Planning a memorable and productive event that keeps an audience talking year-round can demand a lot of time, preparation, and attention-to-detail. To accurately assess how well an event turned out, event planners must concern themselves with constructive ways to follow-up with their audience once the event is over..
Below are steps a planner should take to follow-up with their audience and garner feedback after a speaking engagement has ended. However, the first step is imperative and should occur before planning the event; for it is a strategic step that will guarantee a successful follow-up for the planner, as well as a successful delivery from the speaker:
- First: Talk to your audience upfront to find out what they want to hear
Imperative! Take a step back and listen to your audience so that you don't make the mistake of hiring a speaker who speaks only to your interests. Instead, find out what your audience's interests are and exactly what they want to hear, to be able to present a speaker that will deliver accordingly. This will give your audience a sense of appreciation and will encourage more group participation both during and after the event. It will also put you in a position to easily gain feedback from your audience about the speaker and the event...as audience members are prone to provide better and greater feedback on speakersthey truly enjoy.
- Second: Set up a poll for the audience to take during the event
Design the poll in a manner that it can easily gather information about future topics and speakers that may be of interest. Letyour audience know that they can take the poll at any time during the event. This will help you to build a solid, communications feedback loop while better preparing you for future engagements. More importantly, it demonstrates to audience members that you care by taking an active interest to their valuable feedback. Consider issuing a second survey at the end of the event to further gather audience feedback about the speaker. Make sure to inquire about whether there was anything that should have been done differently; if the location was adequate; if there were topics or speakers they’d recommend be explored for future events; or if they considered the experience valuable.. Having a solid connection with your audience and understanding their needs and interests is paramount to ongoing success as an event planner.
- Third: Consider sending out follow-up email letters to audience members
Most people today have an email address so make sure to request one if your survey and communications. Any email marketing tool or a simple mail merge in Outlook will allow you to send out personalized "Thank you" messages to all who participated in the event. Because most people are open to receiving personal "Thank You" messages, this is a great way to follow-up with your audience, demonstrate sincerity, and further build the trust for future communications and events. Also, don't rule out social media. For participants with social media accounts, it doesn't hurt to follow them and give them an invitation to follow you. Social media will also help you connect with a specific via a unique communications platform.
Please contact us should you have any questions about event communications or possible speakers for your next event!