For many businesses and nonprofits alike, there is a capstone/signature event each year towards which an organization allocates a significant amount of time and resources. For some organizations, it is a conference or trade show, for many nonprofits it is a gala or other signature fundraising event. And while the pre-event efforts required to produce a great event and attendee experience can be overwhelming, what happens following the event is just as critical to keeping customers/donors engaged and ensuring their continued loyalty to your company or cause.
Whether your next signature event is just around the corner or your marquee occasion has recently passed, you’ll want to have the following on your radar:
1) Maintaining a consistent social media presence
The beauty of a signature event – particularly a multi-day event such as a conference, tradeshow or retreat – is that you can gather a bounty of relevant, high-quality social media content to keep your social media well-populated for days, weeks and months to come.
Before your event even takes place, you’ll want to identify the categories and formats of content that you’ll want to gather – photos, videos, etc. – and how you intend to use each. From #ThrowbackThursday photo albums and key event highlights to trivia, factoids and other related news, the possibilities are endless.
2) Staying on the radar of former attendees and volunteers
Keeping former attendees engaged following your event is key to producing successful, well-attended events year after year. You’ll want to be sure that post-event volunteer and attendee surveys are ready to be deployed immediately following the event while people’s recollections are fresh and they are still reeling from their (hopefully, overwhelmingly positive) experience.
Beyond the surveys, focus on how email marketing can supplement your efforts on social media and if/when a creative direct mail piece or two may be appropriate.
3) Keeping your website fresh
Whether your signature event is featured on its own dedicated website, or lives within your company’s or cause’s primary website, you’ll want to ensure the website doesn’t appear outdated during the time when your event has passed and details for the upcoming year’s event have yet to be solidified. Something as simple as posting “Thanks for a great event. See you next year,” can go a long way in helping to achieve this objective. For nonprofit organizations, it is beneficial to couple this message with an acknowledgement of total funds raised and language detailing how those funds are being used to increase organizational impact.
Whether you are new to the world of annual events or celebrating your event’s milestone anniversary, ensure there is a continuous (but not overwhelming) stream of communications to your attendee base between events to ensure repeat success year after year.