Events are a lot of work. Upfront work making reservations, orders, invitations... Work during the event keeping everything running smoothly, managing schedules and speakers, dealing with unforeseen issues... One would hope that things settle down after the event is over.
No such luck. After an event it's time to send emails to attendees and non-attendees, communicate new leads with the Sales department and note any changes that need to be made next year.
Whether five people or 500 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 burst into tears and question why you even went into marketing in the first place, stay calm. We arrange events because they promote our company, products and services, attendees get first hand experience with experts, and if implemented correctly, produce a return on your investment. Follow these steps when wrapping up an eventand keep them in mind for the next one on the calendar (because there's always another one on the calendar):
1. Stay organized: 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.
- 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.
2. 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, it ain't gonna happen.
- Have everything laid out - including a canned thank you for attendees. You can, of course, add additional and specific information that relates to the event after.
3. Create two separate email campaigns: One 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.
- Express 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.
4. Make an additional offer: If your email is nothing but "Thanks for coming!" no one is going to read it. After a while, your attendees will learn this and eventually stop opening your post-event emails altogether.
- Additional offers work as a next step in the nurture process. Offer content such as a recorded webinar, 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.
5. 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.
- This way, you can thank them, 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.
This can all be accomplished inside the Events section of your marketing automation software. That's the beauty of splurging for the Events package - 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. This way, every separate component is grouped and compared in your engagement statistics - saving you or an intern hours of math.