The days, weeks, and months that follow an event are comparable to the comedown after Christmas. You’ve spent all this time preparing, building the excitement, and finalizing every detail for the special day… Now it’s over, and you’re trying to come up with ways to keep your attendees engaged until the following celebration (AKA your next event).
The time between now and your next event may seem like forever, but it’s the perfect segue to continue building a loyal relationship and communications with your existing attendees while attracting the attention of new ones.
Let’s explore the four ways you can keep your attendees engaged 365 days a year:
#1 Post the event recap content ASAP
Don’t let your attendees’ enthusiasm dwindle once the event is over; leverage your social media accounts to thank them for coming out and keep the content train going.
Inspire your attendees to upload their memories to produce user-generated content, a win-win in our books! In a recent article by BizBash, studies have highlighted that almost 80% of consumers admit that user-generated content is quite convincing when it comes to pulling the trigger and purchasing a product, as they perceive their peers’ marketing of the product as more authentic.
A similar approach could be posting your favorite moment from the event six months later and asking followers to do the same. Share images that still need to be uploaded to your social media account and refresh the minds of your attendees!
#2 When it comes to email blasts, think quality over quantity
Communicate with your audience through emails containing relevant and enticing information—avoid cluttering their inbox with meaningless news or details that could have been shared over social media. These updates can include website modifications, snippets of information regarding your next event, or contests or giveaways you want to introduce.
There is a series of emails you can consider that will result in frequent engagement. For instance, a thank you email goes a long way! Always include tags for your social media platforms within the emails to push attendees to click the follow button and can tap into various engagement streams. ASAE suggests sending out emails containing key takeaways and downloadable PDFs post-event, so the content is fresh in your attendees’ minds. Plus, they’ll appreciate the gifted info! Remember, segmentation is key to enticing consumers to continue reading; relevant and relatable content will have a more significant response than the spam that fills their inbox. Put yourself into the shoes of the person receiving the email. If you take the time and effort to craft the right message, your reader will appreciate the extra lengths you went to connect with them, and it’s a positive reflection of you. Segmentation is based on people’s interests, specific groups of people, actions they performed or didn’t perform, age, gender, and any other defining characteristics. Essentially, it considers all the diverse groups that consume your content and how you can appeal to each group to craft content that is meaningful to them.
#3 Session recordings: the gift that keeps on giving
It’s impossible to be everywhere at once, so attendees are bound to miss out on speaker sessions due to overlapping timeslots. The solution? Allow them to soak up your event content even when it’s over and done with! Publish recorded sessions afterward and make them available for a month (or more) so attendees can catch up on or review what they missed or learned.
You can plan for these recordings to be released sporadically leading up to your next event to act as subtle reminders for past attendees and teasers for those who have yet to sign up. The recordings can be a source of income to implement into your strategy to diversify your revenue stream. The post-event engagement should be focused on building up your attendee list for the year, as the goal is to have content from your event stay relevant year-round for attendees to enjoy until the next conference or meeting.
#4 Let your audience weigh in
The best feedback to help develop your future event strategy comes straight from the source: your attendees! A post-event survey to gain insight while the event is still fresh in their minds will allow you to begin your brainstorming early and show your attendees you genuinely value their experience.
Design the survey so that it provides opportunities to leave concrete responses, not ratings, on a numeric scale. It’s hard to decipher an attendee’s opinion based on a rating of 1 to 10. Construct the questions in your survey to dig deep into the minds of your attendees. Remember, if you ask surface-level questions, you’ll get surface-level answers.
For instance, instead of asking, “Did you enjoy the event?” ask, “What was the most memorable part of the event and why?” The replies to questions like this will give you a better understanding of how your attendees navigated your event and what features to include the following year. Feel free to send out a survey six months post-event to see where your attendees’ heads are at and what they’re looking forward to gaining at your upcoming event.