You have spent months coming up with themes, preparing the venue, sending out invitations and reminders, and now the event is finally here. You get to see all your hard work pay off, and then you are done. Well, not quite… there is still work to do! Most people expect planning to end at the conclusion of the event, but that is not the case. If anything, post-event follow-up is the most important part of planning, so make sure that you don’t drop the ball. Keep reading to find out the best practices you can take after an event to ensure you get the best results.
It’s important to show appreciation to your speakers, attendees and sponsors for attending and supporting your event. People LOVE to know that they are appreciated, so make sure to send a quick thank you note after the occasion. You don’t need to send a handwritten letter with fancy calligraphy and a wax seal (although you can, don’t let us stop you!), a thoughtful email will get the job done.
In addition to thank you notes, post-event surveys are another item you can send out. They are a great way to get feedback on how you did and what attendees thought. Not every event is perfect, but you can make your next experience is better by listening to feedback on how it went. You should make your surveys short and sweet so they aren’t time-consuming. That way, more people will be inclined to provide feedback. Don’t just ask attendees for their feedback! The opinions of your speakers and sponsors matter, and they will certainly have valuable responses to provide. Plus, if you receive good input, you can get some great testimonials to use on social media or your website.
Now it’s time to measure the success of the event and the planning that went into it. Take a look at how many people RSVP’d vs. who showed up. How do those numbers compare to each other? Could you have done something different to encourage more attendance? Another valuable step you should take is to analyze your budget and whether or not you stayed within reason of those expenses allotted. Remember to measure the intangible tools of success, too. Review the goals of the event and make sure that you’re hitting them. Did it help you gain new clients as you intended? If not, ask yourself why and make any necessary improvements.
Make sure to keep the conversation surrounding your event going; you don’t want the chatter to slow down too quickly. Let everyone who wasn’t there know what they missed out on by sending out a press release or follow-up. Additionally, it’s just as important to keep the conversation going with those who attended by sending out additional communications. You can include discount codes, exclusive information about what’s coming up or other calls to action that keeps them eager for the next experience. Social media can be useful to drive engagement and excitement for the next event. Compiling photos from the event together to post on Instagram or Twitter is a great way to keep the conversation going. It can also be beneficial to tap into the testimonials you gathered and post them on social media.
Remember that planning never stops. We could guess that right about now it’s time to shift your focus to the next event you’re putting on. Apply the valuable insight you gained from your previous occasions to plan an even better one. Fix what did not work, sprinkle in more of what did and experiment with new techniques to make each following experience better than the last.
There you have it! Now that this riveting information is in your hands, you have some of the best steps you can take after an event to ensure you keep the conversation going. Go on now, plan a kick-ass event that gets people talking!