Events are a lot of work – upfront work making reservations, orders, invitations; work during the vent to keep everything running smoothly, managing schedules and speakers, dealing with unforeseen issues. One would hope that things settle down after the event is over. Unfortunately, it’s no such luck. After an event, it’s time to send the post-event email to attendees and non-attendees, communicate new leads with the sales department and note any changes that need to be made next year.
How to Wrap Up a Successful Event in 5 Steps
Whether five or 500 people attended, your post-event emails must be consistent each time. If you engaged a potential lead at an event, you don’t want to lose them because your response wasn’t timely enough or did not interest them.
Before you get overwhelmed and start questioning your decision to go into event marketing in the first place, stay calm. There is a ton of value in hosting events – they promote our company, products and services, attendees get first hand experience with experts in our field, and if implemented correctly, events produce a major return on your investment.
The end of your event is just the beginning for the rest of your company. Follow these steps when wrapping up an event and keep them in mind for the next one on the calendar (because there’s always another one on the calendar right?):
Create a Post-Event Plan that you use for conferences, trade shows, speaking engagements, etc. Follow this plan of attack every time and even detail components such as what to do post event day one, two, etc.
Pro Tip: Sometimes the hardest part is getting started. So when you know what to do and when to do it, sending emails and gathering information for sales won’t seem so daunting.
Follow up immediately
Have your post-event email designed and ready to go even before the event begins. While we all hope this event will be the one that runs smoothly and we’ll have nothing but idle time once it’s’ complete, odds are … that’s not going to be the case.
Pro Tip: Have everything laid out – including a canned thank you for attendees. You can add additional and specific information relevant to the event after.
Create two separate email campaigns
You will need one campaign for event attendees and another for non-attendees. Many people register and don’t show, but we still want to involve them in post-event correspondence.
Pro Tip: Express sincere disappointment that non-attendees weren’t able to make your event. Try providing them with dates of the next three events or speaking engagements that might interest them.
Make an additional offer
If your post-event email is nothing but “Thanks for coming!”, nobody is going to read it. After a while, your attendees will learn this and eventually stop opening your emails altogether.
Pro Tip: Additional offers work as a next step in the nurture process. Offer content such as a recorded webinar or a corresponding blog post, ask them to review the event on your website to win free swag, or provide a company event calendar so they can stay up-to-date on your upcoming company engagements.
Create a post-event drip campaign
You can even set these up during the event. As attendees check in, drop their email addresses in the drip campaign scheduled to go out less than 24 hours after the event has ended.
Pro Tip: Setting up a post-event drip campaign allows you to thank attendees, provide additional offers and present upcoming events all in the same campaign. Be sure to personalize the emails with dynamic content and event-specific branding.
Automating Your Event Management
One of the biggest challenges in event marketing is that registration and attendee data often exist outside of core marketing and CRM platforms. Integrating the appropriate event marketing tools however, can make event execution, reporting and analysis less cumbersome. Having an Events package within your Marketing Automation platform integrates event registration and attendee information directly into your CRM. With most Events packages pre-event email campaigns, online forms, downloads, reminder emails, post-event emails and surveys can all be designed and tied together in the same folder.