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How to Harness the Real Power of Post Event Engagement

How to Harness the Real Power of Post Event Engagement


Mar 21, 2023 Shruti Shah

A successful event requires not only investing dollars but also many intangible components like planning, strategies, partnerships, and more. Everyone including sponsors, organizers, and hosts have great expectations from their events, and they only put in everything in the hopes of getting desired outcomes.   

Obviously, there is no specific report card for your event. You do get some instant analytics reports from the event tech you've integrated with. But an event's success metrics are not calculated as soon as the audience walks out of the doors or closes the window on their screens. It takes time. In fact, sometimes the outcome is derived in perpetuity. And, if that is the case, why shouldn't you extend your event performance post-event?  

Everyone admits how important it is to integrate attendee engagement strategies throughout the event lifecycle. Yet surprisingly, the limelight is drawn by pre and during-event engagement, while post-event engagement is often ignored or loosely planned. Today, we will discuss how post-event engagement can be a tool that can unleash remarkable results. 

 

Kicking-off Post-Event Engagement Plan 
The most voted reason that weakens a post-event engagement strategy is failure to get all stakeholders on the same page during the event planning stage. The marketing team, organizers, sponsors, and everyone else involved in decision-making should have their priorities and goals aligned with post-event campaigns. Standing on common ground beforehand is essential to develop result-driven and engaging post-event drip campaigns, and promotions, with a prime focus on establishing long-term connections with attendees.  

With a pre-planned post-event engagement strategy, you can start collecting all the data required at a later stage from the very first campaign of the event. You don't want sponsors and organizers to brainstorm on post-event activities at the last minute. 

Deciding on post-event activities and campaigns becomes pretty simplified when everyone jointly revisits the primary purpose behind organizing the event. Activities that begin after the event has concluded should be focused on event goals, and for that you need to prepare from the very onset! 

 

Do You Know Your Event Objective? 
If you on team an-event-goal-is-to-increase-sales, we'd suggest thinking beyond sales. Although all event goals ultimately lead to generating revenue, each has a different approach and route. To make a long-term revenue impact, a concrete post-event strategy is mandatory. Every event's goal most likely falls into one or more of the following categories.  

  • Lead Generation 

Undeniably, this is the most popular goal for every event organizer - generating leads, collecting customer data, and promoting sales. The sub-goals that ultimately lead to lead- generation need to be prioritized to plan correctly. 

  • Moving Buyers Through Sales Funnel 

Another event objective could be to nurture identified buyers/leads further down the sales funnel and rattle their decision-making process to convert or close more business.  

  • Educating Your Audience 

Launching/promoting a product/service through an event is already a popular approach among many brands. Irrespective of the brand size, an event works as a tool to introduce and familiarize attendees, prospective partners, or customers with a specific product or service and qualify them into the funnel. 

  • Building Brand Loyalty 

Building trust and long-term loyalty for your brand needs nurturing impressions of the target audience. Events establish rapport with audiences on a grander and personal level which involves attendee interaction, unlike the usual one-way marketing channels. 52% of executives say event-marketing drives more business value than other marketing channels.  

We reinforce how important it is to stay focused on ensuring clarity around the core objective of your event to shape your post-event campaigns. 

 
How to Maximize Post-event Engagement - 5 Most Effective Strategies 
Without delay, let's take you through ideas and proven methods to strategize your post-event engagement and harness its power to make a deeper impact on your audience, deep enough to ensure they stick with you even after the E-day! 

Here's an inspiration from Walt Disney - “Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” 

1. Post-Event Communication  
As curtains drop and mics are switched off, the audience is usually left in a daze with thoughts about your event. Those who didn’t like your event will not like it (but they could be onboarded back through carefully planned future offerings), and those who loved it will love it even more with well-thought post-event engagement activities. Your bet is on the unsure ones whom you can turn towards team-happy by communicating and offering them additional value post-event. 
Communication has to happen omnichannel. For today’s expectation-driven audience, email, social media, survey, and marketing campaigns will not work in solitude. These channels have to be bundled together to create an overall impact on attendees and ignite subconscious thoughts about your event. 
 
