Hosting an event is among the most impactful ways to represent your brand, organization, or business. But, this impact can quickly fade if you think the event is over once the lights go out. The days and weeks that follow your event is, in fact, the most crucial time. In order for your event to create meaningful and lasting results, take action with a strong event follow-up game plan. Here are a few reasons why I encourage an event follow-up course of action along with some of my pro tips.
1. Show Gratitude
Immediately following an event it’s important to say “thank you”. Gratitude should be extended to everyone who put an effort into making the event a reality. This includes those at the venue, guests appearances, sponsors, catering, lighting–everyone! If they had a hand in creating an event that allowed you to connect with your audience, reach out.
Most importantly, say a huge thanks to your attendees. They’ve spent time and money to experience your live event. Showing appreciation is the first step to earning their trust in you and your brand.
Gratitude can be extended through an email, letter, or goodie bag. However you choose to say “thank you”, it should be focused on only that. Include a gift if you can, this could be high-value content like an ebook or a discount from your sponsor. However, save your promos for the next part of your event follow-up, for now just let everyone know how grateful you are. If you really want to stand out, throw an after party.
2. Provide a Call to Action
For those of you who just can’t wait to put your attendee email list to good use, now’s your chance. Once you’ve thanked your attendees and provided them with a gift of relevant material, it’s time to nurture those leads.
At an event, you may have a booth or two to promote products or services. But an event is often your opportunity to create a loyal following by showcasing your brand and how you provide solutions to specific needs. Asking attendees to opt-in to a few products at the event can be disruptive of your long-term goals and keep you from building lasting business relationships. But, if you hold off and then provide offers shortly after…you are already mastering the follow-up game plan.
Provide a call to action by giving attendees email opt-in opportunities that include a discount or specialty exclusive to event goers. I like to include a highlight reel of the event they attended as a reminder of what made them so excited initially. Keep the party going in a short series of emails in order to excite your leads and keep them returning for more.
3. Seek Feedback
With your event follow-up in full swing, you’ve now begun to climb the ladder of engagement. It’s time to hear from your attendees! Receiving post-event feedback is essential to fostering a relationship with your audience. Giving them the opportunity to express what worked and what didn’t is what keeps you in business. Sure, you can rely on numbers but nothing is as effective as providing strategic questions to be answered.
When seeking feedback from your guest list, avoid yes or no questions. Give attendees the opportunity to adequately convey their experience by keeping questions open-ended. Keep this email short and sweet and the survey should be easy to access and mobile friendly. When the time comes, follow-up on how you’ve chosen to apply feedback…” you asked now you shall receive”… are the great beginnings of an invite to your next event.
4. Leverage Social Proof
Guests love an Instagram friendly event. Leverage social proof by creating a customized hashtag and encourage attendees to post photos and videos. Social media can bring a ton of hype and attention to future events.
When inviting your attendees to post on social media, suggest no more than two hashtags, one that is specific to the event the other specific to your brand.
5. Create Your “Ideal Guest” Profile
When you first begin to host events for your brand and business, the guest list requires a bit of guessing. Now that you’ve executed a strategic event follow-up game plan, you know a whole lot more about who is attending your events and why.
Include demographic questions as part of your feedback survey. These responses along with attendees interacting on social media and other data collected from your feedback email will assist in creating a more targeted marketing strategy for your events and overall brand. In my free Fill Your Seats training workshop I go into greater detail on refining your ideal guest profile so you can have the right people at your event. Join me to further explore more pre and post-event strategy so that your brand message is landing on the ears of those it was meant for.