Your work isn’t over when the last guest exits the venue. In fact, it’s just getting started. When it comes to post-event engagement, you have much more to do to nurture your potential guests to ensure they take desirable action that converts to higher ROI. The key is to stay in touch with the attendees through a variety of social media approaches.
1. Post-Event Survey
A post-event engagement survey is perhaps the simplest way to gauge attendee satisfaction or lack of it. The results provide valuable metrics with data on what went well and what didn’t go so well. The survey should be sent within 12 hours after the event and include questions where guests rate various parts of the event. This can be a 1-to-10 scale asking questions, such as:
- How much did they enjoy the individual workshops?
- How would they rate the clarity of the speaker/presenter?
- Did they like the venue?
- Did they enjoy the food?
- How helpful and courteous was the staff?
For a low rating, such as a five or below, ask guests what was it in particular that caused them to give a low score. Surveys can also come with an incentive, such as a discount code, to increase participation.
2. Networking Event
Are your followers following each other? After the event, you can set up a smaller follow-up event where attendees return. This time, though, the goal is just for returning guests to mingle a second time and get to know each other. This can be a live event or a remote one. Either way, there should be a facilitator. If the attendees were from all over the map, then identify locations where attendees within a geographical area can meet up.
If you prefer a simpler approach, then consider creating a temporary forum where a moderator can start threads and facilitate discussions regarding anything related to the event. People who attend the same event have a common interest, and a networking event creates a community where discussion of your company or broader industry remains fresh.
3. Get Active On Your Blog and/or Vlog
Blogs and vlogs are common pre-event marketing resources. They’re also just as effective afterward. In the days that follow after the event, ramp up your posts; you have plenty of content material for doing so.
Some stuff to include in your blog or vlog for post-event engagement includes:
- A thank you message to everyone that attended
- A montage of testimonials and event highlights
- A post-event offer exclusive to everyone who attended
- A collection of memes and GIFs compiled from the event
- A deeper look into the product or service promoted at the event
Sure, the content above can be posted on your social media, but a blog and vlog allows you to include the content in a much greater depth.
4. Give Back
Your attendees did you a huge favor by attending the event. By all means, send a quick thank you email. However, you should take your gratitude to the next level. Show guests that you really appreciate their attendance by giving them something of actual value. This can be a simple discount code. However, something more physically tangible may be more appropriate. How about a mail-in, handwritten thank-you card with a gift card inside?
A thank you gift should be sent within 24 hours after the event. However, you can also send additional gifts afterward to show that you haven’t forgotten. By the time the next event rolls around, for example, you can send them a personal invitation or exclusive early bird special deal. Let them know that this offer is a thank you for attending the previous event all those months ago.
5. Host a Social Media Contest
Some of your guests may experience post-event blues. This is why you don’t want the fun to stop after the event. Give guests some small stuff to look forward to. One way is some kind of social media contest with a prize for the winner.
Keep the contest simple. Perhaps a funny photo or caption contest using a pic taken during the event using the event hashtag. The winner can be the one that gets the most votes or likes. The entries essentially become user-generated content that furthers market your brand through post-event engagement. Send an email announcing the winner as well as those that came in second and third. Also be sure every participant gets a consolation prize, such as a code good for a small discount.
6.) Extend Event-Only Offers
The day after your event is a golden window of opportunity to push your goals. If a product was launched at the event, then continue to push the product within that 24-hour opportunity. If the product was made available for the first time at the event and was also sold at a discount, then extend that offer for an additional 24 hours and only to the attendees. Likewise, if you hosted a charity event, make it known what your donation goals were and continue to encourage the donations to pour in to meet or exceed those goals.
Social media promotions for post-event engagement should continue even once everything has concluded. This not only keeps the discussions going but also helps you maintain a connection with your guests who otherwise may direct their attention to a competing brand.
Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at Venueseeker, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 6 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently, he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.