Now that the dust has settled and your event is over, you finally have time to get stuff done! That might include finally reading emails that were sent 6 months ago, going over your financials, pulling together some statistics, reviewing feedback from attendees, and setting goals for your next event.
While I’m sure you have a process of all of your post event tasks that work for you, but below are 3 things every event professional should be focusing on during the off season in preparation for the next event.
Get your social media game on!
More than likely you took a bunch of photos and videos, and probably even uploaded some to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc profiles. Awesome! The off season is the perfect time to get on your social media game. Create more professional posts – collages, video highlights, albums, etc and share away! This media you create is key to riding the post-event wave. It also serves as great content to use in marketing campaigns for your future events as well as for updating your website.
You can also spend some time connecting with your attendees online. If you used common event hashtags, search them and find attendees to connect with. Friend them/Follow them, and as much as possible tag them in your posts. This encourages continued connection and encourage attendees to share your photos, and by extension, your event, to their networks. Free advertising! Plus, these connections allow you to contact them directly when your new event is coming up!
Make sense of all of your data and use it!
The great thing about using an event management system is that it collects a large amount of data for you. It can help you learn about your process and your attendees. The data can help give you valuable insight on making improvements for your future events. Take full advantage of this data! Put together reports that will give you the information you need to continue improving!
Here are some ideas on how to use your data.
1. If you received any formal feedback via a survey, make a report on this and start brainstorming for your next event.
2. Take a look at certain identifiers of your attendees. This will depend on the type of event you have, but here’s an example. If you hold a conference for colleges, see which colleges attended. From which states? Whatever data point that would inform some choices you make for your event planning, see where your attendees line up so you can better plan for and target to those groups.
3. Look over your finances and see if you have an outstanding balances, where you lost money, where you made money, etc. Say you put on a formal dinner – how many people registered? How many paid? What were your costs?
4. Understand any paint points in your process and optimise! Your application can tell you a lot. Was there information you did not collect, but ended up needing or wanting, or information you gathered that wasn’t necessary? Use the answers to these questions to fine tune your applications so registration at your next event is quicker and easier!
Use attendee information for marketing!
Make the best use of the information you collected during the registration process, including emails, affiliations, etc. This information is handy to have available when you begin planning the next event.
When beginning a new marketing campaigns, it might include special offers at certain times. Think Black Friday discount, New Year discount, etc. Use your event software to set up these emails and offers ahead of time, so they send when you want them to and you don’t have to think about it down the road. You should also have the ability to set up certain emails to go to certain people. For instance, you can create a group of attendees that started the registration process but never finished and didn’t attend. Presumably your event was interesting to them but for whatever reason they never closed the deal. Market to them again. Perhaps a scheduling conflict was the reason, but now they don’t have one. Remind them about your event and close the deal this year!
Final Thoughts for your next event
The main idea here is that your off season is a time for gathering and connecting. There are several ways, as highlighted above, to use the information you’ve collected to make changes and improve your events coming up.
Think about your event software not just as a tool for registration, but also as a sales tool. The information you collect during registration can then help you in future planning and marketing to past attendees.
And don’t forget to spend some time, while you have it, creating some great visual content from your event. You can repurpose these into social media posts, blog posts, website content, and marketing material! Build your online community, and watch it grow!
Yes, your “off” season should mean that you get some time off, but it’s also the perfect time to devote time and resources to the small details you don’t have time for when you are in full event planning mode. Happy planning, and good luck!