You’ve spent months planning your event. The day arrives, and everything goes as planned. Better yet, your attendees genuinely seemed to enjoy themselves and you added a bunch of new leads to your funnel. Don’t let the momentum stop there. You have a unique opportunity to nurture your attendees after your event doors have closed.
Your post-event nurturing campaign should be part of your event planning and preparation process; don't leave post-event engagement to chance. You'll need a strategy for how to follow up with leads, engage past attendees in content experiences they may enjoy or nurture them towards attending another event.
Read on to learn the best tactics to remain top of mind with your prospects post-event...
Leverage Email Marketing
Since you likely required attendees to register for your event with their email address, you have access to an effective and direct channel to nurture engagement. Add an opt-in checkbox to your registration forms to ensure that you're collecting email addresses and able to market to your attendee lists.
Start by sending attendees a post-event survey as soon as the conference has ended. While the event is fresh in their minds, ask about their favorite speakers and sessions and invite them to make recommendations for next year’s event. While you may have been polling attendees throughout the event, this is the time that you can ask reflective questions or gain deeper insights about the lasting impression of your experience. A survey shows you care about their experience and will help you gain valuable insights to improve events to come.
Event Recap & Content Distribution
In a survey of 7,000 people, 91% of responders cited education as their number one reason to attend an event. Help your attendees achieve their goal and continue their education by sharing exclusive session content like slide decks, videos, and vendor information in a post-event email. Attending an event can be overwhelming. Between the networking, presentations, and product demos, it can be difficult to retain key details. This is another area that post-event email marketing can serve you well. Sending attendees your content ensures they can revisit the sessions in greater detail, at their own leisure, and not have to worry that they missed something important.
Create Exclusive Offers and Contests
At your event, guests gained industry knowledge, met like-minded peers, and had a lot of fun in the process. Don’t let the goodwill stop there. Create exclusive post-event offers to nurture your leads, create new customers, and realize up-sell opportunities.
Creating exclusive promo codes for your products is a great way to add more value to the event experience and will show attendees your appreciation. It provides customers and prospects another reason to visit your website and potentially make a purchase with you or keep you top of mind.
Beyond promotions for your products, consider creating an ‘early bird’ promo code for next year’s event to keep attendees coming back year after year.
Contests are another powerful nurturing tactic that can help keep the momentum of your event going long after it has ended. Encourage attendees to use the learning gained from your event by holding a social media contest.
If the theme of your event was ‘working together to reduce energy consumption’, you could ask attendees to post on social media about how they’re living this theme in their daily lives. Prizes could be awarded to the most creative post, or maybe even given out to everyone who participates. This contest will broaden your social reach, and gives attendees a fun reason to stay engaged with event material.
Post-event case study contests can also help you prove the value of learning outcomes of that event. Ask attendees to bring back their learning to their organization, implement change and submit case studies on the results. You'd be amazed at the attendee-generated content opportunities you might be missing out on.
Foster an Online Community
Connecting with industry peers is one of the best parts about attending an event. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to keep in touch. Business cards get lost, faces and names get mixed up, and the best intentions to send a follow-up email get buried under day-to-day work.
Creating an online community for your attendees to reference and communicate through any time after your event is an easy and low-pressure way to keep your attendees connected and engaged with your content and each other. This may be in the form of an online discussion room where attendees can continue to debate hot topics that they didn’t have time to pursue during the event, or it could be a separate mobile app for your entire event community across many events.
No matter how you accomplish implementing your community the important part is that you connect attendees with peers who share specific niche interests, or who can each other solve industry challenges. Include moderators from your own company who can chime in and direct participants to your website, a sales representative, or your knowledge base when needed.
Hold regular ‘Ask Me Anything’ style sessions where you, a special guest, or industry leader answer any and all questions your attendees have. By creating this online community, you’ll not only keep nurturing guests after your event has passed, but you’ll also gain valuable insight into their challenges, and interests. Use this information to drive product development, fine tune customer service practices, and provide content for your next event.
Send a Thank You Gift
While there are an array of digital channels to use to connect with guests after an event, the tried and true ‘thank you’ gift still goes a long way. Create a custom gift for attendees that’s unique to the event, something they would enjoy, and when used, reminds them of the great experience they had with you. Guests will be thrilled to receive a package they weren’t expecting, and touched to see your appreciation.
Staying in Touch is Essential for Event ROI
Remember that your job is not complete as an event marketer when the doors of your event close. The most important business relationships are often formed in the days, weeks and months following your events. Don't miss out on valuable opportunities due to lack of pre-planning post-event campaigns.