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Don't Miss Out On Post-event Opportunities

Lori Halley  13 May 2011  2 comments

This is a follow-up to my earlier post – 5 Options for Low-cost Event Publicity.  And that’s what I want to talk about – event follow-up. Even when the event is over, there are post-event publicity, fundraising and member development opportunities that you can take advantage of with just a little pre-event planning.

I know that it takes an enormous amount of team effort and energy to plan and host an event. And when the event is over, everyone wants to relax and move on to other priorities. But it's not really over until the "fat lady sings" and the post-event communications are complete.

If you want to reap the full benefits of your event and its objectives, you need to do more than simply send out some thank-you notes and host a wrap-up or post-mortem meeting. While you still have the participants', donors', volunteers' and even the media's attention - you need to use the momentum to undertake some basic post-event publicity and recognition. And to make sure this takes place, it’s important to plan for and assign post-event tasks ahead of the event to ensure they receive the attention they deserve. 

What Post-event Publicity?

What am I talking about?  Well, post-event opportunities will depend on the nature of your organization and event, but here are a few examples of some basic post-event publicity activities:

  • Fundraising event:
    • Update your event page to include information on the event’s success (did you reach your goal? how much did you raise?) and photos of the event  be sure to offer opportunities for additional donations - e.g., a link to your fundraising page, etc.

    • Create a news release announcing how much you raised at the event. Remind the reader about the objective for the fundraising event (e.g., if you are raising funds for a specific project – offer the details on what this project will achieve) - don't assume they remember the details from your event press release, so include key points about why you had the event and what you'll do with the funds raised. Perhaps you promote upcoming campaigns - just be sure you make a realistic connection.

    • Include post-event stories and photos in your next:

    People love to see themselves in photos, so be sure to offer captions and identify event attendees or award-winners, etc. Remember you should get permission to use photos and identify those in them in your newsletter or on your website.

    • Take advantage of additional promotion opportunities: In all cases, make sure the readers or visitors to your website viewing post-event materials have an opportunity to:
      • learn more about the event – especially if it is an annual affair
      • contribute funds – either to the specific event-related cause or your organization in general
      • receive information about upcoming events and/or volunteer!

  • Awareness-raising event:
    • Create a post-event news release with any news-worthy details – e.g., if you had an intriguing or well-known speaker, offer an overview and/or quotes and a photo – and be sure to link the speaker’s presentation with your organization and event.

    • Post videos and/or speaker presentations on your website and/or on YouTube and SlideShareBe sure to receive permission from speakers to post their presentations online.

    • Write a newsletter article about the event, summarizing its objective; what transpired and how this will impact your organization’s mission in future. Again, this can link to photos, video and/or slide presentations if they are available and let volunteers and/or members know about: number of participants; media coverage (offer links to articles), etc.

  • Educational / networking event:

    • As above, be sure to:
      • Offer follow-up information to the media and your full networking contact list.

      • Offer presentations via email and on your websiteif you have the presenters’ permission.

      • Additional promotion opportunities: If you collected contact information at registration or through other means (e.g., collecting business cards for a door prize) – be sure to send out any newsletters or other post-event or organizational updates to your list and link these folks to your website for coverage of the event and/or presentations and promote future participation - e.g., joining the organization; becoming a donor; attending the next event, etc.

Recognition and Thank-you's

In general, be sure to that post-event publicity is part of your initial event publicity/communications plan. Also ensure that all communications you send after the event reinforce the initial objective of the event and demonstrate your success in reaching your goals. At a minimum, remember to send thank-you’s to the following for their participation and support:

  • Sponsors
  • Volunteers
  • Speakers/presenters
  • Donors
  • the Media

In your thank-you notes, be sure to remind the recipients of the event’s success – and how they contributed (e.g., dollars raised, awareness - number of participants, etc.).

Post-event Engagement Opportunities

In a recent  Connection Cafe blog post, The Party’s Over..., Noel Beebe offers some other suggestions about how to continue engaging participants, members and donors after your event is over – here are a couple of her ideas:

  • Conduct a Post-Event Survey - to learn what people enjoyed about your event, and where you have room to improve. 
  • Create a “Sustaining Donor Conversion Series”
    Your event participants have told you point blank that they want to support you. ...Create an e-mail conversion series to educate your participants about your ongoing programs and how they can support you throughout the year by making a sustaining donation.  
What post-event activities have you found effective?  We'd love to hear how your organization uses event momentum to improve member or sponsor engagement. Let us know in the comments below.

Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Friday, 13 May 2011 at 9:00 AM


  • Mary Lynn Halland said:

    Monday, 16 May 2011 at 6:26 AM

    Agreed!  All too often after an event is over the staff heaves a collective sigh of relief, then moves on to start planning the next event.  While that response is certainly understandable, organizations need to schedule in follow-up time, and assign specific tasks, in order to maximum the impact of their event.  Leave yourself at least a day to do follow-up in order to reap the benefits of all your planning and hard work.

  • Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

    Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] said:

    Monday, 16 May 2011 at 7:00 AM

    Thanks Mary Lynn.  As another reader suggested to me in an email, the post is meant as a "good reminder of things we already know but needed to be reminded of."

Sorry, this blog post is closed for further comments.

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