In-person and digital events are a great way to introduce your brand to customers and build a loyal fan base. To make them successful, you need to not only carefully plan your event but also have a great event marketing strategy to attract the right audience and provide them with a memorable experience.
However, it’s important to remember that your job’s not over just because the event is.
Once you’ve finished folding the last chair, sweeping the floor, and closing the doors on your venue, it’s time to get to work on your post-event marketing.
What is post-event promotion?
Despite what many people think, post-event marketing and engagement go beyond simply saying thank you. It’s a chance to add value to the people in attendance and gather valuable feedback so that your next event can be even better.
Post-event promotion starts with following up with those who attended your event. It could be as simple as a thank-you message for attending or as involved as a full questionnaire about the event. Post-event promotion lets you build on attendees’ enthusiasm and meet your goals surrounding the event.
Why is post-event promotion important?
Post-event promotion fits into the bigger picture of event marketing. Its goal is to keep people talking about your event once it’s over and help you build connections with attendees.
It also gives you the chance to see what worked well in your event and what you can do better next time.
It also serves as another touchpoint with interested leads.
Post-event engagement ideas
There are plenty of ways to interact with people once your event is over. Using multiple tools gives you more opportunities to connect with people, which in turn provides more options for post-event feedback.
Create a post-event landing page
You may have created an event landing page to drum up interest. If so, you’re one step ahead. Instead of taking it down once the event has ended, repurpose your landing page.
At a minimum, add a banner at the top of the page thanking people for attending.
To make it do more, tie it to a recurring event.
For example, you might host a quarterly webinar. At the end of each event, change the copy on your landing page, encouraging people who missed out to register for the next one.
This landing page promoting the National Retail Federation’s annual conference not only includes a “save the date” message and a call to action to become a sponsor in 2023, but it also has a link where visitors can watch a video recapping the 2022 event. Using videos this way can create a buzz around your next event.
Follow up via email
Email marketing is one of the easiest ways to follow up with a large group of people. You likely already sorted your contacts based on your pre-event marketing. If you have a list of people who registered, segment it into people who checked in and those who didn’t.
Send personalized messages to each segment. Thank those who took time out of their schedules to attend. You could add value by including a post-event promo code, special offer, or piece of content that’s not available to people who didn’t attend. When you want to poll your audience to see what they thought of your event, include a survey.
CourseHorse sends a follow-up to everyone who attends a class asking them to rate and review, gathering valuable information to improve all class offerings. As an incentive, respondents receive $15 off a future registration.
For those who were interested but didn’t attend, send a wrap-up to share what they missed out on and encourage them to sign up for your next event. Include a link to video highlights from the event and show how people benefited from attending.
Share what happened on social media
Nothing inspires FOMO (fear of missing out) like social media. Share posts on all your platforms showing people having fun and engaging at your events to create a sense of value and inspire people who missed out.
MAGIC is an organization connecting industry professionals and helping them move their businesses forward. As a fashion organization, its social media platforms are very effective in attracting people to big trade shows in Las Vegas and New York.
The key to post-event marketing on social media is to create fun, engaging posts that encourage your followers to interact. Build off the excitement from the event and generate interest in your business by sharing photos and videos from the event, conducting polls, posting special offers for early registration for the next event, and more.
Make these posts feel more authentic by taking candid shots during your event. People may react more positively to photos that don’t look like they were staged. Have someone circulate through your event, snapping pics of people while they’re having a good time and looking enthusiastic. Perhaps you had a keynote who kept everyone on the edge of their seat. Showcase the audience.
Conduct a post-event survey to see what your attendees thought
Gathering post-event feedback is crucial in helping you meet your goals and prepare for future events. One of the best ways to get it is to survey attendees to see what they thought. Ask survey questions to gain feedback about what went well and what people would like to see next time.
Include questions to help you gauge the value of your event to people in attendance. Did they think it was a good use of their time? Did they come away with new information or new connections they couldn’t have found another way?
Ask what they enjoyed most about the event and whether they’d return in the future. If you had speakers or exhibitors, ask questions to see how much of a fit they were with your audience.
