Just because your event is over, doesn’t mean you should cease engagement with your attendees. This can be even more important if your event is an annual one and you need to keep in touch during the off seasons. There are many creative methods for keeping your event on the front of attendee’s minds as well as keep them hyped up and interested in future events. Here are five of the best ways to achieve that goal.
A thank you note for event attendance is always a nice gesture. However, a plain, basic thank you note will likely be just another mailed item that gets thrown to the side and thought about less than you would prefer. A creative idea will help keep your event on minds and tongues. Consider everyday items that most people can use, or even industry specific items that bring your event to mind. Item examples could include a keychain with the date of your next event, a nice pen for their office, or even a reusable coffee or water cup. Take advantage of any space you have on your item to put event dates, website addresses and phone numbers. A thank you offering itself is a bit different and more memorable than a follow up email or newsletter.
Many enjoy surprises. Many more enjoy free surprises. Dredge up that email or newsletter list and use it to throw a post-event contest. The reward can be anything from a creative little gift, to a substantial discount to encourage attendees to return to your business and your next event. If you do sponsor annual events, mid-year is always a great time to throw a special post-event surprise into the mix and into the minds of those you want to attend again. Not to mention the buzz it could create when word-of-mouth gets around that you utilize such unique promotions.
Never underestimate the power of social. Whether you post pictures of your events on Instagram, or update statuses on Facebook about its success. Since one of the main focuses of attending an event is networking in some fashion or other, staying connected to your attendees is just as critical to present and future successes. Just as important as pre-event introductions and chatter, post-event engagement is just as critical. Take this time to ask all of your attendees that follow you on social networks what they would improve about the event. Which parts did they like the most? You can also go one step further and ask them what element they would like to see implemented into the next event. Friends, family, consumers, everyone, like to be asked their input and see their ideas to fruition. You may even gain a new volunteer or two for future events in this way.
Whether an event attendee helped band-aid a boo-boo or ran out to grab extra cups, always take the time to acknowledge those whose efforts helped keep your event on track. There are also many creative ways to carry this out. This would be unique and interesting newsletter material. Those who can spend a bit more may want to have a few t-shirts made, or even donate a few dollars to a favorite charity in their honor. Regardless of how you acknowledge, not only does it show appreciation to your staff or help, but it also shows general event attendees that you care about those who extend themselves. Happy helpers always make for a more pleasant event.
Network Attendees Networks
For those who plan annual events or even several events throughout the year, take the time to try to extend benefits, bonuses and even surprises to your usual attendees when they can bring or refer a friend, family member or another industry related individual. Give them discount options, promotional codes, an extra entry or five into the next event’s big door prize. Do not be afraid to ask the newly referred for their opinions as well. You can utilize surveys, polls or even short social network questions applications and get the input of attendees new and old.
The most critical element of engaging attendees after your family or business event is to remain interactive, highlight those who extend themselves, and keep up the hype for the next event. You will not only benefit in the short term by gaining new and helpful information, new networking opportunities and new suggestions to make your future ventures more interesting and creative, but you will also be continually expanding your reach and email list, but you will also find post-planning and pre-planning can work hand in hand to make for a fantastic, well-organized series of events.