truck leaves the venue’s loading dock, think again. If you want to keep your audience engaged and build on the momentum and goodwill you nurtured before and during the show, you need to employ some post-event engagement strategies. By implementing the ideas below, you can keep people excited about your show enough to attend the next one, as well as capture the interest of those who were unable to make it.
1. Create a post-event webpage.
Just as you used your website to promote your event, you should also set up a post-event page so you have a dedicated space where you can share the highlights of the show. This will spark memories in attendees, and give those who were unable to make it a glimpse of what they missed—both of which will encourage people to come out the next time.
2. Keep social media current.
In addition to providing information on a post-event page, you should also continue talking about the show on your social media—and be sure to use your event’s dedicated hashtag when you do. But don’t make your posts all about the show; as you plan the next event and continue building excitement in your audience, don’t stop giving them the regular content they expect from your brand.
3. Thank participants.
Event attendees invest their time, money, and energy coming to your show, so in order to demonstrate that you appreciate their efforts, it’s important to thank them for attending. However, a generic thank you note is not enough to boost your post-event engagement. When emailing attendees after your show, be sure to include the high points of the event, as well as personalized information based on what sessions they registered for and what they indicated their interests are. If you want to make the communication even more personal, you can send attendees a handwritten note or call them.
4. Send a “sorry we missed you” note.
Just because someone wasn’t able to attend the event doesn’t mean you can’t send a post-show email to keep them engaged with your brand. Let them know that you’re sorry they couldn’t make it, as well as what they missed, so they will be motivated to come to the next one.
5. Organize mini-events.
If you have a long cycle between events, it’s a good idea to organize mini-events in order to keep participants’ conversations going. For example, a national association that has chapters in different cities can plan small local events so members can get together to connect with each other between the main conference. Also, event organizers can plan online seminars with the content that matters most to event attendees so they can continue learning between shows.
6. Conduct surveys.
A survey is a great way to find out how successful your show was with your audience, while demonstrating that you care about their experience. This will also help with your future events, since the data you collect will reveal where you delivered on participants’ expectations and where you missed the mark. In order to increase your chances of getting responses, make sure your survey is a reasonable length with questions that have a rating scale and a space for narrative feedback. Also, you can incentivize participation by offering a gift card or discount on the next event.
7. Emphasize continuing education.
Many people attend events in order to get continuing education credits at a discounted rate. After your show, be sure to remind attendees of the continuing education credits they earned for the sessions they participated in. Also, you can tell people who didn’t attend about the professional development opportunities you offer, and emphasize how they can save on the continuing education classes they may need to maintain a professional license or generally increase their earning potential.
8. Provide relevant resources.
You can use your post-event webpage to create a resource library that includes the best moments from the show, such as videos of popular sessions or presentation slides. In addition, include non-show material, such as ebooks, articles and blog posts covering topics that build on the areas discussed during the event.
9. Show video highlights.
It’s not enough to tell people what happened at your event; you should also create a sizzle reel that you can post on your social media and show website in order to give people a look at what they missed. Also, videos of speakers can be promoted on your platforms and theirs, which can help to introduce your show to new people.
10. Hold contests.
Contests are effective for increasing your post-show engagement and keeping your event top of mind as you organize the next one. You can give away tickets to your show by running caption or trivia contests on your social media or newsletter to keep your audience coming back to your platforms regularly.
Although these strategies are effective ways to engage your audience after an event, you can’t truly reap the benefits unless you have specific goals in mind. Do you want to increase your social media reach? Get people to register for your next event? Get more qualified sales leads? In order to get the most out of your post-event engagement, it’s imperative that you clearly define your goals and use the strategies that will best help you reach them.
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