Marketing is often seen as a one-trick pony — to drive attendance to the event — and therefore it is utilized almost exclusively in the pre-event phase. Yet marketing is capable of doing so much more. Post-event marketing does three things extremely well:
- It maintains momentum for the next event.
- It encourages and supports the actions the audience needs to take after the event.
- It provides knowledge about what actions could improve the event
Most planners are very aware of the first point — maintaining momentum for the next event. However, even with that awareness, rarely do events do more than deliver a post-event satisfaction survey and post a placeholder Web page for the next iteration. Although there’s a lot of industry buzz about using Facebook, LinkedIn groups, Twitter and blogs to create “community” around an event, there is very little discussion about how to actually populate the social channels with relevant content.
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Leverage the power of post-event marketing
Post-event marketing, to truly create community and support the attendees to employ new knowledge gained at an event, requires both a carefully orchestrated strategy and a committed team of content experts. If attendees need to increase sales, improve customer service, adopt a new brand or enact other new behaviors, and they know that their peers and inside experts will be present and responsive in various social channels, they will show up.
However, if they show up to an un-monitored social platform where no one engages them, they will not return. And, more importantly, the impact of the event will suffer by association.
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The same is true of exit surveys. No one is in a better position to tell the event stakeholders whether their content and delivery are effective or not — and if not, in what way it is lacking. However, asking if they liked the speakers, and felt the level of content was appropriate falls far short of truly applicable information. An effective exit survey will test knowledge and intention to act on the information, then will follow up in a few months or weeks to “check in” and see how the actions are being implemented and the knowledge retained. This is one of the most powerful tools to indentifing gaps in content, or presentation, and ultimately proving the value of the event itself.
Post-event marketing ensures the investment for an event is leveraged to its fullest — becoming part of an integrated marketing strategy for an organization’s growth, not just an isolated tactic.
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