The term “post-mortem” in event-planning circles represents a key strategy for solidifying the success of your event and making sure your future events enjoy even greater results. As event planners and marketers know, just because the event ends, doesn’t mean your work is done. After an event – or any project – comes to a close, it’s critical to complete post-event tasks in order to examine and evaluate successes, failures and receive feedback. Upon our return from Vegas, the team took time to gather perspective and get re-organized from the Corporate and Association Meetings Summits, then we began our post-mortem analysis.
What are the most important post-event activities you should focus on? Here are our Top 5:
- Summarize content and SHARE
One of the main reasons people attend events is for the content. Keep your event trending by sharing summaries of key takeaways and links to the event content. This content should be shared through various communication vehicles including email, blogs, in the app, and on social media so both attendees and non-attendees have the opportunity to access all the important tips and best practices from the conference. By reviewing the content again, people will be reminded of the value of your event, thereby increasing the likelihood they will attend in the future.
Review the recap content from our Corporate Meetings Summit and Association Meetings Summit on our blog.
- Engage Attendees
Attendees are your events’ most important asset, so keeping them engaged and showing you have their best interests in mind is paramount. In addition to sharing your summarized content with attendees, the next major reason to engage with them after the event is to collect post-event feedback. In order to understand more about our Corporate Meetings Summit and Association Meetings Summits, we sent out a post-event feedback survey (via email and we put it in our conference app) using our Cvent Web Survey solution right after the event. The only way to determine whether your event was a success in the eyes of your attendees and how to make improvements for next year is to survey them.
Have feedback on our Corporate Meetings Summit and Association Meetings Summit? Share with us!
- Thank your speakers and sponsors
As an event planner, you worked hard to identify, negotiate and book your events’ speakers and sponsors. Of course you’ve probably thanked them on-site, but it’s important to keep engaging them and maintain the connection once the conference is over, especially if you are counting on their support next time around. Speakers and sponsors tend to be well connected or influencers in the industry. Showing them some extra love after the event can help spread the word about your event, leading to increase in awareness and interest in attending your event in the future. Some ways we’ve thanked our speakers and sponsors from the Summits included mailing small gifts, hand-written thank you notes, blog posts and social media shout outs.
Read about our Two Killer Keynotes from #CventCMS #CventAMS and how our sponsors helped us wow #CventCMS and #CventAMS guests.
- Internal Post-Mortem Meetings
Understanding how your event performed from an internal perspective is extremely valuable. Give your team time to process and reflect on the event, then meet. It’s best to err on the side of inviting too many people to these meetings, as you want to gather as much feedback as possible from all involved. The only exception to this rule is when it comes to senior management. For our Summits, we hosted two separate post-mortem meetings – one with only executives and one without executives – to help foster open dialogue and give everyone the chance to offer their perspective. Structure your post-mortem meetings to review positives (what went well?), negatives (what didn’t go well?), and neutrals (how can we improve?). Ensure you keep the conversations going by ask stimulating questions and write everything down. Gathering feedback on all levels of sentiment and from all involved parties will help you establish if your event was valuable, learn from any "mistakes” you might have made throughout the process and set you up for success in the future.
- Keep the mobile app alive
This activity really ties all of your post-event activities together. Keeping your app active year-round gives attendees the ability to access content, network and engage with you. Our mobile apps are multi-event and we encourage the use of push notifications to notify attendees of when next year’s event has been added as well as sharing event news or announcements. Your app is also a perfect platform to send out a post-event feedback survey! The mobile app is an integrated part of an attendee’s event experience and you want to keep that experience alive in order to build excitement for next year’s event.
Ideally, the feedback gathered from your post-mortem analysis will improve your future events for attendees, sponsors & speakers, and your internal team. However, remember that maintaining the engagement after your event is just as important as receiving feedback. Conferences end, but your connections never should.
For more about #CventCMS #CventAMS, read #CventCMS Live from Vegas: Transforming Meetings & Events and #CventCMS #CventAMS Debrief (Part 2): Innovation Pavilion.