What happens after an event? A guide to make it last
All eyes are on a particular day, on a speaker, a product launch, a brand activation. But what happens next is perhaps as important as the event itself. Being forgotten is not an option.
TEDx is a world authority on events and it makes sense to consult the list of things to do post-event, after each of these conferences, determined by those who created them. The goal is to keep the interest among the participants and it begins with a questionnaire to realise the strengths and weaknesses of each event. Then the organisers are advised to upload participation videos on YouTube, aiming that they go viral. They also post photos on Flickr and share them on the TEDx platform. Often the post-event, in which communications reach millions of people, turns out to be as or more important than the event itself and it is repeated on the Internet and social networks in a way that exceeds all expectations. But how can you make it last in these cases?
TED Talks have well understood the power of social networks, video, and short, motivational lectures for a long time. Since the 1980s these conferences have been organised around the world a little and pioneered the full post-event potential. But not all events have this mobilisation capacity. Interacting with those who participated in an event directly is the first thing to do and is within the reach of any organiser. It can start with sending a personalised thank you note to each participant, or even a participation diploma, and using social networks to go further. Meaning that the important thing is:
1 - Sending an email or other type of written thank you note to event participants. This is the first step to closing this chapter and moving forward with the post-event. Showing that the event won with each person's participation can be the key to positive feedback.
2 - Using social networks to continue interacting with participants. Sharing photos and videos, talking with attendants, answering questions, marking participants in relevant posts are important activities to stimulate the post-event. For example, if it's an annual event, it's worth remembering over the course of 12 months what happened and how to prepare for this year's event. A good tip is to create a facebook group to share information and experiences of what happened and what is being planned.
3 - Organising a small event to follow the previous one. A face-to-face meeting or even a remote meeting, so that the participants meet again and can do more networking, especially if these people are already linked to each other in social networks.
4 - Offering gifts. If the event is about launching a product, it is easy to extend its reach with gifts, promotions, etc. A contest can be launched on social networks to increase interaction between participants and organisers. Delivering vouchers at the end of the event also works for experiments or some kind of benefit.
5 - Practical things. At the end of the day, you need to sum up costs and revenues and see if the event was profitable and analyse results and performance. Have the objectives been met? Were there any problems? What was the feedback? It is easier to accomplish this task successfully if a list of objectives has been defined and then used to see if there have been major failures. But always taking into account, of course, that this is an evolutionary process and that many times the original script ends up undergoing many changes. It can be said that you need a "planned flexibility".
6 - Resting. Holding an event is a very tiring and stressful activity and you need to go off and rest, before you start thinking about your next one. And this should never be overlooked by those who organise events.
Not always has the post-event had the follow-up it deserves, but it is essential not only to evaluate its effectiveness, but also to understand what went less well, and improve these aspects.
Going back to the beginning, any of TEDx's conferences has a more "grandiose" post-event than the event itself. The longer you talk about a particular conference, a speaker who stands out, or a theme that has suddenly come to the fore, the more the original event becomes more important and there is a natural anticipation of what is there to come. And it does not even take a lot of resources to make it work, just the talent to "squeeze" what has been achieved in two or three days, located in time and space, and throw this "juice" around the world, so that everyone talks about it, comments and is curious about the next one.
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