Exhale. Congratulate yourself. Open that second bottle of wine because your event is over. But, don't get too comfortable because the work is not done... yet. The good news, everything you do from this point on to wrap up your event will only help - running social analytics reports, recapping with partners and vendors, calculating ROI, and sending post event follow-ups to attendees.
Don't get caught up in the notion that post-event wrap up emails only apply to B2B marketers managing conferences, trade shows, or networking events. Why does the regional sales rep who came to your corporate happy hour deserve an email, but the Walking Dead super fan who flew across the country for a live screening doesn't?
Remember, branded events are designed to promote positive feelings among your consumers and maintain those feelings, along with loyalty, long after the event has ended. With a clear focus on maintaining and nurturing that positivity, follow-up emails exist as an opportunity for attendees to share their opinions and feel valued by your brand.
Before you can send a post-event email follow up, you need to ensure you actually have all of your attendees email addresses. While this seems like a no-brainer for small, invite only events like sponsored concerts or VIP parties, what about other experiential activations like stunts or Comic-Con activations?
Create opportunities to capture as many email addresses as possible:
- Require a ticket download, even for your free brand experience
- Hire brand ambassadors to sign attendees up for post-event contest straight from a tablet
- Giveaway free swag in exchange for filling out a quick form
- Include a photo opportunity in which attendees are prompted to enter their email addresses in order to receive their photos
The FoxTales photo booth at this summer's HGTV Lodge prompted attendees to enter their email addresses to receive their photos straight to their inboxes
Once the second bottle of wine is empty (don't go for three, it's embarrassing...) make sure you get your post-event email out in a matter of days, not weeks. Thank attendees for coming, share photos, thank sponsors, ask for social follows, and get survey responses in while the experience is still top-of-mind. To save yourself time and energy, outline the email before the event kicks off, then fill in details with photos and specific references as they happen.
To keep the content streamlined, establish a goal for your email before hitting send. Do you want attendees to follow you on social? Download an asset? Complete a post-event survey? Whatever the goal, keep that front and center. I can't stress enough the importance of a post-event survey in your email.
Surveys provide honest answers about your event straight from those who were chosen to experience it. A strong survey has:
- An incentive to fill out the form like being entered into a giveaway
- 10-20, multiple choice questions, with the option to elaborate as attendees see fit
- A rating scale of 3-5 experiences from the event that you, as the brand, consider to be the most valuable - It can be interesting to see whether or not attendees placed the same value on those experiences
- A section to detail any elements attendees would like to see changed for next year, such as additional food options, VIP tickets, or more bathrooms!
Respect attendees time for opening your email and filling out your survey by actually implementing the changes they've requested at the next event. This proves to them that you value their opinions as consumers, which can only better the relationship.
Post-event follow ups provide valuable insights into your consumers and event attendees, offer another chance to have a positive connection to them, and give you additional opportunities to surprise and delight them.