The work of hosting an online event doesn't end when it's over. In fact, much of the important work begins when the meeting ends. Engagement can and should continue post-event, and virtual events offer a treasure trove of data on attendee engagement and preferences if you know where to look. Here are four critical actions to take post-event to boost audience engagement and make the most of your content.
Scrutinize the Metrics
Your online event platform should give you the opportunity to access interesting data about your registrants that will teach you a lot. You can see who attended your event, if they left the room, at what time and other important metrics. You should also pay attention to how many people registered for the event versus how many actually attended. This data can act as a benchmark for future virtual events and will let you know if you've met your goals.
Additional metrics to monitor include:
- Track visits on your landing page: Add a tracking pixel on your event's landing page to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. You can compare website visitors to the number of registrants. After the event ends, the landing page can be updated to redirect participants to a survey or the registration form for next year's meeting.
- Analyze email sends: After sending any email campaigns, you should have a look at the results. Get a sense of your open and click rates to correct email bounces and any other kinds of errors that might arise.
- Check engagement on your past sessions: Open the analytics on your past events and compare the metrics to your recent gathering. Look for peak levels of engagement as well as dips in attendance. If some moments stand out, use them to rethink your event's content, duration and perhaps the pace. For more specific insight into what your participants liked and disliked, consider running polls at the end of each session.
Repurpose the Content
After your virtual event ends, you should make sure to repurpose its content. You can reference the material in your blog posts, or cut and splice some of the videos and post them to social media. You could even turn the recording into an on-demand evergreen webinar. This is the best way to get the most mileage out of your content and increase audience reach.
Other ways to leverage that valuable content include:
- Make the replay available to registrants. Among your registrants, some will not be able to attend the event live and others will just register to be able to access the replay afterward. So, make sure to upload the sessions and share them via email after the event ends. You should expect a 20 to 50 percent increase in attendance depending on the event topic, how accessible the sessions are and how much marketing you've done.
- Use the replay for marketing purposes. The content from an online event can be one of a company's greatest assets. You can use it to promote future sessions, cut promotional videos from it and more. Replays of your most successful sessions can also be used to pitch potential partners on future events or sponsorship opportunities.
Engage on Social Media
Every event, whether virtual or in-person, should have a hashtag that will help generate visibility on social media and allow attendees to share their reactions in real time. The hashtag should be shared with attendees at the start of the meeting. To increase engagement, consider creating a contest and offering prizes to those who use the hashtag.
After your event ends, you should continue to engage with your audience on social media and chat with attendees in real time using the hashtag. You can take this time to answer any leftover questions and strengthen the relationships with your audience. Twitter is a great place to share polls and host a Q&A, while Facebook and Instagram are well suited to livestreams. On LinkedIn, you can post a link to the on-demand sessions and spread the word about any additional materials that go along with the content, such as downloadable checklists or guides.
Post-event follow up is critical. After the virtual meetings ends, send out a link to view the on-demand sessions and invite attendees to your other upcoming events. Be sure to gather feedback as well. Ask participants if the content was useful and relevant, what they would like to see next and more. This information will be crucial when planning your next event. To incentivize feedback, consider offering gift cards and other prizes.
In addition to general surveys sent out to all participants, you can also target those with certain engagement levels. For example, sessions with an attendance rate lower than 20 percent means that something went very wrong. You can reach out directly to the participants who attended such sessions, as well as those with low engagement rates overall, to gather valuable insight for optimizing future sessions.
Gilles Bertaux is the co-founder and CEO of Livestorm, which provides software for webinars and virtual meetings.