You’ve put a lot of time into planning the perfect event. You’ve had your ups and your downs, but the day of the event has finally come and gone. Everything went off wonderfully. You can now breathe a sigh of relief that it’s all over. Or is it? The end of your event is really just the beginning. Now that your trade show, conference, convention, or other event is over, it’s time to start post-event communication. Post-event communication allows you to keep your attendees engaged. It can also help you determine what went well — and what didn’t — so that you can plan even better events in the future.
Despite the importance of post-event communication, this step is often one of the most overlooked areas of event planning. Many people focus so much on pulling off a great event that they forget to follow up with the guests. According to Marketing Donut, 75% of leads generated at an event don’t receive any follow-up communication. Additionally, Salesforce found that 80% of exhibitors don’t follow up after an event. That’s a missed opportunity. It’s also a waste of all the money they put into marketing the event. However, these results do present you with a unique opportunity. Create a solid post-event communication strategy, and you will stand out from your competition.
From thank-you emails to planning for your next event, here are some of the best practices to help you make the most out of your post-event communication.
Send Out Thank-You Emails
Your event wouldn’t have been a success without your attendees. One of the easiest ways to show your appreciation for your attendees is to send out thank-you emails once your event is over. They took time out of their busy schedules to come to your event. Saying “thank you” is the least you can do. While it’s a simple gesture, you might be surprised to learn how far it goes.
You can take your thank-you email one step further by including a summary of the event. Share pertinent information, memorable moments, event statistics (such as the number of attendees), and some of the best event photos. You might even consider including a link to your social media pages or your event website, where attendees can access all of the pictures taken during the event (professional and from guest submissions). Events.com offers a feature that allows event organizers to exclusively email “active” attendees. (i.e. attendees who actually participate in your events). You can choose to either send emails immediately or schedule your send. With Events.com, you can also customize thank-you emails to special guests like VIPs.
Don’t Forget Those Who Helped You Pull Off the Event
In addition to thanking your attendees, don’t forget about exhibitors, performers, speakers, vendors, and sponsors. They did, after all, help you pull off the event. Part of your post-event communication should include thank-you emails to these individuals too. They’ll likely remember this kind gesture if you reach out to them again regarding future events. It can go a long way in helping you develop a lasting relationship with these individuals. It may even pave the way for working together in the future.
Send a Note to Those Who Couldn’t Attend
It’s nice to think that everyone you invite to an event will be able to attend. But, the reality is that you’ll probably have some people who can’t come. They might not have been able to join you this time, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in your future events. Keep them in the loop — let them know that you’re thinking of them with a “sorry we missed you” email. Provide them with a summary of the event and a link to your post-event page. This thoughtful little note lets them see what they missed. Again, it’s a small gesture, but it can generate excitement for your next event.
Create a Post-Event Survey
Part of executing a successful event is knowing what worked and what needs improvement. As an event organizer, you don’t have the same perspective as an attendee. The people who came to your event are invaluable resources. With their feedback, you can create an even more spectacular event in the future.
The best way to get that kind of feedback is with a post-event survey. Surveys can gauge attendee satisfaction and gather valuable data that you can use to improve future events. Request attendees to answer questions on a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10. You can have them rate metrics such as:
- The speakers
- The venue
- The food
- Their enjoyment of the event workshops
- The friendliness and helpfulness of your event staff
You could also include open-ended questions that ask for more details. Questions like “what do you think we can do to improve our next event?” or “did you experience any problems at the event?” can offer qualitative insight into attendees’ experience. Consider adding an incentive to encourage your attendees to complete the survey within a set amount of time. If you plan on asking the same exhibitors, vendors, speakers, and sponsors to return next year, you might want to send them a survey too.
When sending out surveys, be sure to do so within 24 hours of your event. Everything is still fresh in your attendees’ minds, allowing you to get the best, most accurate data possible.
Develop a Post-Event Sales Strategy
Your post-event communication should also involve developing a post-event sales strategy. What are the next steps that you want your attendees to take now that your event is over? You won’t want to include this pitch in your thank-you emails. Those are for leaving a lasting positive impression, not for making sales. Instead, you’ll want to create new emails that put your sales strategy in motion.
Essentially what you’re trying to do is create a solid call to action. What that is will depend on your specific goals. For example, you could offer all attendees a discount on the ticket price of your next event. Or, you could invite them to register for an exclusive community with access to any and all information from your last conference, convention, or trade show. This could be a Facebook or LinkedIn page. Maybe you want them to sign up for a free trial or schedule a chat with your sales team. Creating a post-event sales strategy and continuing to communicate with your attendees helps you stay at the front of their minds and encourage them to take action.
Send Customized Invitations to Your Next Event
There’s a good chance that the event you just held won’t be your last. You likely already have other events in mind — maybe the event you just held is an annual occurrence, or there’s a similar event a few months from now. Your attendees may be interested in what you’ve got planned for the future.
As part of your post-event communication, let your attendees know what you’ve got planned next. Even better, send them a customized invitation to your next event. You can use the momentum from your latest event to generate excitement for what’s to come.
Again, consider adding a special discount with your customized invites. It’s a small gesture, but it can help the attendees of your latest event feel special. If it’s an event relevant to them, they may be more likely to sign up or purchase tickets.
Send Relevant Information Between Events
You don’t need to make everything you send in your post-event communication messages specifically about your completed event. You can also use your communication efforts to keep them up-to-date about related information. Events.com regularly sends content round-up emails to event organizers to provide them with helpful resources.
For instance, let’s say you partner with a new charity for a similar cause. Or, perhaps you’ve recently made some changes to your event marketing model. Let your attendees know! They came to your event, so they’ll likely care about what you’ve got going on behind the scenes. Plus, providing them with regular updates throughout the year about new partnerships, major industry news and trends, and new merchandise is an excellent way to keep yourself in the front of their minds. They’ll remember the great time they had at your last event and anticipate what’s coming next.
Improve Your Event Marketing Game with Post-Event Communication
Your event may be over, but your event marketing efforts certainly aren’t. You want your attendees to remember your event and look forward to the next one. As such, a post-event communication strategy is a must. Sending prompt thank-you emails to everyone who made your event possible, gathering data from surveys, and keeping everyone up-to-date on everything you’ve got planned can help keep you at the front of your attendees’ minds. You can use the information they provide to create even better events and get them excited for what’s to come.
Are you looking to optimize your event marketing game with post-event communication? Events.com is here to help. We’ve got everything you need to continue the conversation well after the end of your event and ensure successful events in the future. We offer products such as email blasts, customized invitations, follow-up emails, and more.
For more information and to get started with your post-event communication strategy, schedule your free demo with Events.com today!