1. Create a Post-Event Page
Your website is one of the most powerful tools available for year-round marketing. It can be an asset if your event is annual or a regular occurrence. Before your event, you use it to showcase things to look forward to, speakers that are participating as well as registration information and other event details. Once your event is over, does not mean you need to shut down the website or neglect updating it. This can be a place to share the event experience. Highlight videos of speakers, photos from the event, and winners of prizes. Many compile key moments from the event to create a sizzle reel that can also act as a showcase for the next event! It is one way to get your audience hyped for what you will do next!
Other aspects of your post-event page might include:
- Audience Testimonials
- A collection of tweets or social media posts with the event hashtag
- Data from the event
- An archive of footage from presentations they may have missed or even exclusive behind the scenes footage of you and your team producing the event
- Event photos from attendees, sponsors, speakers, etc.
Of course, you will want to ensure you make consistent updates throughout the year with information. Think of your Post-Event Page as a LIVING event page, full of all the latest updates about past events and upcoming events.
2. Appreciate the Important People
A thank you can go a long way in maintaining strong relationships and can be as simple as a personalized email or a phone call. Taking time to show your appreciation for the many individuals that helped you host your virtual event is an imperative piece to success.
Many factors can influence the inclusion of external help: financial factors to event sizes. As an event host, you may have needed a sponsor or required a partner to support you with the preparation and setting up your virtual space. The success of your event also was from the support of any guest speakers or presenters you may have had joined you. All of these people who have helped see your event to completion. Sending a personalized token of appreciation can build a foundation for future partnerships and event success. Each person has uniquely helped you and thus, should receive a unique thank you. This also opens up potentially closed doors after the event, by generating conversation again with those who’ve helped you prior. In the case of sponsors and partners, these can be a small number of people, offering them a thank you in the form of a gift can be a cost-effective way to secure further partnerships.
You can also send your attendees a thank you message for being part of the event. This thank you could also act as a way to let them know about your post-event page and perhaps information about an upcoming event. Some even offer their attendees a special discount for a future event as a thank you for their attendance.
3. Send out a Post-Event Survey
Collecting as much data about your event is a vital part of success. It allows you to collect information on what worked well and what did not work so well. One thing that is an important post-event strategy is to ensure there is a post-event survey. Although many create one survey for everyone, some create surveys for each part of the event puzzle (speakers, sponsors, attendees, even staff) this can be a great way to gather testimonials and personalized data to gauge the overall satisfaction and experience of the attendees to your event.
You can send out a post-event survey in a variety of ways:
- A post attendee email, with information about how to access On Demand content, highlight reels, or other exclusive content, including your survey
- Include the survey as part of your event. Some will offer attendees a certificate for attendance that is accessible once a survey is completed.
- Social media posts with a link to the survey. This is not as popular of an option due to the possibility of having nonattendees complete the survey, but some have seen some success, depending on the style of your event.
- A link to the survey on the post-event page. This is a great asset to include on your post-event page along with all the other information we have already discussed.
Wherever you choose to include your survey, you will want to make sure it is easily accessible and you communicate it with your attendees. Some even offer incentives like raffles or prizes for completion, to encourage maximum participation.
4. Debrief and Analyze the Results
A virtual event provides event organizers with a treasure trove of data. During the planning stage, you should have established what data you will be measuring to tell if you reach the goals you hope to achieve. You can collect data on a variety of information, from top attended sessions, to most visited sponsor booths, you can track so much information. In a previous post, we outlined more specifics about how to analyze your event data, but when it comes to post-event analytics, this is perhaps one of the most useful tools for event success.
- How many people registered for your event?
- How many attended?
- How many people stayed for the entire thing?
- Were there sessions that were less popular than others?
- Where did attendees go when on the showroom floor?
This information, combined with the results from your survey, will help you better understand your event and plan even better ones in the future!
Once your event is complete, it is important to sit down with your team of organizers and staff and discuss your data, survey results, and their feedback on how things went. When evaluating you should judge the overall success against the goals you previously set during your planning stage for this particular event.
Holding a debrief session provides an effective way to communicate with your team and converse about the overall event. Your team has its unique perspective that can provide the insight your audience won’t have necessarily noticed. Debrief about what went well, what went wrong, and what you can do to improve your next event. Always be thinking about why, if something misses the mark and went wrong, you need to understand why, so you can prevent it from happening again or improve a process so that it runs smoother next time. Think about how you can always be increasing the value of what you’re offering to your audience while maintaining the structure of past events.
Once you and your team feel you have compiled the data from your event, this can be used as powerful marketing tools to promote your next event, identify partners or share with other stakeholders.
5. Start Planning for Next Event
The work of an event planner is NEVER DONE! Sure after you compile all your data and send out your thank you’s you deserve a moment to catch your breath and relax…BUT the event cycle continues. Whether your event is an annual event or you have multiple one-time events, you should take all the information and knowledge from this event to put into planning the next one! The key to a successful event is year-round and ongoing planning, marketing, and communication.
With the pandemic so many viewed a virtual event as a plan B for their event or a worst-case scenario for their event when the truth is that virtual events can be successful, rewarding, and FUN.