INBOUND Workshop Recap: Building a Post-event Strategy To Drive Pipeline
Once your event wraps up, it can be tempting to want to relax and reward yourself for a job well done. After all, you’ve worked hard for several months, your event was a success, and you’ve done a great job ensuring everything went off without a hitch. But what about your post-event strategy?
In many ways, the job of an event professional is just getting started once an event is over. That’s because you must continue building on the momentum, keeping attendees engaged, and figuring out how to improve your next event.
We were recently at INBOUND 2022 and held a special workshop: Your Event Is Over. Now What? Drive Qualified Pipeline & Enable Sales Success. This article has some key takeaways from that workshop to help you enable your go-to-market teams for post-event success.
What Event Professionals Should Do After an Event
After an event has come and gone, event marketers and organizers have a ton of tasks they need to take care of, including the following:
- Gathering feedback through post-event surveys
- Sending a powerful event recap to attendees
- Thanking attendees for participating
- Adding tons of people to the marketing newsletter
- Sharing presentation materials
- Offering free trials
- Sending unique giveaways
- Following up with all prospects
- Booking meetings
- Sending exclusive offers
- Scheduling demos
- Starting to sell tickets to the next event
What Event Professionals Actually Do After an Event
Although there’s no shortage of things event organizers and marketers should take care of after an event, many of those responsibilities slip through the cracks.
Over the years, various estimates have been made about the percentage of trade show exhibitors that don’t follow up with leads, but the estimates are consistently between 80% and 95%! Moreover, additional research suggests companies don’t follow up with 62% of leads post-events.
Unfortunately, event leads grow colder and colder as each day passes. As attendees return to their everyday lives, the allure and excitement of the event will wear off over time.
That being the case, time is of the utmost importance following an event. Following up with attendees and providing content to keep them engaged after an event makes it much easier to continue the conversation and, if you play your cards right, ultimately onboard a new customer.
Post-event Activation: Strategies To Drive Sales Success
After an event, it’s time to activate participants and do what you can to maximize the impact of your event. To do that, it’s essential to divide your tactics among three different buckets.
1. Attendee Follow-up
How are you going to capitalize on the “high” participants have after the experience is over? Ideally, you want to create urgency and ensure that attendees stay highly engaged through every follow-up touch.
To do this, segment your audience into groups of like-minded individuals. You also need to determine what data you’ll use to drive decision-making and the frequency you’ll follow as you reach out to attendees post-event.
On top of this, you have to figure out which channels you’ll use to engage attendees and what desired actions you hope participants ultimately take. Do you want to drive pipeline or encourage attendees to demo your product? Or are you simply looking to increase brand awareness and grow your contact base?
Once you answer those questions, it’ll be much easier to determine the proper cadence and most relevant channels.
2. Account Follow-up
You also need to think about activating other contacts at the accounts that had a presence at your event. Think through ways to raise awareness for those who participated from each account and those who didn’t attend.
Using tactics like ads, emails, and sales cadences can help activate other members of each account who might be interested in what their colleagues experienced. With the right approach, you can increase the chances that non-attendees enthusiastically show up at your next event.
3. Market Follow-up
Though your event is over, you can extend the life of the experience by repackaging it and sharing it with the broader universe.
To do this, create content synthesizing sessions, keynotes, and themes. This content can come in all shapes and sizes, including blogs, videos, slideshows, and infographics. While you’re at it, incentivize attendees to share their experiences on social networks to drum up more buzz for your next event.
Why You Need a Robust Post-event Integration Strategy
Many organizations don’t get the results they’re hoping for from their events because marketing and sales teams are out of sync.
Rather than simply focusing on event registrations, marketing needs to engage with sales to determine precisely what is needed to close deals. By designing a comprehensive post-event integration strategy and churning out high-quality, personalized content, it’s possible to boost engagement at every stage of the sales cycle — accelerating pipeline.
To do this, event marketers can experiment with the following tactics:
- Identify super users within the sales team, meaning the folks closing the most deals from event-sourced leads.
- Conduct a focus group with those contacts to understand their process and determine what’s most beneficial to them.
- Create a comprehensive sales toolkit that includes best practices the go-to-market team can reference.
- Review and revise the toolkit after each event to continuously improve and get increasingly better results over time.
- Use registration data to send personalized emails to attendees before and after each event.
- Share an action plan with customers after each event to help them act on what they’ve learned.
- Track activity closely within 72 hours and two weeks of the event, when attendees are most likely to be engaged.
With a powerful post-event integration strategy, you can ensure marketing and sales are aligned before and after events — and get better outcomes.
For more information on what you can do to improve your event strategy, read “A Guide for How To Evaluate Your Event Strategy in 2022.”