Successful small businesses and event planners follow certain steps to follow up with guests and make the most of an event. Although your first instinct may be to rest after an event, this is the prime time to connect with new leads and gather data for your company. Here are the eight steps you should follow during the post-event breakdown.
So you’ve thrown a successful event — people came, they had fun, and everything went smoothly. Now that it’s over, you may wonder what steps you should take next. Should you email new contacts right away? How can you land new leads and avoid sounding too salesy?
1. Say Thank You
All businesses rely on solid relationships. When you prioritize each one, you’re prioritizing the value each individual can bring to your business. A good first step after events is to reconnect with attendees by sending them a quick thank you email. You should make this email personal and avoid any sales pitches at this point.
Connect with your guests 24-36 hours after the event for the best results – it’s part of the post-event breakdown. Your goal is to keep their experience and the value of your business fresh in their minds. Clients who think of you positively and often are more likely to work with you down the road.
2. Tidy the Space
This is the most essential part of the post-event breakdown. You’ll also need to thoroughly clean the space and return any rented or borrowed equipment. Make sure everyone follows the cleaning protocols for the area you used and give extra attention to the kitchen and bathroom areas.
If you’ve borrowed any decor or tech equipment, ensure you return all of it to the proper owners. Return rentals and keep a running list of items you used so it’s easier to prep for your next event. Additionally, store personal items where they’re easy to find in the future.
3. Check the Numbers
Another important step after an event is to balance your checkbook. Look at the numbers and ensure you’ve paid all the vendors you hired — you need to follow through on your promises to build respect. Check and double-check to ensure you’ve paid your bills and documented everything.
Next, do the math to discover how much the event made. Were there unforeseen expenses? Did the number of attendees cover the cost? If things didn’t balance out as you’d hoped, strategize about how you could advise budget changes for next time.
If the venue uses smart technology, collect some of that data to see how much of your resources you used. Smart sensors in bathrooms, for example, can give insight into whether you need to invest in more soap or towels for the next event.
4. Collect Information
A few days after you send guests a thank you, ask them to complete a short survey for you. This should include a few simple questions to help you gauge their experience and improve for next time. Here are some sample survey questions:
- What was the best/worst part of the event?
- What was most helpful to you?
- How valuable was the event on a scale of 1-10?
You can also include more pointed questions to help you gather data on your ideal clients. For example, you could take this opportunity to ask what guests’ biggest struggle is or what they feel is missing in their professional life. Think about everyone’s pain points so you can learn how better to meet their needs.
5. Update Client Notes
After the post-event breakdown, you should also take time to update client notes. If you don’t have notes, now is a great time to create them. Every time you engage with a new lead, you can add their name to this database. You should include any personal or business information you know after their name.
Taking notes makes it easy to reconnect with each potential client personally. After surveys, email responses, or in-person meetings, you can update your notes with what you’ve learned about each client. This process will teach you more about your ideal client and prepare you to meet their needs more effectively.
6. Stay in Touch
The last thing you want to do is spam guests with salesy emails. However, keeping in touch is essential, so your guests remember you when they need your services. You can avoid being salesy by continuing to provide free value. Attendees can always opt out of your emails if they’re not interested in receiving them.
Sending consistent emails will help you whittle potential leads down to people interested in working with you. Thinking about value in broad terms is vital when connecting with new people. Even if a potential lead doesn’t want to work with you, they may refer someone to you or help you in another way.
7. Invest In Them
Over the next few weeks, reach out to any attendees you connected with. Many marketing strategists talk about “providing value,” which means sending encouraging, helpful, or informative material. This is your opportunity to show attendees that you care about them by investing in their lives for free.
These emails can lead up to a sales pitch or an invitation for a personal meeting. In the meantime, you can watch engagement with your emails and free content to gauge which attendees are interested in creating or continuing a relationship. Value emails build trust and show that you’re interested in more than just making money.
8. Plan Another Event
Once you’ve gathered information and invested in relationships during the post-event breakdown, it’s time to plan another event. Send out invites to past attendees you think will be interested and use the new data you’ve gathered to reach more people. You can also send past guests a small gift if they refer others to the event.
An event doesn’t have to be huge to succeed — you just have to reach the right people. Event planning is a process you can continually learn from and improve over time. Keep track of your finances and current leads, so you have the brain space to grow constantly. Your success as a business owner depends on the investments you make in others.
Time to Rest
You should take time to wind down, reflect and rest after an event. However, things aren’t over until you’ve sent follow-up emails, completed the cleanup, and paid your vendors. Like doing chores before bed, you should complete all important post-event tasks before taking a break. Otherwise, you’ll have a mess to take care of in the morning.
Use these eight tips to show guests you value their time with a quick thank you and continual investments, pay your bills, clean the space and send guests a post-event survey. You should also update your client notes so you can improve future communication and prep for the next event.
Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine Revivalist, and she enjoys keeping up with the exciting world of event planning and hospitality. Follow Cora on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more life, style, and home inspiration.