Six Tips to Strengthen Your Post-Event Communication
Post-event communication planning is critical to the long-term success of an event. Whether you’re implementing a fundraiser, conference, symposium, or advocacy-related action, building on the momentum of your activity will help sustain volunteer or donor engagement.
This is an area that can be unintentionally neglected by event staff. Any reader that has planned a major event knows that post-event exhaustion will be detrimental to sustaining communication. You’re exhausted, have to unload boxes, process registration forms, and battle a post-event cold. Soon you realize it’s been two weeks and you haven’t thanked your participants or sent a post-event survey. These tips will help you plan before the event starts.
Create a calendar
Calendars spur action. They help you think about specific dates that you want to send communication. How long after the event do you want to get a note to participants? When do you want to follow-up after that? When do you need specific thank you calls or notes mailed? Creating a calendar helps to ensure that you’re on track and helps to prevent lapses in communication that result from event exhaustion.
If possible, start your post-event planning 60-90 days before your event. Often you won’t have the time to spare in the weeks leading into the activity. Carve out time in advance of your event to write thank you emails and draft your post-event survey. These can be edited with specific content as you get closer to the event.
Vary your social media
There is a tendency after a major event to provide social media updates that just relate to the recent activity. Be sure to mix in content that will appeal to attendees and those followers that were unable to make it. Ensuring that some messages speak to larger organization messaging will ensure that you don’t alienate your audience with just event photos.
When do you need to thank your sponsors? What is included in their sponsorship package? Mapping out the best way to highlight and thank your sponsors is important to sustaining their sizable contribution. If you haven’t recently read your sponsorship package, revisit it. Ensure you’ve met your agreed upon needs and if possible exceed them.
Most small and and mid-sized nonprofits rely on volunteer support to help implement their events. Don’t forget to thank them with a segmented message. It’s easy to lump their email into the general thank you message, but volunteers have a unique investment in the success of the event. Structuring a message with the intended audience of just day-of volunteers is important to their long-term engagement. Building a specific post-event survey to assess their experience is also helpful to ensuring you’re getting the best information from your event.
Hand-written notes and calls
These make a huge difference for all event supporters. Prior to the event make a list of the people you anticipate will need special recognition and start writing notes or making calls as soon as you can. One event staff we worked with left voicemails for colleagues who volunteered while she drove home from her fundraising event. While these calls were often loopy due to her fatigue, knowing that their support meant so much to her kept them coming back in future years.
These suggestions will help you begin your post-event communication planning. As we were without a blog post last week (due to an event), we’ve provided a double dose of links for the last two weeks. For a more steady diet of content, please follow our Tumblr.
- Facebook’s algorithm can cause headaches for many social media managers. Epolitics.com shares advice on how to live with their changes. Mashable chronicles how Nestle handles the challenges that the algorithm can present.
- On the subject of Facebook, they’re rolling out a save function. Fast Company provides the details.
- Fundraising platform StayClassy has had two helpful blog posts over the last week – tips on effective volunteer-driven fundraising videos and best practices in communicating with donors.
- If your organization use Google’s products, than this post about how to integrate their tools into your website design may be helpful.
- Here is a list of free and discounted tech services available to nonprofits.
- Repetition is often necessary for nonprofit fundraising. Repetition is often necessary for nonprofit fundraising.
- Our friends at M+R walked readers through how Planned Parenthood Action Fund moved so quickly with engaging and thoughtful in light of the Hobby Lobby decision. M+R also highlighted some of their favorite mistakes from emails (and showed that they have similar taste in tv shows).
- Calling volunteers and donors is hard. Peer to Peer Nation explains why they may be avoiding your calls.