Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Party's Over - Post Event Socializing

Image via Blu-Reviewer
The Big Day has come and gone. You worked long hours in anticipation of the event and worked as much social media magic as possible to generate excitement and ensure an audience of room capacity size. But while you were putting together your engagement plan for before the event, did you remember to create a plan for after?

Website

Do you have images and copy set up for the website talking about the event in the past tense? Don't let the "Buy Tickets Now!" headline stay up longer than a day. You might not have pictures yet, but you can talk about them and make a promise to post them. I like the idea of creating albums on FB or Picasa and sharing them through your FB page or even your blog, but it will depend on where you really want the traffic.

Make sure you remove all the old event links, though you may want to keep the home page for the event for a while for your post-event updates.

Emails

About a week or so after the event, when you've got the photos available and set up - or, better yet, video - you should send out a short email thanking everyone who participated, volunteered, donated, or sponsored and include some pics from the event. This is a good opportunity to inform those who couldn't make it about what a great time they missed, remind those who attended about what a great time they had, and let everyone know about how your NP did in fundraising or whatever the focus of the event was. Try to find some stories to tell from the event that support your mission. Make it fun, though.

Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

You can update Twitter, but do it when you have some definite information, like who won the grand raffle prize or who announced a big donation. Don't waste tweets on "Golly, it was fun."

Remember that if you decide to add some images to your Pinterest account, they should be of general interest and attention-grabbing. Shots of the Board Chair dancing the hula while holding a drink in a cocoanut do not count as general interest.

You can start updating your FB page as soon as you can move your tired fingers over the keyboard. Make sure your cover picture is updated, tag people at the event, thank them, post some candid shots if you've got them. Over the next few days, tell a few stories from the event, create photo albums, add video, and talk about the future.

Cross-pollinate like crazy. Include links to your other social sites and your website - share your stories in all your hang-outs and don't repeat them. On FB you can mention a too-long story and include a link to read the whole thing on your website. Link from your website to your FB photo album or to your YouTube or Vimeo page or Slideshare.

Plan for After from Before

Decide what you will share and where before the event happens. Do the prep work. Then, when you have the content, you'll know where it goes and where and how to promote it. And very importantly, don't share everything within a short period of time or you'll burn out your audience. Finally, show only the best you have: if your plan called for a video and the video is mediocre, be willing to cut it. Don't be a slave to your plan.

Whenever you plan an event, there's always the work that happens in preparation, then the work that happens during. But there's also the work that should happen after. Plan from the beginning to make the most of the after.

Comments or suggestions for after-event socializing? Leave a contribution in the comments.

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