Your event may be over but you still have work to do. In this article, we highlight 5 things you must do now that your event is over.Attendees are walking out the door, speakers are closing out their presentations, and the vendors are packing up their booths. Now that your event is over, you are ready to relax and kick up your feet. Well, not so fast. Your work isn’t complete just yet. An event planner's job is not done once the event is over. In fact, the post-event strategy is the most critical component of the event planning process. Unfortunately, this is an area where many companies drop the ball. Research shows that 75% of leads are never followed-up with after an exhibition. This seems like a lot of waste of marketing dollars gone down the drain.
In this article, we will look at some of the critical steps you need to take now that the event is over to achieve meaningful and lasting results.
Say Thanks Within 24 hours
Sending thank you emails to attendees, vendors, speakers, and sponsors is the perfect way to show them how much you appreciate their attendance and support. A simple thank you is a great way to build trust between you and your attendee base. The personal touch is also an opportunity to build a long-term relationship with them. Most attendees aren’t expecting a thank you note in their email or mailbox. If you are looking to receive a few brownie points, it’s highly recommended that you send a thank you note immediately after the event. The standard time frame to send a thank you note is within 24 to 48 hours post-event.
Seek Attendee Feedback
You put all that time and effort into planning your event-but how do you know if everyone had a great time? It’s hard to say exactly how your event went without seeking feedback from the people that were there. That’s why you must send out a survey immediately after the event.
Post-event surveys are extremely important because they are the key to gaining valuable insights about the attendee experience. Post-event surveys not only measure attendee satisfaction, but they help you better understand areas where you need to improve before your next event. The negative feedback may hurt, but it’s essential for optimizing your long-term event strategy. Information obtained from the survey can help your organization see the bigger picture and map out the results achieved during the conference or trade show.
Ask participants for feedback on the date, location, speakers, session topics, vendors, and the overall ambiance of the event. Ask for honest and constructive feedback about the content shared during the conference or trade show. Post-event surveys shouldn’t be too long; they should be direct and get straight to the point.
Don’t forget to survey your vendors, speakers, and sponsors! Their input matters too. They are the lifeline of your event and without them it would be hard to pull off a successful event.
Have a Specific Call to Action
Now that you’ve sent the thank you emails and surveyed participants, it’s time to communicate a strong call to action. What are the next steps in the journey you want them to take? Remember, the communication process of event planning doesn’t stop the moment they walk out the door. Here are a few examples of some direct calls to action.
- Offer exclusive discounts and promotions if they register for your next event
- Encourage them to sign up for a free software trial
- Invite them to register for an exclusive online community where they can access content from the trade show or conference
- Let them chat with your sales team
You can use different messaging to spark their interests, such as “book an appointment today to chat with us” or “Join us for our 2020 show”. Get creative and be direct with your ask.
Now that you have the feedback from your survey results, it's important to analyze the data after the event. Data can help you quantify the event’s impact and effectiveness but also help you make any performance changes for future events. Make sure to measure each survey response against your overarching goals and objectives. This will help you when calculating the ROI and presenting the results to your company. You can also set a benchmark for future events with the new data you now have.
Continue the conversation
The conversation doesn’t have to stop once the event is over. The key to planning any great event is to keep your brand at the top of the attendee's minds. You want them to remember how great their experience was and tell their colleagues to attend next time. To keep attendees engaged all year round, continue to deliver great content throughout the year. Host exclusive virtual events, keep updating your event app, offer exclusive discounts to other events, and repurpose event content. When people keep talking about your event once it’s over, that’s a sure sign of success.
Post-event engagement should continue to drive value to attendees even though the event is long gone. Having multiple methods of communication post-event will help you continue to build a relationship with your target audience and receive continuous feedback on the event lifecycle. You’ll have a better understanding of your target audience and be able to plan more engaging events.