You’ve been working hard for months. You met with your stakeholders to nail down some clear objectives. You picked the perfect location, caterers, event content, and entertainment. You carefully crafted and executed a pre-event communication strategy, generated buzz, and got everyone excited about the event. You even managed to get a cool event app complete with personalized agendas and notifications for attendees. Then you spent the entire event on your feet making sure everything went smoothly — and in the blink of an eye, it was over. So, now what?
While you may have earned some time to put your feet up, your work isn’t over yet. In order to make sure your corporate event has a lasting impact now that it’s over, there are some post-event follow up tasks you need to do.
1. Collect Feedback
When the event is over, your attendees will be buzzing with thoughts on what they liked, what they weren’t so crazy about, and what they would have added — and this is a treasure trove for event planners. Collecting feedback from attendees can help you determine if you achieved your objectives, assess the impact of the event, and gather some great ideas for next year.
2. Do Your Own Post-Event Evaluation
In addition to collecting attendee feedback, you’ll want to do your own post-event evaluation with your event team. Sit down and talk about what went well, what went wrong, and what you’d do differently next time — and make sure you record the information. Just don’t forget to celebrate your wins!
3. Share Photos and Videos
Maintain the excitement from your event by sharing the event photos and videos with attendees. Whether you had a professional photographer or had your event team shooting photos and videos themselves, sharing in a timely manner keeps people talking while they are still excited about your event. It’s probably best to assign someone the task of sorting the photos and posting to the company intranet, internal social channel, or other attendee-only account so it can get done within a few days.
Ideally, you’ll have provided a disclaimer or consent box during registration to let attendees know they could be photographed, as everyone feels differently about having their picture posted. With that in mind, we recommend posting the photos with titles or numbers so that if someone wants to request that you take their photo down, they can tell you exactly which one it is and you can take care of it without any headaches.
4. Prepare Your Event Recap
Soon after the event ends, you’ll want to have a post-event recap ready to go out to attendees and stakeholders. While you don’t want to send out a play-by-play of the event, a good recap that captures the main theme, the key takeaways, and a few insights will be yet another way to keep people talking.
Much like photos, this isn’t something you want to put off. It doesn’t have to be long — it just needs to reinforce the key insights that align with stakeholder objectives so that they stay top-of-mind for attendees. This is also a good way to follow up on things promised during the event, such as passing along event resources, announcing contest winners, sharing the attendee list so employees can stay connected with their new contacts, and so on.
5. Roll Out the Post-Event Learning Retention Plan
As part of your corporate event planning process, you likely discussed how to make the event message stick after the fact. Whether you created discussion packages for company leaders to encourage follow-up during team meetings, or developed a full strategic plan for a company-wide learning initiative in partnership with HR, now’s the time to put it into action.
6. Report Back to Stakeholders
Last but not least, one of the most important wrap-up pieces is to report back to your stakeholders. Be prepared to summarize the key insights from your recap, discuss attendee feedback, and present any other data you collected.
Looping back gives you the chance to demonstrate how you achieved their event objectives, tell them what you learned in areas that weren’t as strong as you’d hoped, prove the return on their investment — and secure the budget and buy-in for next year’s event.
An outstanding corporate event begins ages before event-day and continues long after attendees have returned to work. By taking these next steps after your successful corporate event, you not only improve the impact of the event, but you also lay the foundation for the next event. Getting feedback from attendees ensures you know what they want to see in future years, and sharing photos and resources helps them to remember and extend the value of the event back on the job. And of course, showing your stakeholders that the event achieved their goals ensures you will have their trust for the next one.