In my last article, Pre-event communication: Don’t let your event start at the door, I talked about how pre-event communication plants the seeds of important messaging and puts attendees in the right frame of mind even before they arrive at your event.
I also said it was an often-overlooked element and became a missed opportunity to connect with attendees. Do you know what the other often-overlooked element is? Post-event communication, or post-com – and it’s probably the most neglected element of the meeting industry.
Why? Think about it. As soon as an event is over people quickly move on. Your client immediately goes back to their ‘real job’ and you’re already hard at work on the next event.
It’s a reality we’re all faced with, but it’s no excuse for missing out on this excellent opportunity to enhance messages, reconnect with or reinvigorate attendees, and build upon the event experience.
So, if pre-com is planting the seeds, then post-com is nurturing the message or brand. And if you don’t nurture it, the message or brand can’t thrive. And after all of the work you put into pulling an event off, wouldn’t it be great if you could extend the buzz and have attendees still talking about it, or acting on it, throughout the year? Don’t you owe that to your client?
Well, you should know that if you’ve hit the mark on your event, post-com has the greatest potential to be successful in continuing the momentum. So here’s an idea to ensure post-com happens without added stress or a lengthy post-event commitment on anyone’s part.
Plan and produce your post-com in advance as a part of the overall event planning. This way your post-com is ready to go even before your event begins. It doesn’t have to be complicated. You can make use of existing communication channels like adding to a blog or writing a newsletter article. Or it can be as simple as a series of emails or text messages. So plan in advance and integrate any writing and design into your event schedule.
For one client, we created HTML email blasts on sales rep success stories. We had solicited success stories from the attendee population for use at the event and beyond. We received so many that we used some after the event to further inspire and engage. We produced all of the story segments at one time pre-event so it was easy for everyone involved. All the client had to do was email out the pre-produced pieces at various intervals throughout the year.
Or how about when you’re planning your event, and you’ve asked the president to write a short message for the pre-com or invite, have them also write their thoughts on what they would say to attendees in the months following the event. Format or design post-com at the same time as pre-com and you’ll be ready before the event even begins.
Some planners shy away because they think post-com is out of their depth or budget. Keeping it simple and getting it done up front can alleviate some of that concern and maximize efficiencies of scale. Getting leadership to own and draft updates or hiring an individual writer or an agency to help can also be cost effective and get you the results your client is looking for.
Lastly, I think we can agree that no one knows the value of surveys as a sponsorship or marketing touch point better than event planners. Ask anyone who does fundraisers and they will tell you repeat attendees contribute more to the overall campaign than new attendees, and well planned post-com can keep them coming back. Just be sure to always get those surveys out immediately in the weeks following the event while the experience is still fresh in the minds of attendees so details aren’t forgotten or tainted over time.
Bottom line, post-com can be very beneficial for your client, for attendees and for you. Give it the attention it deserves by making it a part of your pre-production instead of waiting until it’s most likely to be forgotten. Your event doesn’t have to end when the last attendee leaves – it can live on contributing to even better results.
About the author
Ben Moorsom is President and Chief Creative Officer at Debut Group, an agency that specializes in corporate business communication and events across North America. Since 1997, Debut has pioneered new ways of delivering content and has mastered the art of creating greater perceived production value for their clients. For more information on how Ben and his dynamic team of communication and production veterans deliver better results by producing bold creative that is strategically grounded, emotionally engaging, and flawlessly delivered to meet any clients budget visit Debut at www.debutgroup.com.