The Evolution of an Event – Part 3: Strategic Follow Up

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Your team spent a lot of time planning for the event. You had great attendance and the day of the event went well. Now what?

Now is the time to follow up – not in a month or six weeks.  You should follow up while the event is still fresh in prospects’ minds. For example, if you held a “Dine and Discover” event, follow up with a phone call asking if their questions were answered and inviting them in for a personal tour.  If the event was a resident panel, start the conversation by asking which resident they enjoyed listening to the most, or which resident had experiences similar to their own. You can even follow with an invitation for them to have a personal lunch with the resident that most resonated with them. Don’t miss the opportunity to reinforce key points from the event.

Unfortunately, many communities spend more time planning events than they do in the follow up stage. Planning your follow up is as important as planning the event itself. In Part I of this series, we learned to treat RSVPs as new leads, calling them to encourage a personal tour to get acquainted with the community before the event. After the event, think about each individual attendee, where they are in the decision-making process, and determine a strategic follow up plan. Of course this is easier if the sales team has taken notes during the event on different prospects and their level of engagement during the event.

Following a successful resident panel event at The Clare in Chicago, the sales team followed up by selectively sending out a series of resident testimonials. The testimonials reinforced the positive aspects of life at The Clare and helped keep the panelists’ stories top of mind for attendees after the event.

Overall there needs to be a specific plan in place on how the sales team will follow up with each prospect that attended the event. Will they receive a call? A note? A creative follow up related to the event, such as a downsizing check list after a downsizing event?

Even no-shows or those unable to attend should receive a follow up contact. These leads are just as important as those who attended. Your follow up can be tailored based on the type of event the prospect had planned to attend. For instance, if the event was a Resident Panel, invite the prospect in for a luncheon with two or three residents for a ‘mini-panel.’ If the event involved a speaker from your community, arrange for the speaker to meet one-on-one with the prospect or perhaps provide the prospect with an outline of the presentation.

This concludes our three-part series on event planning and follow up. If you missed the series, click here to read Part 1: Strategic Planning and Part 2: Event Preparation.