What Is An Effective Way to Keep Connected With Guests After An Event?

From sending post-event emails and hand-written thank-you notes to creating social media giveaways, event professionals shared tips for staying in contact with guests after an event.

From left: Kathy Randle, Ana Silva, Ida Pennymon
From left: Kathy Randle, Ana Silva, Ida Pennymon
Photo: Christy D Swanberg Photography (Kathy Randle), Courtesy of Ana Silva, Personality Portraits (Ida Pennymon)

“We always follow up with a post-event email that includes a link to the conference highlight video, information on how to download PDFs of the session content, a survey to share feedback, and a promo code to register for the next event. The feedback we receive is always amazing and we get a lot of people who register for the next event right away!”
Ida Pennymon, senior manager of global events, Cherwell Software, Denver

“Of the many technologies we use to engage with consumers, it’s surprising that the one that most often delivers the best results is email. We find that if we use it to communicate something of value, or in a way that shows we value the customer, we get a strong response. Following a recent driving experience for a client, we sent out a series of post-event emails over several months, thanking participants for attending, soliciting their opinion about the event, and providing exclusive offers. In each instance, engagement with the messaging was high—even six months out.”
Mary Trybus,
creative director for Cadillac, Jack Morton Worldwide, Detroit

“I always send a follow-up email with a value-add item. For example, if we talked about stress management at the workshop or event, I send an additional, super fun, stress-management video or quick guided meditation they can use to remain calm in times of stress. It's particularly effective during this super busy time of the year."
Izolda Trakhtenberg, owner, Speak From Within workshop, Washington 

“While we don't typically contact the guests directly—this is typically done through the organization or corporation that hires us—we can recommend initiatives that include pre-experience communication and engagement, which is then easier for follow-up. We strategize with our clients to create experiences that matter and, if we do our jobs right, we are making [an] impact on the humans that attend our events. Whether it's through a simple fond memory, or an impactful shareable moment, or a full emotive exchange, we believe our role is to change the way humanity interacts. If we do that, then we are staying in touch with our guests, forever.”
Kathy Randle, director of marketing and sales, E=MC2 Events, Calgary

“Plan for it from the beginning. Like load out, a post-event follow-up is often the last thing teams want to discuss before the event has even started. But if you treat a continued conversation with guests like an afterthought, it will feel that way to them and will be a missed opportunity for you.”
Tiffany Green, director of production, Industria Creative, New York

“Getting guests to post to social media during an event is easy! But finding ways to keep people posting after the event can be a bit more challenging. Create a social media giveaway or contest, where the hashtag entry is only given away at the event and can only be used during a date range after the event. This will extend the life of your event tags and extend your media reach beyond your event days.”
Ana Silva, client relations manager, High Beam Events, Austin

“Nothing says ‘thank you’ better than a hand-written note. In this age of digital bombardment, it has become increasingly more refreshing to get a physical message in the mail. It acknowledges that you appreciate their attendance at the event and helps build upon any connection you formed. And then what we find very effective to help further the relationship is an invitation to connect on LinkedIn. Be sure to add in a personal note with the request, perhaps saying, ‘I would like to put my professional network at your disposal,’ to show you are truly interested in helping, rather than trying to ‘sell’ something.” 
Robert Reso, vice president of convention sales, New Orleans & Company, New Orleans

“Keep the conversation going long after the event. Use your event mobile app to engage audiences post-event with resource material, podcasts, and thoughtfully designed surveys. It’s a sure-fire way to obtain crucial data, design future events, and build anticipation for the next meeting.”
Kate Bek, content specialist, BCD Meetings & Events, Chicago

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