Welcome to the conclusion of our three-part series on Executing Impactful Virtual Events! To review, part one covered things to consider before the event and part two shared ideas for getting engagement during the event.
Our final topic is about how to continue the connections after the event is over. Mercury Founder, Justin, and Sarah from Associations North discuss the importance of follow-up and the need for relevant post-event resources. Additionally, they share their overall key learnings on reinventing (not repurposing!) your events.
Continuing the Connection
As Justin says, “Events are 50% what happens during the event, and 50% what happens before and after.” If you do not have a set plan to stay engaged after the event, you are missing out on connecting with a highly engaged audience. Although first impressions are crucial – last impressions leave an indelible mark. Watch to learn how to ensure you leave a positive one.
Six Post-Event Must-Dos:
1. Updated Event Page
Please update your event page to a post-event page within 24 hours of the event conclusion. It is confusing (and annoying) to land on a page that is promoting a past event. More importantly, when you switch it to a post-event page, you can add statistics, video clips and more to demonstrate the event’s success. This is also an ideal place to begin promoting your next event.
2. Say Thank You!
There are multiple audiences that played important roles in your event. Each deserves a proper thank you.
- For attendees, include a thank you in your post-event email (more on this later) or give them a shout out on the social channels you used during the event.
- Speakers, sponsors and vendors deserve something more personal like a hand-written thank you or a phone call. This group also appreciates some social love which gives them the additional attention they crave.
- Lastly, the core team that put the event together needs to feel appreciated for all their hard work. A great way to do this (and lay the groundwork for the next event) is to schedule a post-event huddle. A short time ago, this could have been a team lunch or happy hour to celebrate successes, problem-solve glitches and get jazzed for the next event. Necessity dictates that it become a virtual gathering, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add something fun like individual lunch deliveries!
3. Stay on Top of Social
Keep the buzz going with video clips and event insights. For attendees, it reinforces the value of the event. For non-attendees, it increases their interest in attending your next event.
4. Send a Powerful Follow-up Email
Keeping your follow-up email simple and valuable is key.
Ideas for the follow-up e-mail:
- Thank attendees for choosing your event.
- Link to a short survey. Using an incentive like a gift card to raise response rates typically garners more valuable data that can be used to inform your next event.
- Provide access to a resource page filled with information about the event topics.
- Share video clips or full presentations.
- Announce upcoming events.
5. Send Summary Swag
Earlier in this series, we mentioned how much people like getting free stuff. One unique way to keep your event top-of-mind and to satisfy attendees’ desire for gifts is to create a visual summary of event highlights. Add this summary to a mug or t-shirt and send it to attendees.
6. Hold a Short Q&A With Presenters
Just as Sarah from Associations North suggests, scheduling a quick follow-up with presenters gives attendees a chance to ask any questions that arose post the event, or dig deeper on the topics that interest them most.
These are some simple ways to stay connected to your attendees and leave them with the right impression.
Get more tips and tricks from Sarah and Justin as they discuss what they learned from the two events they worked on together.