Many in-person events have been replaced by virtual equivalents. Virtual events may be new to many marketing and sales teams, so the follow-up with attendees and leads generated at these events might be different than the usual steps followed after hosting or sponsoring an event. Here are a few must-dos for virtual event follow-up and a few creative ideas to better engage your virtual audience after your event has wrapped.
Post-Event Follow-up Best Practices
- Use Data to help follow-up. Most virtual event platforms will provide you with great data around attendance at the event. How long did a person stay at the event. What actions did they take at the event (answer questions or polls, fill-out survey, attend multiple presentations). You can use this information to craft the right follow-up.
- Provide summaries of the information presented at your virtual event. A quick written summary of the content is good, especially if you are creating blog posts or other content. A visual representation, either a static graphic or short video is an even better way to grab your audience’s attention. This is also great content to share out on your social media channels. Use a summary image on a giveaway item to attendees, like a mug, tote bag or postcard.
- Use recordings to follow-up with non-attendees. Unlike a physical event, virtual events are usually recorded and should be made available on-demand. You can use these recordings to encourage attendees that missed the live presentation to view after the fact, or use the recordings to reach out those that didn’t register.
- Have your sales team call attendees quickly afterwards. The 24-48 hours following an event is the best time to follow-up with attendees as the event is still fresh in their mind and they might still be feeling that post-event glow. Your reps can ask for feedback about the event, ask what they learned and what they are interested in learning more about.
Creative Ideas for Virtual Event follow-up
- Send Some Swag. Event giveaways don’t have to be just for event booths. Send a small token of your appreciation to your event attendees after the event. This could be a relevant book or a more traditional swag giveaway. Don’t have addresses for your attendees you can use Swag.com’s giveaway feature to let your attendee choice an item and have it shipped directly to them.
- Create a community for post-event networking. The biggest loss in moving to virtual events is the loss of networking opportunities. While you can’t easily re-create the hotel bar, you can create a group on LinkedIn, Facebook or another channel for event attendees to network, further discuss topics or help plan future events or presentations.
- Have presenters do a follow-up Q&A. The presenters at your event might be willing to do a follow-up Q&A session for attendees that couldn’t view the live presentation. This can be as simple as a google hangout or Zoom meeting or a live LinkedIn video or Twitter chat can expand the reach. Whatever format you choose, it is a great opportunity for you to increase engagement with your audience.
Whether the goal of your event is demand generation, education or community-building, good follow-up is essential. The best follow-up should be timely (soon after the event), personal and provide value. Hopefully these tips can bring the best of what is lost at a virtual event into your follow-up.