Creative Post-Event Engagement Tips for the Purposeful Planner
Rally time is over and everyone’s heading back to the office. Now what?
Event management agencies love talking about pre-event engagement tactics and on-site production strategies, but the post-event landscape is where the real magic happens.
This is the point where your employees either take what they learned at the conference to heart or fade back into their same ol’ routine.
Sure it’s a challenge, but with every challenge comes opportunity. Stick to these time-tested workforce engagement tips to make the most of that opportunity and fire up your employees!
Post-Event Strategies that Drive Your Message Home
Let’s assume for a moment you still have time to plan your post-event engagement platform. Beginning with the end in mind allows you to implement a ton of on-site features that spring back to relevance later on.
Look for ways to incorporate your post-event content strategy into the onsite activities. One of the most popular examples of this is filming & documenting every big moment within the conference. Take it even further by hosting one-on-one interviews with attendees and making them feel personally highlighted.
It’s also worthwhile to spice up your conference with something people can take home. Photo booths, for instance, are a great addition to your conference because they give your attendees a tangible relic.
These are just a few examples, but what is most important is that you are thinking about your post-event engagement strategy ahead of time. Keep an eye out for follow-up opportunities throughout the event planning process – you’ll be glad you did.
Listen! Listen! Listen!
The most impactful way you use forward-thinking to your advantage is to design a congruent survey that spans through all phases of the employee lifecycle.
You can use an internal survey to gauge your culture beforehand, but that doesn’t mean the results should be swept under the rug after. Instead, conduct that survey after the event as well. Many companies will go so far as to use the exact same questions, too. Compare the before and after results to holistically gauge your progress.
These results ultimately become a tool when planning your next event, allowing you to continually build on your experiential platform.
Create Purposeful Content
The annual convention is a unique selling point for your company. As such, you should do everything you can to repackage the themes and ideas shared throughout the experience.
For starters, consider distributing a take-home kit to your leadership team on their way out the door. This bundle should offer useful and actionable tips for your attendees to take back to work with them.
Your post-event content should be both personalized to your attendees and congruent with your event’s theme.
If your event’s theme was “Rock n’ Roll,” for example, you might make a Spotify playlist for everyone to enjoy after. You could take this even further and mail a hard-copy of a rock n’ roll CD to each attendee, putting your branding on the outside of it. While you’re at it, record a couple interviews of your leadership team in a “behind the music” style documentary short. That would make for a killer recap video!
The possibilities really are endless. Just make sure your content is congruent across all platforms and delivers genuine value to your attendees.
Stay Top of Mind with Drip Campaigns
Now that you’ve got some content, it’s time to distribute it.
Excitement is the name of the game with experiential, but it usually fades all too fast. Our job as engagement professionals is to keep that fire burning as long as possible until it becomes solidified as the company’s new order. This means you need to seize every opportunity that gets your event back in front of your attendees.
The most common way to stay top-of-mind is through email campaigns because they offer a cost-effective way to share your digital content, but oftentimes email isn’t enough.
Try thinking outside the box. For instance, you can use your mobile event app to push notifications following the convention with edited video snippets and other content. This keeps your attendee’s buzzin’ long after the event, especially if you continue posting relevant content on an ongoing basis.
Finally, don’t exclude direct mail from your platform. Postcards and flyers containing useful information can trigger some nostalgia within your employees and reinforce their experiential impressions.
Keep the Experience Alive with Cascading Events
You can revive experiential elements back home with cascading events. Start by coming up with a thematic name, such as a “town hall.”
Having employees revisit key ideas afterwards solidifies the message you want delivered. This doubles as a great way to share information with people who didn’t get a chance to attend the event.
If coordinating town hall meetings sounds like too much effort, there is another solution. Live, two-way video, for instance, provides multiple opportunities for employees around the globe to experience the leadership meeting and hear the message directly from executive leaders.
Another way to reinforce the central idea is to host localized networking events for attendees. Bring them back together with your conference as a shared experience for a refreshingly ‘new’ kind of networking.
Say thank you…
…Actually, say more than thank you. Show them that everything you discussed at the conference wasn’t just feel-good babble.
Thanking your attendees for their continued dedication to your vision and culture should be at the heart of everything you do with your post-engagement platform. While gratitude may be a recurring theme – from highlight videos to cascading town halls – it doesn’t mean you need to shy away from an explicit “thank you” campaign.