Hosting attendees at your virtual event takes hard work, and crafting a memorable event experience takes top-notch planning and logistics. But when it comes to ensuring maximum ROI for your event, what you do after is what matters most.
If you fail in your follow-up strategy, your competitors who offer similar products or services might be the ones to benefit from your hard work Therefore, you have to continue to nurture attendees until they become your regular customers or patronizers.
This article discusses how you can create an effective post-event follow up strategy to sustain the momentum created during your virtual event, and nurture your leads through the sales funnel. We will consider the following action points:
- Plan for Post-Event Resources
- Be Swift with Post-Event Communication
- Send Post-Event Surveys to Attendees
- Engage Attendees On Social Media
- Create Attendee Communities to Continue Engagement
Ready to learn more about enacting a strong virtual event follow-up strategy? Let’s get started.
Plan for Post-Event Resources
If you want to move at the speed of light with your post-event follow up, consider preparing post-event resources while planning your virtual event. These resources include what you plan to offer or showcase to your attendees after your event. For example, you might create:
A Post-event Webpage
A post-event webpage complements the purpose of your overarching virtual event webpage. While the event page empowers prospects to attend an event, a post-event webpage shows the highlights of the experience. It features content such as a “thank you” message, a recap of what happened during your event, important stats such as digital attendance, highlights from key virtual presentations, and downloadable content.
The page can help attendees relive the event experience and also serve as testimony to people who missed the event, so that they can look forward to the next one.
To ensure that the post-event webpage is ready on time, your team can start collecting content for the page before and during the event. You can retain the URL and design of the event page for post-event purposes as well.
Prepare additional content to share with your attendees after your virtual event. This should be something of additional value to what you already offered the attendees during your event. It’s a way of surprising your audience after they might have thought that they have experienced it all. The content should align with the event and can be used as a follow-up touchpoint with your attendees.
Post-event Premium Offer
Give attendees a premium offer as appreciation for their attendance. If you are offering a product or service, you might offer premium discounts. Otherwise, you can also offer gift cards or give them an exclusive invitation to a special VIP event.
Be Swift with Post-Event Communication
Communication is an important part of your post-virtual event strategy. This involves both general email communication and special follow-ups by the event sales team.
The follow-up email should start with a “Thank You” note. It should provide a quick recap of the virtual event, and a video clip that captures the high points of the event. You can also include a link to a post-event survey or ask them to check out your additional content on the post-event webpage.
This should be done within a day or two after your event to stay fresh in the minds of attendees. The first email can help you to determine quality leads based on those who act on your email, to inform your subsequent outreach. You can also send a follow-up email to people who didn’t act on your previous email in case they missed it.
Sales Team Follow-up
Whether the goal of your event is to drive sales, raise funds, profile new clients, or increase membership enrollment, your sales team can continue to engage your attendees either via email or phone call. However, these follow-ups should take a more personalized approach. The team will continue to provide valuable information to attendees, especially those related to their interests, and this can convert the audience to customers.
If you used a mobile event app or hosted your event on a virtual event platform, you should have access to event analytics from your app or platform. This will give you insight into what interests each attendee.
Send Post Event Surveys to Attendees
Another way to keep up with your event attendees is to request feedback based on their experience at your event. Ask their opinions about the event sessions, speaker performance, virtual event platform, downloadable materials, and other important aspects of the event that need evaluation.
You can also measure the net promoter score (NPS) to know how they are willing to recommend your event to their friends. People who scored your event above 7 are more likely to recommend your event. Then, you can use event feedback to plan and prepare for a better event in the future.
To encourage maximum participation for your surveys, offer incentives such as gift cards, discount codes, or other attractive prizes.
Engage Attendees On Social Media
Post-event social media engagement is effective for keeping the event buzz alive. Excite your audience by hosting social media contests with substantial prizes for winners. Apart from creating excitement, this can also help in boosting your brand awareness on social media.
You can ask attendees to share their favorite moments during the virtual event or post their new discoveries. Choose winners based on the highest votes, likes, or retweets. Announce the contest both on social media and through emails to have maximum engagement.
Create Attendee Communities to Continue Engagement
Create online communities where attendees can have conversations based on topics of interest. For virtual events, this will be a forum on the mobile event app or virtual event platform. Ideally, it should be set up to serve attendees before, during, and after the event.
Encourage attendees to participate in the discussions and connect with others on the platform. Moderators can assist with starting threads and facilitating discussions. Once discussions on the platform become organic during the event, these conversations will be sustained even after the event is over.
Therefore, you can also connect with attendees on the platform for post-event follow-up. Just be sure to post new information periodically. You might even collect conversational insights by tracking frequently asked questions, recurring problems, and attendee needs. That can help identify content gaps when planning future events.
Whether you are sending out an email, posting in forums, or putting up a contest on social media, pay attention to data to know what is working and what is not. In addition, don’t be too “salesy,” but use a specific content strategy to keep attendees engaged until they become “warm leads” that you can convert to customers.
This is a guest post by Jordan Schwartz
Jordan Schwartz is president and co-founder of Pathable, an event app and website platform for conferences and trade shows. He left academic psychology for the lure of software building, and spent 10 years at Microsoft leading the development of consumer-facing software. Frustrated with the conferences he attended there, he left Microsoft in 2007 with the goal of delivering more value and better networking opportunities through a next-generation conference app. Jordan moonlights as a digital nomad, returning often to his hometown of Seattle to tend his bee hives.