Follow up with leads — personally
Events are perfect for generating new leads and drumming up business.
At an event, potential customers can get hands-on with your products or services, and they have the chance to get in-depth with their questions and concerns. Anyone who attends will have a better idea of how you can provide solutions to their needs, and they may walk away excited to give you their business.
Post-event follow-up is a great way to nurture leads and improve your chances of converting an interested customer into a buyer.
Don’t let this momentum slip away. When someone expresses an interest in your business, make a note to follow up with them, and do it. Schedule a call, a virtual meeting, or an in-person meeting so they can ask more questions or start the buying process.
Create vlog and blog posts related to the event
Post-event activities don’t have to directly involve your customers. Creating digital content recapping the event or offering supplemental information helps you build brand awareness, opening up your next event to a wider audience.
Generating buzz around in-person events is easier because you can shoot dynamic video that offers a glimpse into the event itself. But you can still promote virtual events with post-event marketing. If you recorded your sessions — and you should have — pull out clips of interesting information and shoot videos of people reacting. You can also use them as an opportunity to expand on topics that you covered.
When you’re writing blog posts about the event, highlight what people got out of it. Use some of the answers from your post-event survey to get topic ideas.
Host a networking follow-up event
Events offer attendees the chance to network with you and other guests. Set up a small, in-person, or digital event where people who came to the main show can compare notes with each other or just interact.
You don’t have to rent out a convention space and invite 1,000 people to come talk to each other.
A networking forum could be as simple as an online chat where you moderate a discussion about the event or other relevant industry topics. By hosting your follow-up social online, you give everyone the chance to connect, regardless of where they live.
Give attendees an exclusive offer
Guests at many events are often given swag bags with promotional items donated by sponsors. Sometimes these bags have fun items like spa gift cards or even something kitschy and useful like toothpaste.
Offering something exclusive like a post-event discount or early access to new merch is like an event swag bag. People have to show up to get it, and its contents make others want to be there next time.
Access to your shop could be enough. Sephora regularly hosts makeup and skin care classes for its beauty insiders. These classes are hosted before the store opens, and as an added perk, attendees can shop in the store when nobody else is there picking through the goods.
Keep up the buzz with a social media contest
Social media contests are a great source of user-generated content and word-of-mouth advertising. If you’ve already got a branded hashtag for your event, offer a prize to everyone who tags you and others in event-related posts. Use the hashtag to track entries.
You can choose a winner at random, have event attendees vote on the winner, or set up rules that inspire people to get creative. Your prize doesn’t have to break the bank. Include some money in your event budget for a post-event prize that serves as a good incentive to enter.
Offer VIP extras to your next event
If you’re organizing recurring events, send a special VIP offer to everyone who attended the last event. These offers don’t have to be flashy or expensive, they just need to entice event attendees to attend your next event — and be exclusive.
Think about offering incentives like:
- Special discounts or early-bird registrations for the next event
- Exclusive receptions with key speakers or entertainers who will be at your next event
- The ability to pick up a VIP swag bag when they check in to the next event
Use post-event marketing to achieve your goals
You put so much effort into planning your events you may be ready to write them off and move on to the next one as soon as they’re done. But post-event marketing is a great way to nurture leads — riding the momentum of enthusiasm you worked so hard to build.
Post-event marketing activities give you the chance to see how well you achieved your goals. They also help you determine what worked and what you can improve for your next event.
For the best results, use more than one post-event engagement activity to reach a wider variety of people.
Tools like social media posts, vlogs, and blogs help boost your visibility, letting you attract new attendees who are searching online for events like yours.
Surveys and forums give people the chance to tell you how they liked the event and what they got out of it. This information gives you valuable insight into your customers.
Offering perks like discounts and special extras to people who attend your event makes them more valuable and helps inspire others to attend.
Don’t stop once your event is over. Incorporate post-event marketing into your event marketing plan and keep upping your event game.
Learn how to pack the house with our Step-by-Step Guide to Event Promotion