How To Engage Conference Delegates #2 – After The Event
In our previous article Recipe for Conference Success, we provided tips and tricks on how to engage conference delegates during the event. But what happens when the conference closes and the delegates return to work?
As an event manager, your pour your heart and soul into every conference you organise. You know every line item on your run sheet, you memorise the mobile phone of every supplier and you rehearse every element over and over in your head. So much work goes into making sure delegates are entertained and delighted at each stage of the conference. Then it’s over in a flash! You pack up your bag and head back to the office.
So how do you leverage all that hard work you did in engaging conference delegates and make the memory last longer than the canapes?
Tips & Ideas
Pro-active communication is central to creating and maintaining engagement. There are so many communication channels and ways to reach your audiences.
Micenet, the site for meetings, conferences and events specialists has tips and we’ve added a few of our own:
- Ask your speakers to record a short 60 second video of key take outs and action points. Grab it on your iPhone while they are still onsite so you don’t miss out. Most speakers will be more than obliging, especially if you ask when contracting. Then drip feed these to your delegates over a number of weeks.
- Because some people like text-based information create a simple action plan as a .pdf. Then send it out a week to 10 days after the conference close. You can compile the takeouts and actions from the speakers or create a simple step-by-step action plan based on your desired conference outcomes.
- Post-conference webinars are a great way to continue engagement. Perhaps negotiate with your facilitator or one of your speakers to conduct it. There is some planning involved but the pay off is worth it. Also because you can monitor who attended the webinar that information can be valuable to your major stakeholders.
- Why not contract someone to write a ‘whitepaper’ based on the key objective and takeouts from the conference? Presented as an official report it will not just help participants revisit the content but also elevate the importance of the conference vision itself.
- Conduct a post-conference survey based on the key outcomes and behaviours you desired from the start. This is different from your standard feedback form as it needs to be based on actions taken and how delegates have changed their thinking and behaviour. Whatever you decide to do to maintain momentum after your event the important thing is to put it in place at the beginning of the planning process and not at the end, or worse still afterwards. Also remember to keep it simple because if it’s too complex or too long it will get thrust aside.
- Post conference content on your company’s LinkedIn page or company website.
- Create a one-page conference newsletter highlighting the key take-aways from the conference and emailing it to delegates.
- Find and follow your delegates on Twitter, using the conference hashtag to label conference discussions.
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