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A successful event demands a lot of time and planning, but it does not end with the breakdown. What you do after completing your event is an important part of the overall planning. I call it the “event after-effect”, and this is precious time when customers feel like they are in debt to you for the invitation and valuable experience.
I have been involved in the organization and execution of many events during my career and they all require a lot of planning before and during the event, but the planning does not stop when the event ends, it continues so that you can keep benefiting from the events after-effect. Do not delay in reaching out to your customers right after the event because they will be eager to help you with your requests. Here are six things to do after your successful business event to continue reaping the benefits:
1. Thank you notes
Customer loyalty is key to the continuation of your business and a hand written note to your guests is a nice way to give thanks in a personal manner, mostly today that everyone is always running and busy without time to handwrite cards anymore! An email is good, but a hand written note is much better! I still send hand written holiday cards to my family and friends instead of the ready-to-go picture postcards that are so popular. Go old school, people will appreciate it!
2. Event Photographs
With today’s ease in communication and all the tools available, you can easily send out a link to pictures of the event that customers can share with their company, family and friends. I like flickr, but there are many others out there! I would even go a step further and send a personal picture of your customer with you and/or his team at the event as part of my email with a link to more pictures. This will be sure to grab his attention and by curiosity continue by clicking to the link. A follow up call or email should be your next step to engage in more friendly conversation and maybe an order!
3. Share posts and comments
The social mindset of today’s world makes everyone more interested in what others are saying. The comments and posts on your facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and other accounts can continue to be useful during the months to follow. If you did not receive any written responses after the event don’t be shy and ask customers for their comments and then ask them if you can quote them in your marketing material. They will usually say “sure”! People like to help people they know, and who doesn’t like to read their own comment posted and highlighted as part of a good marketing campaign that will help their partner in business? Create an area on your website featuring these comments and links to pictures and/or a video of the event.
4. Event video
If you were smart about your event and hire a videographer to document it, you have an incredible opportunity to keep engaging your customer in more communications. Even if an amateur took the video you may still use it, with user-friendly tools like iMovie or other video editor applications, you can do so much! Please make sure that the final video is well edited and that it lasts no longer than one to three minutes so it is not too long and people can enjoy it without loosing their attention. Place your business logo when possible and a thank you at the end. As you continue doing events, create a library of all of them and give access to customers. Customers like to do business with others, mostly if they know that they can have a good time doing it! You can use some of the footage for future videos, even creating a video invitation for your next event!
5. Send a survey
Need feedback on your event or ideas for future ones? Ask your customers to lend you a hand. You may be surprised at the creativity and interesting responses that you may receive. Thinking of incorporating new products, services or others? Ask your customers what they think with a survey. Now is the best time to ask for input.
6. Invite them to more activities
If your business has a newsletter, gives educational seminars, is thinking of launching a new product or other, take advantage of the event after-effect and talk about it now. You have the customer’s attention.
I enjoy creating and executing all types of marketing activities, but my most memorable experiences have always been during our business events. When done right, they are the most engaging tools in marketing to bring people together and make businesses grow. They can be educational, networking and fun, you just have to know how to mix the right amount of each into the overall event to be successful. The planning is key, in order to make it work you have to plan in advance, execute and follow the steps above to continue enjoying the benefits of the event’s after-effects. Customers will appreciate the time and money you (your company) spent to make them feel so important and will want to continue doing business with you. Have a happy after-effect event!