Whether you’ve been planning your special event for months or weeks, marketing is a critical piece to getting people to show up. There is so much that goes into it before, during and after the event. That’s right the party’s not over when it’s over. One big piece of event marketing comes in the follow up, and is very often the most overlooked and forgotten aspect of event marketing.
The planning of an event includes all of the obvious pieces such as site selection, food choices, entertainment and then selecting the main attraction whether that is a speaker or something else. The next step is to compile all that information and put it into some great marketing pieces such as a flier, poster, email marketing campaign, Facebook event, and press releases.
The big day is here, you’re excited and energy is bouncing through your event. Before you know it everyone has had a great time, the event has come to an end, and you're already moving on to your next event. But, wait! You’ve still got work to do! Below are some ideas for post-event marketing to help you stay in touch with your attendees, re-live the moment and promote future events.
- Create & share your photo album. “A picture is worth 1,000 words”. We’ve all heard it and social media proves it to be true. Engagement is huge when photos are used so be sure to take lots of photos at your event. Depending on the event you may want to even utilize a professional photographer. Research suggests that posting photo albums increases your engagement by 180%!
- Post photos on Instagram. According to MDG Advertising, 68% of social media users learn about a charity when they see a friend posting about it. Encourage others to post photos on Instagram as well as yourself. When doing so be sure to encourage others to use your event hashtag and/or tag your organization in the post/photo. We would be remiss if we did not encourage you to post photos on Instagram when it is, by foundation, based on images. Be sure to include hashtags that are specific to your topic/industry/product/service to help your photo to be found in searches relevant to those keywords.
- Repost & Share posts using your event hashtag. Hashtags are everywhere, admit it! You see them on TV, hear them being referenced on radio, see them in advertising and more. By utilizing an event hashtag you are able to monitor and view all posts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using your event hashtag. There are even some great hashtag monitoring tools available such as Hashtracker and Keyhole to help you view hashtag analytics. Constant Contact has a great blog explaining more in detail about creating a hashtag to build engagement for your event.
- Send a post-event thank you email and include links to photo albums. Promote your event when it is complete and give it an adrenalin kick by sending an email campaign to say “thanks for attending”. Be sure to include a link to your event’s photo album and ask attendees to tag themselves in the photos. Failing to follow up via email and photos is a missed opportunity for event engagement that will not only showcase your event to friends of attendees but also page or profile growth allowing you to promote your next event to those friends.
- If this is an event that is held often then monopolize on the post-event momentum and invite attendees to your next event. At 5 Stones Media, we hold a monthly event called the “Final Friday Forum” and a quarterly event called “LinkedIn Live”. Part of the next event’s marketing includes having your date, time and other event details final before the current event starts. By doing this, immediately following the existing event your follow-up/thank-you email can share your thank-you sentiments, include your photo album link but also include a “Save the Date” for the next event. Even allowing people to immediately register! Doing so you are able to stay in touch, send reminders and event announcements.
- Promote quotes and testimonials about your event. If you hear attendees sharing great feedback, ask them if you can use that as a testimonial. Compile those and use to promote your next event. Include them in emails, on social media and your event website!
- Conduct a post-event survey or poll to gauge attendee satisfaction and feedback. It is really important to ask attendees how they felt about everything from registration, how they found out about the event, the food, location, timing, etc. That is a great way to get testimonials and quotes to use as well! By using Constant Contact’s survey feature, you can easily put together a valuable survey which comes with a share-able link so that you can post on your website and social media as well as including it in your post-event email!
- Hold a post-event contest to encourage photo posting, etc. Another fun way to follow up after an event is to create a contest campaign allowing attendees to post photos to your contest. Consider giving away an event t-shirt, registration for a future event, gift certificate or something else. If your event included other businesses, they may offer a prize pack as well!
Don’t stop marketing when the event is complete. There is always something left to be done, and quite frankly one event always leads into another and another. Maintain your event’s momentum and energy by staying in touch and sharing those special moments from your events.