You've just run your first successful live event and you're SO ELATED YOU COULD DANCE!
Packing up your extra swag, giving the last few hugs or high-fives to your team (or your attendees) and envisioning the glass of wine you're going to swig in just a few minutes sounds mighty good...but what about all the hard work you just put in?
Just because your event is over doesn't mean it's over for you.
Live events are a wonderful way for people to get to know, like, and trust you, but if you aren't taking that extra step to engage them AFTER your event is over, than you may as well kiss sales (and future clients goodbye).
"But Lauren," you say. "I've just been sending email after email and I don't want them to get overwhelmed and hate me. I got them in the door...what more can I ask of them?!"
This is because you're assuming they didn't LOVE your work. If they didn't, forget about 'em. They'll just simply delete your follow up email, or throw away your handwritten card. No love lost.
But what about the one or two or ten attendees that LOVED your presentation? That want to know how they can work with you?
That my friend, is why you need to take at least one follow up step after your event. Here are a few I recommend:
1. Feedback form
Ah, YE OLDE FEEDBACK FORM! So simple, yet so few people remember to do this. I highly recommend building in time DURING your actual event to get people to do this, because the specifics will be fresh in their head. But even if you just send a general email after everything is all said and done (maybe with an enticing 15% off your next purchase from your store/services/product line?), you'll get to know your customer better, and your business will grow and grow.
One note: Try to include an incentive here, or follow up with each person who answers the form personally. No one likes to feel like a cog in a machine, so the more personal attention, the better.
2. Handwritten note
This is my favorite, because I think it's such a lovely surprise to get something amazing in the mail from your event host. It's a way to showcase your brand with perhaps some personal stationery, and it also creates a feeling of "caring" around your business and YOU as a person.
Try to remember to inquire about something they said during the event (if you can remember, so that they feel like you care about their problem. This turns friendlies into diehard fans, and is definitely a good way to up the ante after your event.
3. Discount on other services
I haven't talked specifically about using a live event as a piece of your marketing funnel, but the truth is, if people know, like, and trust you after an event, they're going to want to try to work with you.
After your event, offer a discount to work with you one-on-one, and see how that converts, not only for client sales, but for community engagement.
4. Letter to themselves
This is by far the easiest tactic that I've noticed, though it should be combined with at least a follow up email. During your workshop or presentation, if appropriate, have your attendees write a letter to themselves about what they want to change, how they want to hold themselves accountable in a few weeks or months time, and what they want to remind themselves of in the future, when they've forgotten this event.
Then, have them address it to themselves, pop a stamp on it, and mail it a few weeks or months later. Not only will they remember your event, they'll be super excited to feel the motivation that came from their little encouraging card.
5. Follow up email
Perhaps the most basic of ideas, a follow up email thanking your attendees for coming, and perhaps even adding photos of the event (encouraging your attendees to share their stories via blog or social media) is another way to stay centered in their minds after your event. Of course, try to give them an action step at the end of the email ("follow me on Instagram" or "get on this list for when my online course opens", etc.), so that it can be informative AND fruitful for your business.
Think about having dinner at a friends' house: after the night is over, you almost always send a text or an email or a card saying "Thank you so much for hosting! It was delicious!"