Having been both an event host and an attendee over the years, I’ve seen some outstanding follow-up communications and some not so great. The keys to being on the outstanding side of the equation are simple:
1. Be prompt. Have your follow-up plan locked and loaded long before the day of the event. If you’re not sending some sort of follow-up communication within 24 hours post-event, you’re already late.
2. Be meaningful. We’ve all received the obligatory, “It was great to see you at our event! Here is a link to our website” email that we immediately delete. A follow-up email like that will generate the same results as not sending anything at all. A general marketing rule of thumb: If something doesn’t have a specific desired outcome, don’t do it. Instead, go the extra mile and keep your attendees engaging with you by asking them to complete a survey about their experience and ask them how you can improve the next event. Or, my personal favorite: If the event they attended was part of an ongoing series, encourage a subscription to the event calendar to stay in the know for upcoming events.
3. Be personal. This is not to say that you need to create custom, handwritten notes that get delivered on a silver platter to your attendees. It means you should go the extra mile to ensure an email isn’t generic and bland. For example, instead of writing, “Thank you for attending the event” in an email subject line, use personalization tags and create something like, “One more thing before you go, John!” This conveys promptness, meaningful action, and obviously, a personalized touch.