Aftermath - what is to be done after an online event?
Have you ever been in a situation when you met someone at an online event who seemed interesting, but they never called you back afterwards as promised? Make sure your company doesn’t do the same.
Take care of your participants, not only during the conference but also in the following days.
If you’ve already set KPIs and gathered data during an event, you’ll have lots of information to analyze. But there’s more to do after the webinar besides social media reports and statistics.
It’s time to find out what exactly you should focus on after the event.
Why is nurturing participants after an event crucial?
Your work concerning an online event doesn’t finish with the last presentation. No matter if you’re running a marketing conference, a cultural festival, or a business expo, there are several things to take into account afterwards.
Who are brand advocates, and why do you need them?
A brand advocate is a person who is loyal to your company and refers to its products, services, events it’s organizing, and any other activities. The importance of this is highlighted by Kotler in Marketing 4.0, where he states that “the role of marketers is to guide customers throughout their journey [...] ultimately to advocacy”.
Customer loyalty is also known as a client’s devotion to your brand. It measures a customer’s (or participant’s in this case) willingness to do repeat business with you. That means returning to your event and using your related services.
This is important because it promotes business growth and boosts your brand image, which raises the probability of converting your customers into brand ambassadors. Why do these factors matter?
- They result in ROI and reduce the cost of marketing. Through referrals, your event is promoted in a more powerful word-of-mouth way than by your own ads. In general, people are more likely to buy a ticket to an event recommended by their friends or role models than after seeing an advert.
- From a business perspective, it’s a golden goose - brand ambassadors drive both customer retention and acquisition. Customers who are advocates of your brand are likely to attract new leads who are likely to fit into your target group’s characteristics.
Make participants want to recommend your event pro bono
What you want to achieve is a long-lasting impression that causes your attendees to think about your event later. This can convert them into your company's advocates and thus help you attract more people to the next edition by word of mouth.
Besides recommending your conference, such participants should be active when you post events online. Their actions might help you with boosting your organic traffic on social media. Although likes on Facebook are mostly a vanity metric, they can turn out to be helpful with event promotion. For example, giving a like can bump up your posts in their friend’s newsfeeds. Active advocates may also be likely to comment on and share your content, which is a real money saver.
These are a few reasons to take care of your participants at every stage of your online webinar - especially after the event!
We’ll dive deeper into the topic, but there’s a full article about post-webinar lead nurturing available on our blog for anyone who is interested.
How to make people wait for your next event?
If you don't have a friend that waits for that “one, unique” concert or conference every year, it’s probably because you're that friend. There's no better thing for any event (not onlyonline ones) than knowing that people are attuned to it.
You can make people get goosebumps thinking about yours if you’re able to bring the heat and maintain it throughout the year.
Keep it social
A strong suit of social media is being able to stay in communication with people. You can use this facet to your advantage at every stage of a webinar!
Staying in touch with your audience after the event is equally important as before and during it. Doing so reminds participants of your conference and makes them feel like the time they dedicated to it was well-spent. So, your message across all channels should also aim to convince the audience that they made the right choice by attending.
Make use of email marketing
If you have a contact list (and we bet you do, especially when you have attendees' data after an event), it's time to make use of it.
While communicating on social media is generally addressed to a group of people, emails are more personal. Take advantage of that.
Provide recipients with something special, by which we mean especially useful. Whatever you do, keep in mind that your main objective is to add value (besides earning from your work). A great weapon is follow-up emails, which are sent after the event and are a form of personal thank you.
What exactly can your follow-up emails contain?
- First and foremost, thank everyone involved. That includes participants as well as your team. It's polite to show appreciation to the team that made your digital event happen. Try to keep it short and to the point, but remember about guests, speakers, and performers. Find a way to do so while avoiding blabbering.
- Make a short post-event recap. Summarize the most significant parts of it. If you have gathered interesting data, you can boast about the specific numbers. This will convince participants even more that attending your event was a smart decision, and that they should repeat it next time.
- Pick the best materials and make extra files. Some people might want to study particular presentations a little longer in the comfort of their own homes. You can make a set of separate files for downloading or include them in a whitepaper. You can use it later for your social media and mailing when promoting your next online event.
