You’re just back from your biggest conference of the year, trying to cope with the “post-conference blues” that hit when the frenetic energy dissipates on the last day of the event. So many hours, so much energy, all channeled to the singular focus of orchestrating a meaningful event and keeping all your stakeholders happy. The event is over, you’ve taken a well-deserved break … wait, you did take some time to pause and refresh, didn’t you? If not, go ahead and do that, we’ll wait here…).
Now that you’re back at your desk, it can be hard to get that fire started again for doing much of anything, much less thinking about next year’s event. But if you start now, you’ll be able to capitalize on the fresh perspective you have and gather back some of your energy and channel it into building a platform that will amplify the best of this year’s conference and create a program for next year that gives your attendees (and the conference owner) more of what they want. So let’s get going!
"The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one's feet." ~ LAO-TZU
If you’ve done this before, you’re starting with a wealth of knowledge “beneath your feet,” either on your desk, scattered between your email inbox, Word docs, and spreadsheets, or contained within a event content management system such as Hubb.
We’re just back from one of our biggest productions of the year, and thought it would be a good time to share some insights that might help you be more strategic as you look toward your next event.
The Big Picture: Audience
Our colleagues at Dynamic Events have been in the event planning business since 2008, and have produced a full spectrum of events, from Songleader Boot Camp to Microsoft Ignite. But no matter the size or type of organization, “audience” almost always means two things at once:
The conference owner. Our first responsibility is to listen to our client.
- What are the “big messages” they want to land with this event?
- What are the products they want to emphasize?
- Do they have a content strategy?
The attendees. Of course it wouldn’t be a conference without our guests.When considering the attendees, we strive to understand what they want to get out of the conference: what new skills or deeper expertise are they looking for, what new up-and-coming trends do they want to explore, etc.
When you’ve just returned from an event, it’s time to comb through the attendee feedback, news generated because of the event, social media channels, and then use that feedback to start a conversation with the conference owner on how things went and what they want to see more of next time.
Parsing the feedback will give you a sense of what your attendees thought of each session, will give insight on how well your speakers performed and whether their subject matter resonated with the audience. Reviewing industry blogs, news and social media will provide a view of how your conference was portrayed to non-attendees in the world at large.
Once you’ve sorted out and digested these various forms of feedback, you’ll be ready to talk to the event owner about what worked well and what could be better next time.
Want more on how to make the most of the period after your event? Download our free Post-Event Checklist!