Your event is over. Now what? There are a few critical loose ends to tie up, so before you settle in and celebrate your success with chips and guacamole, we’ve got a checklist for you so no details are forgotten. Here's the best way to ace this test: give it a read before your event. Then, just follow these steps and rest easy knowing you’ve covered all your bases.
Ace This Quiz: Start Working On These Four Weeks Before Your Event
We know, we know--this is supposed to be a post-event checklist. But a bit of preparation will go a long way and make your life easier after your event is over.
- Attendee Experiential Objectives: Fancy name; simple concept. Put yourself in the shoes of your attendees--what are the feelings you want them to leave with after your event? Inspiration? Motivation? Awareness? As you're planning your event, keep those words in mind--they’re your experiential objectives (now you’re the fancy one!). When you've got objectives, they can also end up answering questions for you. “Should I book this vendor?” If they're going to leave your guests with one of your experiential objectives, then the answer is yes.
- Sponsor Experiential Objectives: As you’re planning the finer details of your event, consider what your sponsors would like from your event. What feeling do you want your sponsors left with after your event? What do your sponsors want to achieve by partnering with your event? If your sponsors want to connect with your attendees, can you provide any extra opportunities or spaces for them to do so? If your sponsors want more people to download their app or follow them on social media, are there extra places you can encourage people to do so?
1. Have you sent your thank you notes to your attendees with a survey link?
- A survey link…?
- Meh, I don’t think my guests will even answer a survey
- Yes, but I’m not sure if I asked the right questions on my survey...
Everyone loves to hear those two special words, especially people who have just carved out a few hours or an entire day to take in your event. Create a general thank you note to send to attendees in an email blast, and take this opportunity to include a link to a post-event survey. Here’s some jumping off points for questions:
- What was your favorite part of the day?
- Would you attend an event like this again?
- Did you find the presentations valuable/informative/entertaining?
- Did you enjoy the quality of the vendors, venue, and food?
Hot Tip: Use a program like Survey Monkey to create a survey with a link quickly. You can ask people to rate elements on a scale of one to 10, you can ask for written feedback, or you can have yes or no questions.
2. Have you sent your thank you notes to sponsors, speakers and performers?
- Yes! It was the first thing I did when I got into the office the day after my event.
- Ok, no they’re half written so I just to finish them
- I’m not totally sure where to start…
ANSWER: Thank you’s (like smiles!) are free so be generous with them. Even if that one vendor showed up late and with a kind of a bad attitude, you’ll never regret taking the high road so send him a thank you regardless (and just remember not to invite him back).
- Thank you notes to sponsors. You might be planning on sending a full post-event report to your sponsors (if you are, give yourself bonus points), but a short note the day after the event that includes a thank you and some quick statistics (like the total number of attendees or social media impressions) is a nice touch. If you have multiple sponsors, you can template part of it, but it's always good to include a personal touch in the note, specifically speaking to how that sponsor helped you out.
- Thank you notes to speakers and performers. We all know that your speakers, performers, or artists can make or break your event. It's what you spent all that time perfecting! So make sure you send your dream team a thank you for all their hard work, and for supporting you in your vision.
- HOT TIP: Schedule a thank you to go up on social media the morning after your event, and if you’re feeling extra jazzy, ask people to comment or respond with their favorite part of the day. You might even get a little bonus feedback that way! Include your best image from the day, and that might be one that’s crowd sourced from photos your attendees shared. If you decide to choose a photo someone else took, remember to credit them because that’s the cool way to do it.
3. Have you paid all your vendors, speakers and artists?
- Yes! I handed out cheques at the event itself
- No, I’m still waiting for ticket revenue to come through
- I’m getting them in the mail this week, I swear!
ANSWER: We can’t stress this enough - pay your people and pay them on time if you can! The events industry is often tight knit, and if word gets around that you are slow to pay invoices, it might hinder people from working with you again on your next event.
- Add a column to your budget spreadsheet to indicate Payment Made, so you can tick it off when the checks have been delivered into the hands of the people who worked hard to help you. Your caterer, audio-visual provider, and bartenders will love you for it.
- And while we’re here, remember to return your rentals ASAP too (although admittedly, it’s probably the last thing you feel like doing) but trust us, the sooner you get them back, the better off you’ll be.
4. Have you booked your post-event recap meeting with your team?
- I’m trying to but it’s hard to get everyone back together in a room
- Can’t I just do it in an email?
- Obviously, we need to drink away the stress of that event.
ANSWER: Attendees and sponsors will give you a ton of feedback, and your team is just as valuable as a resource. Buy them lunch or a drink and debrief on what parts you hit out of the park, and what parts you might have done differently. Here are some of the questions you’ll want to tackle with your team post-event.
- Was the space appropriate? Too big, too small, too hard to find, not enough parking?
- Did the vendors have trouble loading in and setting up? Was there anything that could have been done differently?
- Did the photographer have a shot list to know what images to capture?
- Were sponsors welcomed? Was there any VIP treatment that was appreciated?
- How did guest check-in go?
- How was the flow from check-in to event space?
- Was it clear to attendees what the program for the day would be?
- Did you have enough food for breaks and lunch? Too much food? Was the menu appropriate, and were there enough spaces for people to eat and mingle?
- Was there a place for people to charge their devices?
- Where there enough breaks? Were the breaks the right length of time?
- Did you have enough volunteers? Was there enough for the volunteers to do? Did they feel valued?
- Were you able to get people excited for your next event?
5. What metrics should you collect right after your event?
- How many people attended
- How many people used your event hashtag
- How many website visits you got that day
- How many people entered for the door prize
ANSWER: All of the metrics. Any metric, every metric, hoard the metrics like they are bars of gold. Metrics help you tell the story of the success of your event, and so the more metrics you have, the better prepared you’ll be to engage speakers and sponsors for your next successful event. Everything from how many drink tickets were used to how many people showed up early to network and mingle, those are all great numbers to gather and have in your back pocket.
6. What should you be tackling in the week after your event?
- Prepare financials and reports
- Send sponsors a report of their involvement
- Wearing yoga pants to work (and maybe going to a yoga class, if you feel like it).
- Start planning your next event!
ANSWER: To be honest, all of the above, plus buying yourself extra lattes everyday. You worked your booty off for that event, put in the extra hours and went the distance. Wrap up the event nicely by finishing off your reporting, answering all the post-event questions, acing this quiz and on to the next!
Supplies You'll Need To Rally For Your Post-Event Plan
- Separated email lists: Attendees, Sponsors, Speakers/Talent
- Survey link
- 3 - 4 great images from your event