16 Oct Post-Event Follow Up: The Event’s Over, but the Work’s Not Done
After all the planning and budgeting and logistical wrangling, your event has finally come and gone—and it’s the talk of the industry. Everyone had a great time, the speakers captivated their audiences, attendees gained a multitude of new connections and fresh knowledge. Congratulations!
Your job isn’t over. This is the time to build on the buzz, nurture the brand, and get people excited about next year. Here are tips for communicating with participants after everyone has packed up and gone home.
Tips for Engaging Participants Post-Event
Plan in advance
Post-event communication and engagement should be part of the pre-event planning process. For instance, if you’re planning to send a wrap-up e-blast or newsletter, think about how you’re going to collect participants’ email addresses. Make that part of registration, and it will be one of the first tasks completed.
Put together a post-event package
As an add-on for clients, put together a suite of information for them to use throughout the year. Be sure to share any data or stats that demonstrate the event’s success—how many people attended, how much money was raised, what measures were enacted as a result of the event.
Create a survey
Surveys can generate valuable information to better gauge participants’ satisfaction, and can give you clues to determine whether they’re likely to come back again next year. Whether you use a most/least scale, multiple-choice answers, or fill-in-the-blank, a survey gives participants a chance to voice their likes, dislikes, and ideas directly to you.
Questions might include:
- How likely are you to tell a friend about this event?
- How would you rate the speakers?
- What did you take away from the event?
- How would you rate the venue, food, staff, breakout sessions, etc.?
- What were your expectations about the event, and did it meet them?
- How likely are you to participate in next year’s event?
- What did you like most about the event?
- What did you like least?
When it comes to surveys, the key is timeliness. Be sure to get them out within a week of the event, when it is still fresh in everyone’s minds. Also, allow space for attendees to provide additional input.
Reach out to participants to thank them for helping to make the event a success. Whether through email or snail mail, be sure they know you’re glad they came.
Don’t neglect the website
Keep the momentum going by updating the website promptly. Post all your follow-up information here: speaker videos, handouts, links, news and updates. Include a link to the site in any post-event communication.
Hold a contest
A photo contest on social media can get people’s competitive sides revved up. Select first-, second-, and third-place winners based on who gets the most likes for their posts.
Harness the power of the hashtag
Speaking of social media, encourage participants to post their own photos and highlights. Create a hashtag to keep the conversation going and easily find everyone’s content. Include memes and GIFs created from the event to give participants fun extras to enjoy.
Extend an event-only offer
If a new product was launched, or speakers had products or services to sell onsite, coordinate with those vendors to offer participants limited-time discounts or special pricing.
Share donation goals
If the event was a fundraiser, report the results and give people the opportunity to keep donating. Include people who were unable to attend the event itself to keep them in the conversation as well. It’s a reminder that they too belong to the event community.
Offer participants a discount to next year’s event. Consider also offering a “refer-a-friend” discount, potentially for both the participant and their referral.
As you craft your post-event strategy, don’t limit yourself to just one activity or channel; instead, give people a variety of opportunities to connect and reconnect with your brand. It will help you gain valuable data and feedback, while cultivating continued loyalty among your stakeholders.