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4 Ways To Engage With Attendees Post Event
You did it! Your event is over, and it was a great success. Every attendee is talking about how great the performers were and how tasty the food was. Lines weren’t too long, and all your vendors were on time (well most of them at least). Now everyone is heading home raving about their awesome experience! The job of a skilled event organizer isn’t over, the real work has just started. For an event to grow year to year, you will need tap into their memories, so they look forward to attending next year. Continuous attendee engagement will make the difference between celebrating a 10-year anniversary or looking back on a failed event strategy.
That time after the event ends, but before the next one kicks into gear can be confusing for event marketers and planners. It seems like a no man’s land of obvious content. Not to mention, keeping anyone’s attention today is no small feat. Everyone’s email inboxes are filled with promotions. Our Facebook news feeds have as many advertisements as they do pictures of cats. If you want someone to hear you over all the noise, you will need think creatively. Any effective after event marketing strategy must be custom tailored to your own event, but check out these ideas to get you started.
1. Thank them for coming
There is a unique opportunity to connect with attendees right after the event. While energies are high and the fun they had is forefront in their mind, a personalized “thank you” message can go a long way. Consumers want to have relationships with brands. Showing your appreciation for their good time will resonate.
You can thank them from social media or email, but personalizing the message to the individual and their experience is important. A simple email blast with “thanks!” isn’t original. That is exactly what every event will do. If you want attendees to open your email, you need to give them a reason to. It doesn’t take much to make people will feel like you are actually talking to them. Put the attendees name in the heading and remind them of a great moment they saw, and you can completely transform the feel of an email. In an age where robots make cold calls, honest personalization is far more likely to create meaningful engagement.
Social Media messages can be harder to personalize since a Facebook status or tweet is, by nature, public. That doesn’t mean they have to be bland though, and an honest “thank you” tweet can still forge bonds with the attendees. It may not be possible to differentiate to the person, but you can certainly personalize your thank your tweet to the event in the same way you would for email.
2. Play with their nostalgia
Moving further away from the event, event marketers might really start to run out of ideas on what to put on their social media profiles and email lists. It's too early to start talking about what will happen next year, and the event ended months ago. So, what can you post? One great tool is nostalgia.
Reminiscing is always great fun, and social media gives you the opportunity to encourage people to remember your good time! A simple post such as a picture of the crowd could make someone stop and try to point themselves out in it. Maybe you can post stories people have told about the event. Or hold a competition for who can post the best picture from the show. Find an after event marketing strategy that fits the unique experience of your event. Evoking these memories will help keep your event on the forefront of past attendee’s minds, and help transform them into future attendees.
Nostalgia shouldn’t be abused though, and it isn’t hard to overplay. Like all things, too much repetition will dull the effect. If your feed and email blasts consists of nothing but pictures from last year for months at a time, people will quickly start ignoring them.
3. Teach them something
Another great use for your social media pages before the next event announcement can be informational content about the field. Every event planer wants to seem knowledgeable and aware of things that matter to their attendees. By posting relevant news and opinions through your social media channels, you can keep contact with attendees and give them reason to pay attention.
Is one of the chefs from your chili cook-off opening a new restaurant? People who went to your event would like to know that. Is a band from your festival breaking up? Sounds important to me!
This kind of engagement does more than keep you in contact with the followers of your events. It develops your image as an expert. More people will think of your brand and your event because they know you are keeping an ear to the ground and paying attention.
4. Tease them a bit
As the announcement date for the next event starts to creep closer, the real fun begins. Up until this point, you haven’t given any real information to your followers on what to expect next year. So it is time to build hype with teasers.
Were all familiar with teaser trailers, the short videos movies release before they give any details about the film. These trailers give small hints towards things that might be in the film, and get people excited in advance for it.
Events can do something similar with their social media pages. You can just hint at information about the event, like bands that will play or what venue you will use. Fans who see this will feel like there is a mystery to solve, and it will draw far more attention to when you make your actual announcements.
The most important thing is to keep posting, and stay engaged. Once a social media profile or email list stops releasing new and original content, it can be hard to build back up the relationship they have earned with followers. Regular content is the key to any after event marketing strategy and will help drive growth for next year’s event!
Updated on June 27th, 2017