Driving post-event engagement is an integral part of your virtual event planning.
Hosting a great virtual event is one thing, but how do you ensure attendees come back time and time again?
The effort shouldn’t stop the moment the event ends. Instead, you need to nurture leads and turn them into regular customers and even better, brand advocates.
These types of customers bring the most value to your business, as these are the people who will rely on your services in the future. Furthermore, by ensuring they have a positive experience and enjoy your virtual event, they are more likely to recommend your business to their friends and colleagues.
That’s why driving post-event engagement should never be viewed as an afterthought.
Whilst focussing on the content of your event and how it is going to be delivered is essential, what happens after, can make all of the difference.
In this post, we’re going to explore 7 ways to follow up with your attendees after an amazing virtual event.
This helps you to build strong relationships with your audience so that you can sustain the momentum created during the event.
Let’s take a look.
How to Follow up With Attendees After a Virtual Event
As we’ve touched on in the intro, following up with your attendees after a virtual event has taken place should be a core part of your event planning.
Don’t leave customers to find one of your competitors, as this means they will be attending their events in the future instead! You’ve put so much effort into making a great event that features compelling content, engaging speakers, and a variety of presentations, that you don’t want this to go to waste.
To ensure maximum ROI for your virtual event, make sure you continue this effort once the event has finished.
Reaching out to customers also allows you to gain an insight into what worked and what didn’t, which can inform your event strategy moving forward.
With that said, let’s dive into the 7 ways to follow up with your attendees after a virtual event..
Communication is a core part of your post-virtual event strategy, as you want to stay fresh in the minds of your audience.
You don’t want them to forget about you, or for their attention to be stolen by one of your competitors.
Therefore, make sure you send them a follow-up email that thanks them for their attendance at your virtual event as they have still taken time out of their day. This could take the form of a simple ‘thank you note’ so that they feel like their time was valued and appreciated.
To maximise post-event engagement even more, your email could include a recap of the virtual event alongside a video that captures the main highlights. This could then be reshared on social media, which would expand your reach more as they are sharing it with their network of followers.
You could also include a link to a post-event survey which would allow your audience to give their thoughts on which areas they enjoyed and which areas they didn’t. For instance, if they found a certain breakout session boring, or a certain speaker difficult to follow, then you can use these insights when making decisions in the future.
Ask your sales team to follow up with attendees
As well as sending generic communications, you should also ask your sales team to follow up with potential clients.
This approach is much more personal as your sales team could reach out to them via phone and build up a rapport. They will also be able to provide valuable information on the different event formats that are available for attendees, which can help convert them from prospects into customers.
By using a virtual event platform such as iVent, you will have access to a whole suite of event analytics. This will give your team an insight into the different interests of each attendee so that they can use this information to better nurture them.
Provide post-event content
After the event has taken place, you should prepare additional content that you can share with your attendees.
This could be attached to an email and should be something of additional value to what you have already offered the attendees during your event.
You want to give them a reason to stay invested in your brand after the event has taken place, so don’t just rehash something that they’ve already got. Think of ways you can add value to your audience so that they are encouraged to join your events in the future.
This is also a great way of surprising your attendees as they’re probably not expecting to receive anything else. They will think that they’ve already experienced it all, so this is a great way of reaching back out to them and going that extra mile.
The content you send should align with the purpose of your virtual event and can be used as a follow-up touchpoint with your attendees. For example, if you hosted a pharmaceutical conference, then you could send your attendees a free ebook that’s all about getting to grips with new and emerging medical practices.
You should also consider sending your attendees a digital swag bag that’s full of useful materials and discount codes. For example, if you’ve hosted a skincare event, send attendees discount codes where they can purchase the products you’ve featured for a fraction of the price. Swag bags are a great way to delight your attendees and to thank them for their attendance.
Sending follow-up surveys
Another way to keep up with your event attendees is to request feedback based on their experience at your event.
After all, it’s not about what you think of the event that matters; it’s about the experience of your attendees. If they didn’t enjoy it or find the material useful, then it’s highly unlikely that they’ll return in the future.
As such, make sure you send a follow-up email that asks for their opinions about the event sessions, speakers, presentations, the virtual event platform, the number of networking opportunities, and downloadable resources. By evaluating their responses, you can clearly see which parts of your virtual event need tweaking moving forward.
