I was just on a call to go over last week's Business Information & Media Summit, and one of the first things that our sponsorship/exhibitor person said was that thank yous and surveys have been sent out.
In an article titled Post-Event Marketing Tactics That Leave a Lasting Impact on Attendees on the ASAE site, sending thank yous to both sponsors and attendees should be a given.
"Attending an event requires attendees to make a commitment of time, money and energy. They should know you appreciate that they invested those resources in you. A post-event message is a great way to thank attendees for coming and to let them know that the event wouldn't have been what it was without them. [Also, if you are membership based,] connect with nonmembers who attended to let them know they are invited to join and can save on upcoming events [such as webinars] when they register as a member."
Here is more post-event advice:
Create a webinar series based on the best content. The Public Library Association (PLA) sent this out: "The PLA Conference was an extraordinary learning experience for public librarians, with over 8,000 attendees and more than 100 educational sessions presented. If you weren't able to make it this year or missed out while you were there, PLA has taken three of the top sessions from the conference and transformed them into live, one-hour webinars."
Repackage presentation content. Your presentations don't just have to live on as audios or videos. Package your presentations in a variety of formats to get more out of them—and give your attendees more options. Turn them into infographics, blog posts or short takes to add to podcasts perhaps. One member told me that summaries are often much easier—and faster—for her to consume than videos. Transcription services can be cheap and worthwhile.
Share meeting highlights. Help attendees relive some of the amazing learning experiences they had but also let them see some of the sessions they were not able to attend. If possible, personalize the message: If you're using attendee data coupled with marketing technology with built-in personalization capabilities, you can tailor the highlights based on what the attendee was interested in.
Show thought leadership. It's a good time to demonstrate thought leadership through blogs, articles and mini-events. Close to 50% of people use content marketing in their follow-up to event attendees, and of those 50%, 2 in 3 find it highly effective in continuing the conversation and leading to new business and next year's conference.
Build relationships. Achieving ROI from events is not just about attending the event as much as it's about growing those relationships post-event. Create online discussion groups where attendees and speakers can continue the conversation, share resources, and recommend related online learning programs.
Get next year's event site up quickly. 2020 is not far away, and people make plans and budgets. Hopefully, you have video highlights to create a montage. Maybe you can get some early speaker commitments—sometimes if a speaker cancels you can get them to promise for next year.
Ask speakers to think of their sessions as the beginning, not the end, of the conversation. Instruct speakers to end their session with a "call to action" or "next step" for attendees. During the closing general session, announce a learning challenge. You could center it around a new approach to a thorny hot topic or the first steps to developing a new habit.
Ask for photos or videos. The Canadian Society of Association Executives asks its National Conference attendees to share their videos and photos with the association. CSAE then incorporates them into the post-conference content it develops.
Seek out guest blog posts. These make a lot of sense in driving traffic and can often be win-win propositions, either for someone on your team to post on another site, or an event speaker to post on yours—after a popular session.