A) Thank You Emails - If the engagement was as easy as a simple thank you email, we wouldn't be even writing this blog! Every engagement strategy is to be customized and planned in bite-sized elements to make them actually work! 
Sending out Thank You emails is an obvious start, but they must be customized with an engaging CTA based on the following buckets. 

  • Attendees - An elaborate thank you with CTA content can make attendees feel that their opinion is your deciding point. The content should include personalization (equally impactful as your event invite strategy). They should receive additional content from the event, forms for survey/feedback, or registration link to a new event, website, whitepaper, etc. 
  • Registered But Didn't Attend - A thank you note for being onboard and focusing on their FOMO! In fact, it should be personalized to target their FOMO. Sharing stunning highlights or snippets from the event, surveys, and definitely encouraging them to click on the registration link to future events.  
  • Target Audience Who Did Not Register - Share insights, core highlights, and registration links, and get them worked up by adding content that induces FOMO (just in about the perfect measure. Do not overdo or bore them). Now, the question is how would you engage someone who did not register? Use survey - strategically designed questions that help you find reasons why they did not register, while the recipient re-thinks what stopped them. 

B) Follow-up Emails - The follow-up emails must be very purposeful, highly engaging, and value-adding This is also your chance to get creative and integrate social media. Share pictures clicked during the event and QR codes to ask them to reshare on LinkedIn, or send a discount code/voucher based on preferences shared during event registration. These micro settings increase the chances of them returning to the next event. 
If your event passed on lots of information, there is a fair chance the audience is yearning for more. Share more information and resources related to your product/service/topic. 
You can later follow up with more engaging emails, containing videos, tutorials, and as last thread, a we-miss-you-and-can't-wait-to-see-you email for registering for your next event.  
It is significant to note that every bucket we are discussing here can have a quick survey to get more details of prospective attendees (which would also help you plan for your next event). 

2. Fragmentize Your Event Content 
A) Social Media - While emails are going out, give a sculpted view of the event gone by through social media channels. The drip is the same - thank you posts, creating FOMO for those who missed it, and creating a buzz around the upcoming event.  
Along with these standard campaigns, share the recording of the event, either as a full-event YouTube video or as small clips that can be shared through social media. 
If you are sharing photographs with attendees via email, share a hashtag or QR to prompt them to share their pictures on personal social media handles. Such a campaign can be promoted by offering incentives, discounts, or referral codes. Start engaging Twitter threads, and Instagram reel series on interesting topics and/or topics that the audience is curious about (you'd know that through the first survey sent via email). On the lighter side, using memes or jokes from the event as posts on social media can also engage the audience with humor, assisting in organic marketing. 
B) Podcasts - According to data shared by Statista, 62% of all US consumers listen to podcasts. Technology has no bounds, so don't limit your innovative ideas ever! Convert your event into soundbites, and have the hosts and guests talk! Make it a series if you have a lot of content. Fragmenting the content into bite-sized audio clips can make it more interesting, leaving the users wanting more.
C) Repurposed Content - You can convert your most popular sessions or topics into blogs, vlogs, and quizzes and distribute them online, selecting the right demography. Recasting the event recording into mini-courses or training videos to promote them as a package is also a good idea. Make it free, or exclusive for attendees and use it for marketing campaigns for the next event. 


3.
Build a Post-Event Community 
Having dodged a disruptive curveball, the event industry has come roaring back to in-person events because personal interaction and connections are irreplaceable. Any event can have a lasting impression if attendees are offered networking opportunities and paths to connect.
Creating a post-event networking community is just a few clicks away today if you’re using comprehensive event management software. 
Make sure you promote networking and community participation benefits after the event, backed by marketing strategies that prompt your followers to connect with each other. It keeps up the momentum of post-event engagement and the hype of the event also remains fresh for a long time. Don't worry about the guests; they already have ice-breaker topics with them through your event. 

Workshops or masterclasses with popular speakers or notable industry leaders other than the event speakers are also a tool to create a new horizon for post-event engagement and community building.
Community features offered by an event management software connect the audience in perpetuity, in secure formats, without any hassle. 