To encourage attendees to complete the survey (after all, you are asking them to give up even more of their free time), make sure to offer incentives such as gift cards, discount codes, or other freebies.
You could also use a poll to identify what content worked best after the event is finished. Ask your audience which topics they found most interesting or which speakers were most engaging as this allows you to maximise their experience in the future. Polls are also very interactive and don’t take as much time to complete compared to a survey.
Connect with attendees on social media
Driving post-event engagement via social media is a great way of keeping the event buzz going!
You don’t want people to turn off their computer screen and forget all about you. Instead, leverage the power of social media and keep the interactions alive for longer.
For instance, you could host social media contests with attractive prizes for winners which encourages people to get involved. As well as creating excitement, this is also a great way to get your sponsors involved as you could promote their products and services in the process.
This is a great way for them to get even more exposure as you are driving more people towards their brand.
Make sure you get attendees involved too and let them take the lead. You could ask attendees to share their favourite moments from the virtual event or to share 3 new things that they’ve learned.
When it comes to social media, make sure you set up relevant groups so that attendees can reach out to one another and continue the conversation in a more relaxed setting.
Whilst we’ve touched on social media above, LinkedIn deserves its own section!
That’s because so many businesses are leveraging the power of this social platform, and understand the advantages it brings. From a connections perspective, it makes reaching out to other professionals simple and easy, so that you can expand your reach even further.
40% of B2B marketers surveyed indicated LinkedIn as the most effective channel for driving high-quality leads. – Hootsuite
From an event organiser’s point of view, you should always connect with attendees on LinkedIn after an event has taken place.
You can then include individuals in a post about the event to thank them for coming and for sharing their knowledge. By doing so, you are also connecting attendees to one another which allows them to continue their discussions outside of the virtual event space.
In addition, you could send attendees a quick message to ask them about their experience of your virtual event, and if they require any further guidance. For example, were they interested in a particular product or service but didn’t have time to fully explore this during the event?
Well, now’s the time!
You can also use LinkedIn to nurture and build on your connections with attendees by making sure to engage with any interesting content they post.
Share content gathered from the event
Perhaps some people couldn’t make it to your event and as such, missed all of the incredible content that you’d worked so hard putting together?
In this case, it makes sense to share content from the event so that no one misses out!
People are busy and unfortunately, there are always going to be no-shows.
Even if people confirm to say they can definitely attend your virtual event, you can’t hold your breath. However, you don’t want people to miss out as there could be some really valuable business opportunities to be had, so make sure the content is easily accessible.
With the iVent platform, this has never been more simple as you can record all of your virtual event content and upload it to our digital hub. This means it’s accessible 24/7, 365 days a year so that none of your audience ever misses out.
And even better, because it lives online, it means they can watch the content on-demand, at a time that is most convenient for them.
Host a follow-up event
Another way to engage your audience after an event has taken place is to host a follow-up event.
This keeps the excitement going and gives your audience something to look forward to. Don’t leave the follow-up event too long after your initial event, as you still want the knowledge they have learned to be fresh in their minds.
This follow-up event could feature some of your speakers doing a live Q&A session with your audience, so that they can expand on topics they were most interested in the first time.
That’s why surveys are so important as you can use the feedback gained from these to inform the follow-up event. By knowing which topics your audience enjoyed the most and wanted more time on, you can incorporate these elements into the follow up session.
It’s all about listening to your audience to make sure they are invested in your brand, and getting as much value from the experience as possible.
A follow up event also provides an extra opportunity for your sponsors to get in front of their target audience, so it’s a win-win for everyone involved!
Post Engagement: 7 Ways to Follow Up an Amazing Virtual Event
When it comes to post-event engagement, you need to stay fresh in the minds of your audience.
Just because you’ve planned and delivered a fantastic virtual event, it does not mean the hard work doesn’t stop there! People will be quick to forget about your brand – if you let them.
That’s why utilising the methods above allows you to follow up with your attendees, and ensures your name is the one they think of when they need a product or service.
You want your attendees to speak highly of your event, and to recommend you to their friends and colleagues. Building these relationships and nurturing leads is the way to ensure this happens, and means future virtual events will be even more successful.
At iVent, planning and executing successful virtual events is what we’re good at. Our team has over 12 years of experience, and we can help you create virtual events that keep people coming back time and time again.
To find out more or to speak about your requirements in more detail, simply get in touch.