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Event Industry Trends
1 January 2024 

How To Maximize Post-event Impact by Building a 365-day Marketing Machine

Bizzabo Blog Staff
Bizzabo Blog Staff
How To Maximize Post-event Impact by Building a 365-day Marketing Machine

In an age where event marketers increasingly need to prove ROI for every dollar they spend, treating events as a “one-and-done” no longer suffices. 

To get the biggest bang for their buck, today’s leading event teams work diligently to create, cultivate, and engage robust event communities that stay connected all year round. 

If you’re wondering how to build a more substantial event community, you’re in the right place. 

Keep reading for a recap of the final installment of a three-part webinar series that explores the state of in-person events and examines what event teams can do to drive growth at scale while creating vibrant online communities that stay connected throughout the year. 

Strong Post-event Engagement Needs Planning and Sales Enablement

According to Bizzabo’s 2023 The state of in-person B2B conferences report, 71% of event organizers struggle to prove in-person conference ROI. At the same time, 43% of teams say fitting their events into the organization’s broader marketing plan is a significant challenge.

In many ways, this is because far too many event teams treat post-event marketing as an afterthought — leaving great opportunities to build relationships on the table.

Event Adviser and Strategist Gianna Gaudini, author of the popular book The Art of Event Planning, implores event teams to think about post-event marketing well before the event.

“This is not a motion event marketers are experts at,” said Gaudini. But due to the economy and the need to prove ROI, “we need to be — this cannot be an afterthought.” 

Monique Ruff-Bell, Head of Events at TED, agrees that post-event engagement success requires thoughtful preplanning.

“You can’t just start thinking about it once you get onsite,” she said.

As an example, the TED events team provides a lot of sales enablement support onsite. At each event, they offer attendees a sales lounge, where attendees can speak directly to the sales team and ask questions — which often results in new deals on the spot. 

Of course, only some organizations have the resources of TED. If yours doesn’t, Ruff-Bell suggests hiring an onsite third party to help facilitate more engagement.

Anthony Kennada, Cofounder and CEO of AudiencePlus, shares the sentiment. When you think about post-event outcomes you aim for before an event starts, it’s much easier to achieve them.

Kennada’s company has been collecting data about its events and has found that customers who don’t go to AudiencePlus’s flagship event are at risk of churning. With this data, AudiencePlus has given sales development representatives and account executives a quota to incentivize teammates to book onsite meetings during events. This extra effort up front pays enormous dividends.

“Something magical happens when people get together in person,” he said.

the event organizer's GTM mobilization and enablement kit

Repurpose Event Content To Maximize Budget Impact

Events have always been powerful from a content perspective. In the old world, a company might record a 45-minute keynote and stick it in the resource library on their website. Unfortunately, this approach won’t work for everyone in an age with TikTok attention spans.

Instead, event teams should identify the critical moments within longer sessions and share 30-second clips to capture the audience’s attention and hopefully get them to watch the entire session. If they do, it’s a sign they’re interested in your work and want to continue the conversation.

“Attention is changing so much, and our ability to count on our audiences to sit through 45 minutes is changing,” Kennada said. “We’re extending the value of the event after the event has transpired and creating FOMO.”

Ruff-Bell and the TED team spend a lot of time putting together a content repurposing plan ahead of each event.

“It takes a lot of time to adapt content into different formats,” she says. “We are known for releasing a lot of content on various platforms — a lot of preplanning goes into that.”

There are countless ways to repurpose event content

  • Podcasts 
  • Blog articles 
  • Microblogs (LinkedIn) 
  • Webinars and mini-courses 
  • Animated videos and GIFs 
  • Infographics and social graphics 
  • VIP reports for attendees
  • Kits, templates, and workbooks

“You need to be selective or pay for outside support,” Ruff-Bell says. “Repurposing takes time. You have to make sure it’s relevant, and you really have to map out the calendar and make sure it’s really for your core audience.”

As Gaudini sees it, event teams must minimize wasted event content as much as possible, and repurposing content aligns with that goal. At the same time, repurposing content makes your event more inclusive by appealing to more folks and extending your reach beyond the event itself. 

“Some people prefer to read, some prefer to listen, and some prefer to be in-person,” she said. By creating different types of content, you can appeal to every kind of learner in the most comfortable way.

For example, you may consider writing up a blog article ahead of time that you’ll publish right when the event ends. You can also plan to parlay event content into podcast episodes. These tactics will help you extend your event’s impact by kicking off new conversations with those who weren’t at the event while continuing key discussions with those who were there. 

Plus, you can share this content in your post-event follow-up communications to keep the conversation alive and share it in your newsletters and other email communications to urge new interest. Just be sure, Gaudini said, that you create content for every stage of the buying journey. 

One pro tip: Consider getting creative and co-creating content with your customers at your events. For example, Gaudini had success with podcasting stations at events in the past.

“It creates a cool moment at your event,” she said. 

Create an Online Community — and Be Intentional About It

People who love TED Talks are affectionately known as TEDsters, and Ruff-Bell is all about keeping that vibrant community of people who want to participate in TED events connected. While planning event content, she always tries to figure out how to give attendees a “TEDache” before they leave by experiencing emotions — like joy, curiosity, empowerment, hope, and inclusion — they’ve never experienced at other kinds of events.

“We think of these emotions and map our journey to create those types of emotions,” she said. By creating content that triggers emotions, TED creates memorable experiences that lead to long-lasting connections. The TED team helps attendees who form relationships stay in touch with each other all year long via built-in messaging in the TED app.

Gaudini believes in the power of online event communities but cautions event leaders that they can’t just launch a community and expect it to be successful on its own. Instead, she suggests having team members take turns moderating online communities, asking questions, and seeding conversations.

“A community is only as strong as how you build it and engage with it,” Gaudini said. “You have to put time and thought into how your community will run. Set a strategy in advance. What do you want to get out of it?”

Online communities are a great way to keep the post-event conversation going. Event marketers must prioritize relationship-building instead of just focusing on one-off gatherings or sales. To do this, they should engage attendees with content before and after each event. The world is changing, and event teams must be mindful of this evolution and adapt strategies accordingly. 

“The marketing playbooks from the revenue marketing-demand gen side of the house that has gotten us here are not the playbooks that are going to get us into the next generation,” Kennada advised.

Get Started: Watch the On-demand Webinar for More Insights

Didn’t get a chance to watch the webinar? Don’t sweat it.

Although this post gives you a peek into our panelists’ insights, there is so much more that wasn’t covered here. To learn more about optimizing your post-event marketing strategy, watch the full webinar on-demand.

You’ll hear from the following experts:

  • Monique Ruff-Bell, Head of Events, TED
  • Gianna Gaudini, Event Strategist, Adviser, and Author of The Art of Event Planning
  • Anthony Kennada, Cofounder and CEO, AudiencePlus

And you’ll walk away with the following:

  • Strategies for nurturing and converting event-generated leads while working effectively with sales and marketing teams
  • Tactics for repurposing event content into other collateral and extending your event’s reach
  • Tips for building communities, cultivating customer loyalty, and increasing brand advocacy
  • Outside-the-box ideas for sustaining post-event momentum and success

Did you miss the first two installments of this series, or do you want to rewatch them for additional insights? They’re on-demand, too! Check them out: 

building a 365-day marketing machine to maximize post-event impact webinar

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