You want your event to be like “The NeverEnding Story,” except without that weird luck dragon/schnauzer/Yoda hybrid.
Your goal is to put on THE event that everyone talks about for years to come.
Some of that comes from planning a rad program with all the innovations of modern technology and event management tools, but you gotta keep the hype going after the doors have closed and your guests have headed home.
These event planning tips are here to keep your happening happening for as long as possible.
1. Network on it
Most attendees go to events with networking in mind, especially for conferences and corporate meetings. You can help them start and strengthen meaningful connections after your event, which will keep your event fresh in their mind as a source of contacts and professional benefits.
With MPI’s research in The State of Event Apps predicting an 85% or higher adoption rate for mobile apps by event managers across many industries in the next six months to a year, and already 63% of meeting planners using an app, it makes sense that technology can power this solution.
Apps like attendify and DoubleDutch offer private social networking just for attendees within their product. Another, pathable, has a guide on how to manage an online event community so that you and your guests have the most positive, rewarding experience possible.
Short of a complete event app, other programs power networking that can pay off after your event. Evernote can scan business cards to capture and organize contact information, and then match it to a LinkedIn profile or let you email them your own details.
2. Keep it social
Social media is another way of networking, but it’s also a path for reaching out to those who missed out on your event. You can make them jealous of the people who were there while getting them excited to partake next time.
Each platform has its own advantages.
In the Viral Impact of Events, a survey by FreemanXP and the Event Marketing Institute, 55% of brands ranked Facebook as the most effective social media platform for use after an event. Facebook is great for sharing a range of media – photos, videos, links to written content – as well as getting feedback from attendees. Ask what their favorite part of the event was, and give them a chance to reminisce and show off how much fun they had.
Twitter hashtags are definitely powerful during an event, but they can also carry over into the days ahead, an easy way for tweeters to share takeways or information that might be relevant. After this year’s Nonprofit Technology Conference by NTEN, #NTC15 was active with thoughts and information for a couple weeks beyond the end of sessions. Remind your followers the hashtag still exists by using it in your posts.
LinkedIn, designed for professional social networking, is also a place to keep your event alive. Start a LinkedIn group for those who were present, and regularly ask questions or share helpful content. LinkedIn is great for B2B connections and your attendees will love the chance to build an audience for their own entities.
3. Sharing is caring
Sometimes it’s hard to take notes in the middle of a fast-paced session, or capture the essence of a speaker back at the office after the event.
You can be the resource for all kinds of great post-event content, and both those who were and weren’t there will love you for it.
Record talks and put them on YouTube. Ted Talks, which gather hundreds of thousands of views online, are a prime example of how people can appreciate a speech even if they weren’t in the room at the time.
Link to them on social media and your website, and create a way for those considering attending in the future to get the (nearly) firsthand account of what your event’s about.
4. It’s not over until it’s over
Break-out sessions don’t have to be limited by the parameters of a conference. Get the gang back together for follow-up programs in the month after your event. Plan a happy hour or lunch meet up and, if your organization can, spread them over major hub cities throughout the country.
You could enlist speakers to add to what was said, or just come prepared with some discussion questions to move conversation along. These can also function as focus groups for valuable (and more candid) event feedback.
How do you turn your after-event into something epic? Tell your story in the comments below!
Looking for Event Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Event Management software solutions.