- Offer a discount (which is still profitable for you). You can close more deals by offering a promo code to your participants. It doesn’t have to only relate to your event or a product your company is selling, but also to your guests’ business solutions. Combining a few discounts (available for a limited time) and sending them as a gift to your participants might be a trick that pleases both organizers and attendees.
Think outside the box when it comes to gifts
Everyone likes to receive unexpected gifts. If you’re thinking about providing the audience with a bonus, make your presents unordinary. You can include a branded ebook or even consider adding a business audiobook. It’s about showing them how exceptional your event is, and why exhibitors should choose you amongst others.
Evaluation rules the nation
Remember the metrics you set before the event? The ones you tracked during the promotion process and the conference itself?
Now their time has come.
Evaluation is an essential step of project management, no matter if you’re hosting a small performance or a big online event. This is the time when you should have a special meeting with your team and ask everyone for their opinion about the organization of the whole online event.
You can ask your employees during such a general meeting for more details on in-person appointments.
Give the mic to your audience
You’re not making improvements for yourself. Remember that you should always consider the opinions of your attendees.
The best way to obtain their feedback is to conduct a survey. However, we recommend doing this immediately after the event or right at the moment when it comes to an end. Make sure that as many participants as possible leave their thoughts about your online conference. LiveWebinar’s polls & surveys feature might come in handy with this matter. You can create one or the other to ask your attendees for their point of view.
Decide if you want to ask them open-ended or closed questions, or maybe the best option would be to try them both. Such a mix might give you the most cross-cutting approach, giving quantitative and qualitative research results.
You can also think of diversifying your surveys depending on the audience. Some questions might be relevant only for your sponsors or stakeholders, while others only for your guests. Adjust everything to your company's needs and gather relevant data to work with. Digital events allow you to collect more information and analyze it better, thanks to automation processes. You can generate webinar reports and statistics with just one tool and work on the relevant numbers.
Upgrade your marketing persona
When you have all necessary insights, you can correct any wrong assumptions about your potential customers. This is the most future-oriented thing you can do.
Thanks to the information collected right from your participants in surveys, you don’t have to make guesses and then wonder if you’re right or wrong.
You don't have to start from scratch - you already have the core outline of a target customer. This step is just about tweaking the project and adjusting it even closer to reality.
Open-ended questions might help in this matter, as they can give you a broader perspective of your event. Closed questions, on the other hand, can show how many people agree with precisely the same aspects. Keep this in mind when deciding on the structure of your surveys.
Virtual after-party recap
All right, we've finally reached this point. We already know why digital events are here to stay with us and what needs to be done before, during, and after online webinars.
Do you need a short handout to help you remember about every factor? Here’s a summary of the essential aspects to carry out after an event:
#1 Use social media to stay in touch with participants.
- Post highlights of particular parts of your digital event.
- Create and moderate a group in which attendees can exchange information, thoughts, and meet other participants.
#2 Send emails to everyone but try to sound personal.
- Thank every person that was part of your event - from organizers, supporters, and speakers, to guests and audience members.
- Send extra materials or some kind of a gift to show your appreciation.
- Ask for feedback.
- Promote your Facebook group via email.
#3 Make a project evaluation with your team.
- Allow everyone to express their opinion during a general or one-to-one meeting.
- Ask team members to prepare a summary of their tasks with comments.
#4 Ask the public about their experiences during your event.
- Conduct a survey and wait for feedback from attendees. You can do this either at the end of your event or immediately afterwards.
- Collect information and analyze it with your team to improve your actions in following editions of the event.
#5 Adjust your strategy to the feedback your audience gives you.
- After analysis you can adjust your buyer persona and overall marketing strategy to the expectations and demands that your audience truly has.
We hope that this guide will come in handy for you whenever you plan an online webinar!
Happily combines a love of writing and new technology as a copywriter, and enjoys the puzzle of putting together a good article. In her spare time she likes to catch up on the latest, greatest books, bake chocolate chip cookies and ponder her next travel destination.More posts