5. Nurture And Strategize Your Sales 
Now that everything else is settled, it's time to bring on your sales team. The leads captured from start to end have to be categorized into tiers (MQLs, SQLs, High Intent Leads etc.), correlated with the survey/feedback received, and positioned in the sales funnel. This could be a daunting process but critical because if you flood all the leads into the sales department together, your reps would not be able to personalize the approach for each lead type. Use lead-scoring software for better segregation.
High-intent leads need more focus and incentive, and on priority as they are highly inclined toward your product. It's easier to lose them to a competitor. Approach them with sponsored outreach through social media and great CTA emails. Based on email reports, leads can be further nurtured with phone calls.
To nurture a lead, understanding their mindset is the first step. Some may like coupons from their favorite brand, some may like a book, some may like passes to a workshop, or some may be looking for valuable networking channels. While sorting leads, make sure you have the complete data so your sales team can see it in nuance. 
In all excitement, let’s not forget no-show or non-engaged audience and remind your team to plan a re-engaging strategy for them. Some people may have missed the event due to unavoidable circumstances but were actually interested. Therefore, leave no stone unturned to hit them with luring personalized emails. 


5.
Survey or Feedback - This OG tactic still is and will always remain popular. Various event technologies can easily get you engagement metrics, app user data, and attendee information, but understanding 'sentiment' is not something technology can do. Use multiple choice surveys or elaborate feedback and the answers would be insights into what guests have in mind.  
 
Do you get a survey pop-up every now and then? And you click on the x icon and move ahead? Designing surveys that stir sentiments of the guests, prompting them organically to click on the survey CTA requires some strategies. 

  • Adding some fun, reward, and exclusivity can drive submissions.
  • When surveys focus on audiences' likes, dislikes, and best moments, and also ask for suggestions for improvement, they feel authoritative and engage more.
  • Usually, the first survey post-event must go out within 24 hours of the event conclusion. We'd suggest through email.
  • Maximizing and strategizing creativity for survey CTAs is important.
  • Lure the guests with some special personalized remark in the email that would invoke the intent.
  • Surveys don't need to be typical forms. You can design a few questions and post them as a drip series on social media as stories or posts. 
  • If your audience comprises people with time-constraint, who will not ideally spend time on surveys, try “swipe to choose” between answers. 

There's another twist you can add to fuel actions on surveys  

A) Gamification - It is a holistic approach for engaging guests at every stage. Whether it's your first thank you email or a quick poll on LinkedIn, these bite-sized gamification ideas can get the audience worked up and place them on an imaginary decision-making podium. You can add a quiz about the event content which would earn the winner a prize, either for submitting their feedback along with, or posting pictures on social media using a hashtag. 
You can also create contests for event attendees (the winner to be announced post-event) and market them from your first event pitch. The attendees would love to have something waiting for them post-event! 
Note - For gamification to extend into future benefits, always send emails announcing the winners to non-participants as well. This will spark motivation to participate the next time.   

 

How to Get the Most Out of Post-Event Marketing 
As your guests have already moved out of the event, selected post-event engagement ideas will need close integration with the marketing team and tools. Your marketing team knows trending, latest, and innovative ways of identifying and engaging target audience. When perspectives of planners, organizers, and sponsors are combined with marketing ideas, the results bring success on multiple levels through hyper-engagement and parallel promotions (which will expand the audience perimeter down the line).  

 

The Last Engagement 
An event never really ends. With IoT, even an old event can be repurposed, and refurbished to engage audiences. Throwbacks anyone?  
You need to be careful that it is done smartly without over-pressing, which can otherwise force the audience to unsubscribe. Engaged audiences will try your products, create indirect marketing opportunities, and drive ROI for every event you host going forward. 

 
As a last note on the topic, do not forget that engaged audiences will land on your event pages, or look up your company website. Make sure you refresh the language and content of the pages accordingly and replace registration links with social media pages or recording links. Update CTAs, chatbot responses, automated instructions, headers, etc.  

Capture every benefit of a community and keep your event going beyond the E-day with https://bit.ly/3GGe6kH


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