How to Harvest Post-Event Energy, Enthusiasm and Goodwill
By Michelle Bruno
April 10, 2023
You expend the bulk of your team’s creative energy, time and resources before the event getting exhibitors and sponsors to sign up and attendees to register. When the event is over, the first thought on your managers’ minds is heading to bed or the beach.
However, there’s a missed opportunity to capitalize on the warm and fuzzy feelings you’ve passed on to your participants with your stellar event. A strategic initiative to harvest post-event energy, enthusiasm and goodwill, could yield powerful benefits. Here are some ideas to consider.
1) Send out a different kind of survey
Don’t limit your post-event attendee survey to standard “what did or didn’t you like about our event” questions. Ask customers to select from a menu of amenities, including content, connections or opportunities (see the list below) they can take advantage of in the following weeks.
2) Personalize your gratitude
The “Thanks for coming” sign pasted on the back of the “Welcome to the Best Conference Ever” entrance unit does little to help attendees relive their moments in the gentle embrace of your event. Including attendee photos, comments, questions or social posts in thank-you messages is far more impactful.
3) Set up post-event consultations with key exhibitors and sponsors
Your event is awash in data, courtesy of your technology stack. Make a concerted effort to collect meaningful data points for your exhibitors and sponsors and schedule meetings immediately after your event to share the information with them.
4) Send out content your attendees may have missed
If your attendee registration form is detailed enough, you’re collecting information about topics your customers are interested in. Provide them access to post-event replays, PowerPoints and other relevant downloadable assets.
5) Onboard stakeholders to your community
If you have a community platform, one of the best times to invite new members to join is during a period of post-event energy, enthusiasm and goodwill. Consider rewarding them for community posts about the event.
6) Recruit for committees, special interest groups, or advisory boards
When interest in your organization is at its peak, such as when your members or customers have just experienced an extraordinary and purposeful event, it’s a good time to solicit volunteers for various initiatives.
7) Help exhibitors and sponsors nurture their attendee relationships
For exhibitors and sponsors, serving existing customers and filling the sales pipeline continue even after the event ends. So, what can you do to help them nurture these relationships post-event? Try keeping your matchmaking and meeting scheduling platform open after the event but shifting the in-person meetings to virtual meetings.
8) Continue the conversation
Look for crowded sessions, positive comments and buzz around specific topics or speakers during the event. Immediately schedule and advertise follow-up webinars, Zoom meetings or presentations on complementary topics after the event.
9) Point them to an ideas portal
While your event is top of mind for attendees, give them a place to suggest ideas about content, programming, features or events within the event. Make it more than a digital suggestion box by asking others to vote up the suggestions and provide rewards for the best ideas.
10) The game plan for harvesting post-event energy, enthusiasm and goodwill
To make the most of your plan to leverage participants’ post-event feel-good vibes, you need to do a couple of things:
- Put a “harvest” plan in place before the event
- Double down on personalization with the data you’ve captured during the event
- Ask your tech providers to capture the data you need in a format you can use right away
- Communicate your post-event plans to your attendees, exhibitors and sponsors
- Track your post-event success metrics: signups, views, downloads, subscriptions, memberships and anything relevant to your plan
There’s something magical about the days following an event. Use this time to demonstrate that your event is only one of many customer touch points you intend to activate for your clients throughout the year. By doing so, you’ll build customer loyalty, brand value and competitive strength.
If you need help developing or executing a post-event strategy like the one we’ve outlined above, let us know.