So much of the event planning process comes before and during the actual event – and understandably so! But to keep the experience alive, it’s important to have a post-event engagement plan as well.
How will you follow up with attendees? What types of collateral will you create? Will you create any collateral?
To keep the excitement (and chatter) going following your organization’s event, check out these tactics:
1. Relive best moments
Every event has highlights, and those highlights are worth reliving – especially in picture/video form. Start by posting a photo album on Facebook. Then, choose some of your favorites from that album and post one-off pictures on Twitter and Instagram. You could even incorporate some of the big weekly hashtags, such as #ThrowbackThursday (#TBT) or #FlashbackFriday (#FBF) – to make your posts more relevant and maximize exposure.
If you were able to take any video clips during your event, try splicing those together to form a short highlight reel. Not only is this great for boosting post-event engagement, but it’s a great way to promote your event next year (if it’s an annual thing). And tip: If you don’t have video clips to utilize – only photos – try creating a video using still images only. Animoto is a great tool for this (though there is a small monthly fee).
Once your pictures and videos are up, let your members (and attendees, especially) know. Not all of your attendees may follow you on social media, so send them a follow-up email, thanking them for coming and linking to your photo album and/or video(s). People will want to check them out because they’ll want to see if they’re in them!
2. Post key takeaways (on your blog and in your newsletter)
This depends a little bit on the type of event you had, but if it was educational in nature, consider posting key takeaways on your blog and/or in your organization’s newsletter. These could be specific takeaways (for example, “X Things We Learned at [Name of Conference]”) or pretty high level (such as “X Trends We Noticed at [Name of Conference]”). Either way, by providing this type of content, you’re keeping the conversation going and showcasing the value of your event – and association!
Note: This probably goes without saying, but be sure to provide your attendees with the slide decks from your educational sessions following the event as well. This allows them to review not only the sessions they attended, but some of the sessions they may have missed as well, adding value to their overall experience.
3. Help attendees apply what they learned
Too often, attendees go home and get so wrapped up in their day-to-day lives (especially playing catch-up at work), they let their key takeaways fall by the wayside. But remember, takeaways (and implementing those takeaways) equate to value, so help your attendees out!
If possible, consider sending your attendees a post-conference checklist with takeaways and tactics from your various educational sessions. (This could be in the form of a standard PDF or infographic, depending on your bandwidth and preference.)
Another option (one that would take more time, but be INCREDIBLY valuable) is to offer one-on-one post-conference training (in person or via phone). You could actually talk to your members and help them apply the tactics and key takeaways they learned. And since this would take more of your time, it could be a great source of non-dues revenue – if that’s something you’re looking to improve.
Now let’s say you’re still weeks or months away from your event, and right now, your focus is planning and promotion. If that’s the case, check out our Complete Guide to Event Planning below! In it, you’ll find best practices for before, during, and after your next event – to make a true slam dunk!