The curtains have come down, the last in-person attendee has just left the venue, and you've said "thank you!" to all your speakers. High-fives all around! But what do you do now that your hybrid conference is over? Sometimes, we’re so hyper-focused about making sure that the event runs successfully, that we don’t really think about what comes next.
And that’s a big mistake.
84% of event attendees say that they have a more positive opinion about a company, brand, or product being promoted after the event occurs. That’s why it’s critical to keep in touch with attendees immediately after your hybrid conference ends, with relevant and personalized information.
So what you need is a strategic after-event plan. It needs to encompass as many touchpoints as possible to keep the momentum going. You may already be wondering “which channels are best to follow up with attendees?” or “do you need to create any collateral?” We’ve answered all of these questions in this article.
Read on to learn everything you need to do to get the most mileage from your hybrid conference strategy:
1. Turn your conference landing page into a post-event page (a.k.a what happens at your event should never just stay at your event)
Every day that passes after your hybrid conference, you run the risk of your attendees losing interest. To keep it top of mind, either create a dedicated new page on your website or transform the landing page for our event into one that lets attendees relive the fun they had at your event (or in the case of those who couldn’t attend, see what they missed out on).
How do you decide what content to feature?
Let your after event analysis data (courtesy your platform’s analytics) guide you toward finding the most valuable bits of content to share, whether it was a popular speaker who received tons of engagement, or a post on your event platform’s activity feed.
How does it drive more mileage from the hybrid conference?
On the page, create reasons for your audience to want to re-engage such as a ‘lessons learned’ follow-up webinar, or more events they can attend or link them to a forum where they can continue discussions of the event's topics with other attendees.
2. Follow up with attendees via email RIGHT AWAY
This one’s a no-brainer because the case for email is already well known. But, as all B2B marketers know, the key in getting the results you want from your event follow-up is segmentation. At the least, you should divide your attendee data into these two groups:
- Registered no-shows
You can use the content that you put together for your event highlights landing page - digital media, key metrics, information about new events - for your emails.
Here’s an example by Litmus Live:
How do you decide what content to feature in each email for the two groups?
Here’s a framework you can use when building your nurtures:
How does this drive more mileage from your hybrid conference?
Using a hybrid event platform that can integrate with your existing CRM enables you to use insights from any after event analysis reports to plan campaigns, and send automated outreach at scale, and with context. This helps to warm up prospects incrementally, without annoying the bejeesus out of them.
If leads show promising engagement on emails (ie. open and click throughs on assets you’ve already identified they will be interested in via analytics), they can be automatically routed out of the core email nurture flows to SDRs for individual, white-glove outreach.
This brings us to our next point.
3. Have your sales teams personally follow-up
It’s a recipe for disaster if marketing and sales teams aren’t hyper-aligned when it comes to event followup.
Especially in the case of email marketing, if there isn’t a set process in place and a centralized platform to use, both teams could end up emailing the same prospects at the same funnel stage, causing some leads to get emails and others none at all.
Pro tip: That’s why using analytics from your hybrid event to lead score attendees is so critical. Determining which attendees who showed most potential for conversion (consider early registrations, agenda blocks or role they clicked on during registration. time spent at the event, amount of engagement, email open rates, etc.) and which ones were also receptive to event followup emails is extremely helpful.
Once prospects are identified and warmed up, Sales colleagues can swoop in with hyper-customized 1:1 communication and calls, whether with a relevant piece of content or “what did you think of the event?”
Want more tips on boosting Sales-Marketing collaboration throughout the event lifecycle? CLICK HERE TO READ OUR FREE EBOOK.
4. Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose
Use event content as your “hero asset” and repurpose the information in different formats.
This will keep the discussion going and give your followers a second chance to see and understand your content. And by doing so, you’ll be tapping into the core purpose of the event and your audience’s desire for education and connection, and to repeat your message so it stays at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
What’s the best way to repurpose event content?
Here’s a simple way to do this:
1. Event video can be made into:
- On-demand mini-courses: This is a simple but effective way to engage your participants immediately after your event and nurture them with your content. Create mini courses or lessons around main event tracks or key areas of interest using presentations from each track or a deck of slides. Or have a team member compile top moments and teach via recording or hosted live as a webinar. Add learning resources, such as a downloadable workbook or other collateral material.
Protip: Create mini certifications for each course and use this as a basis to develop a unique community post-event. Here’s a great example of how Drift does certification courses.
- Video snippets: Snackible bits of video from your event are extremely versatile. They can be used in the following ways:
- Audio transcribed into a blog post(s): You can provide additional commentary to support the ideas. Translate key moments into tips, lessons and best practices. For inspiration, take a look at HubSpot’s blog content which showcases key quotes or lessons from their event speakers.
- Aggregate key messages into an ebook or even a yearbook that has insights from events held over a year. Gate this downloadable piece of content on your site to drive MQLs.
- Infographics of best quotes from speakers and attendees. Here's a great example by IBM
- Video snippets uploaded into a Youtube playlist
- Audio turned into podcast episodes
2. Content from audience engagement activities such as Polls and Q&A can be turned into ‘How to’ and FAQ articles or tactical guides and spreadsheet templates. Copy from the articles can be shared as slide decks on LinkedIn or as bite-sized info nuggets via Twitter threads.
Protip 1: Don’t forget to leverage the reach of your event speakers and partners when distributing your repurposed content on social platforms
Protip 2: Gamify social sharing (here’s an example) with prizes like swag or Amazon gift cards, or discounted tickets to your next hybrid event
How does repurposing content drive more mileage from the hybrid conference?
It now takes a whopping 27 interactions before a potential buyer is willing to have that sales conversation with you (yes, you read that right). And buyers do a lot of self-directed research checking a variety of sources, from social media to website to forums etc.
So the advantage of developing a library of content from your event for different channels and distributing it effectively (this is key), is that each piece serves as “one in a series of stepping stones” pulling people deeper into the funnel. Each builds visibility, familiarity, credibility and trust.
5.Create online communities for attendees
The last tactic we recommend to help drive more mileage from your hybrid event is to create activities and spaces where attendees can continue conversations and connections from the hybrid event.
This can be in whatever form suits your need - happy hours, accountability groups, or just simple online forums like Slack groups where you can break people up into cohorts based on topics from the hybrid event so that they can have targeted discussions with like-minded folk. Event and page moderators can facilitate discussions by starting threads during or immediately after the event.
How do communities help to drive more mileage?
Giving attendees a group or a community in which they can talk freely about your event, related industry topics, ask for advice and make new relationships, helps to build camaraderie and instil a sense of belongingness. (Look for instance at the Notion subreddit that has 155000 members). It helps them to feel like more than a lead, or a customer. And this in turn can build trust and generate organic traffic and leads.
And by activating more people to jointly contribute towards a shared goal, you are increasing the capacity and impact of your efforts as an organization or brand.
Protip: These spaces are also a great way to gather valuable insights into your event attendees’ interests through the conversations they have, questions they ask, and challenges they discuss. These insights not only help in creating future events but also in segmenting your leads in a better way for your campaigns and offerings.
After-event tactics should not be an afterthought
Clearly, any hybrid event strategy you create is incomplete without you incorporating a plan for after-event activities too.
It’s not easy, but we guarantee that if you invest time and thought into crinkling out the processes for after-event activities beforehand - like how you’re going to even create event videos (solution: a video production tool incorporated into your event platform) or making clear the baton pass between marketing and sales - you will see improved efficiency and returns from your hybrid conference.