Promoting an event is one of the most challenging and time-pressured campaigns a marketer can be involved in.
It’s crucial to target your audience and correctly stagger your emails leading up to the event, while carefully crafting and planning the relevant information and juicy content, to engage the reader and ensure you fill the room.
So, it all goes to plan and the event is the success every marketer hoped for. Well done! However, while that may seem like the hard part is over, it’s just the start of your journey with your attendees. Following up and continuing engagement between this and your next upcoming event is just as important as the first communication.
I’m going to share some of the ways you can continue engagement and use your previous event as a stepping stone to the next.
A big thank you
It is common practice and almost expected to send a thank you email to all your attendees post-event. A quick email to your invite list would probably cut the mustard but why not take it one step further? Include some event highlights, quotes from speakers on the day, a few pictures and share some of the slides. This will refresh your readers’ mind and provide a reminder of key skills and information they may have picked up during the day.
The first 24 hours after an event is the key time to be engaging with attendees, so don’t waste that opportunity. Plan and execute as much of the email campaign prior to the event as possible so you don’t have to squeeze it all in those 24 hours!
Follow up with your attendees promptly with a post-event survey…
Promptly is the key word here. The follow-up survey should also be sent within 24 hours and include a variety of questions, some heavily focused on personal experience, others for overall feedback. This will really help with audience targeting and contact personalisation for your next event.
Whether you collected email address and contact information on the day or just have the initial invite list, a follow-up is a sure-fire way to gauge attendee satisfaction. The results from this will provide valuable first-hand information on what made the event successful and constructive feedback on areas to work on in the future, as well as continuing the engagement post-event.
Segment collected data and personalise content
Data segmentation and personalisation is key. It might take a bit of effort, but it’s completely worth doing as marketers who use advanced segmentation are four times more likely to report excellent ROI (2017 Email Industry Census).
Let’s say you have evidence that 60% of your attendees attended a specific session or speaker, this will enable you to target that audience with specific content for future marketing and events relevant to the topic of the session. The more you personalise your attendees’ experience, the more likely they are to attend future events too because you provide them with something of value.
Utilise your event speakers post event
A highlight of the day will likely have been your key speakers as they share insight from a specific industry and give your attendees the chance to see what others are doing and succeeding in.
If you recorded their presentations, make sure to share the videos in follow-up emails as this can encourage word-of-mouth with the attendees’ colleagues. Or why not take it a step further and publish a blog or host the content on your website? This enables you to discuss the event in greater detail, share key highlights, providing speaker info and attract potential future attendees by making the day accessible to a wider audience.
Always continue to post regularly to your social media channels, even post-event. Sharing the blog post you wrote on the event, or ‘re-tweeting’ and thanking feedback received from your attendees is a great way to show off your success and engage the attention of others.
It’s amazing what a #hashtag can do! User generated content can be highly rewarding, so ask your attendees beforehand to post and share content using a dedicated hashtag when they attend. This can result in a high number of attendees sharing pictures, quotes, reviews and success stories which you can use as a testimonial of your event. By sharing content from the day using an industry hashtag, you can increase the reach of your efforts.
You’ve kept your audience engaged and now you are looking at your next event. Use all the tips above to segment, target, review your future event communications. So next time you can exceed expectations, attract an engaged audience and remain at the top of your audience’s busy calendar.