Updated: Apr 2, 2020
Seminars, workshops and conferences present huge opportunities for building the profile of your organisation. But even if you did everything by advertising to appropriate audiences beforehand, and the day itself was ran like clockwork, you’ve only used a proportion of an event’s potential. Conferences and seminars develop conversations that you started while you were promoting them - once the attendees have left, you need to make sure those dialogues last.
If your participants were interested enough in the topic of your event to book and pay for a place, the day won’t have changed this. You know you have something in common with them, so use it.
Send them emails from time to time about some relevant research that’s just been published. Invite them to join groups on platforms like LinkedIn where you can continue to discuss important issues in that field of study - and use a clearly visible (but not intrusive) link back to your website somewhere on the page. Inviting them to provide feedback is always really useful for you too, so do that fairly quickly after the event.
Using an effective online registration system can make it much simpler to stay in touch by integrating seamlessly into third party systems like Campaign Monitor. This allows you to pull together reports quickly and accurately, while avoiding having to manually export and import data between the booking system and mailing lists, contact databases or any other systems you might be using.
But don’t forget that you can still use the event itself to draw in audiences who didn’t attend. By making selected talks or discussions available to stream online, you will attract other interested parties looking for information on the same subject - and putting a clear call to action on the same web page could even lead to those viewers joining your mailing list or enquiring about what you do. Bringing them into the conversation could make the next event more appealing to them.
Of course, don’t go putting the whole of the event online. If there’s no exclusive content to justify the price of the ticket, why would anyone go?