The best event planners know that their work isn't done just because the doors to the venue have closed, all the delegates have gone home and the clean-up operation has begun in earnest. Even after everyone has left, there are still plenty of things you can be doing to further the message of your event and ensure everyone is still engaging in full with the brand you represent.
As with every stage of the event planning process in the 21st century, technology has a big role to play here and you'll have a wide range of options to test out. But what are some of the tried and tested ways to use technology after the event?
Videos of speakers
Savvy event planners will make sure as much of their exhibition as possible is being recorded for future reference and this should be fairly simple to organise given that all smartphones come with high quality video cameras built in these days. By recording all of your speakers in action, you'll have a fantastic resource to look back on that can help you to plan similar events in the future.
But these videos can also be great for those people who wanted to go to your event but were unable to make it for whatever reason. If you're feeling particularly generous you might wish to host these on the event website at no extra cost - or put them up on the event's own YouTube channel if it has one - but you can also look into ways to monetise this resource.
After all, if you can come up with fresh ways to make money from the event even after it has passed, this will increase the budget for new technology you can try out the following year.
Another way you can use content to keep people engaged with your event is through blogs posted to the exhibition's website. These can be a fantastic way to fuel debate and get people talking about the issues and topics your attendees are the most interested in.
Approach the speakers you lined up to appear at the exhibition to produce blogs for the website. In the articles, they will be able to repeat some of the points they made in their speeches, sum up their overall arguments and also provide a call to action to readers.
Blogs are also a great way event planners can help to 'change the weather', as politicians are keen to describe it. This means you help to set the debate, move forward the discussion and encourage a higher level of polemic among your audience. If your event registration system integrates into your contact management software, you could even send out emails to your mailing list whenever a new post is added.
This is a fantastic way to keep your event fresh in the mind of your target audience, although you want to be careful to avoid being controversial for the sake of it, or you'll be risking being accused of trolling by the commentariat on Twitter and other social media sites.
Polls and research
Having so many delegates who are interested in the same subjects in the same place - during your event - is a fantastic resource you need to mine if possible. Asking them to take part in a few polls or short surveys can be an unsurpassable way to collect data that you can then release via your event's website. This helps to show how engaged your audience already is with the topics at hand and allows you to get a sense of the other issues you need to look into talking about, both on the event website and at any exhibitions that are going to be booked in for the future.
Event planners can also gather research through the exhibition website itself, as this gives any readers an easy way to have their say and contribute to the debate.
As everyone involved in event planning will have noticed in recent years, technology is becoming an increasingly important part of putting an exhibition together. But it's vital to keep in mind that the hard work is not done just because the date of the event has been and gone - you still have a chance to engage your audience and technology is one of the key tools in your arsenal to reach your goals.