Even after the catering team has packed up the utensils and the last guest has checked out of the hotel, your event is not over. In some crucial respects, it is actually when the real work begins. The fortune, as they say, really is in the follow up.
What matters, when you are selling something, is that you get buy in from the other side. From the people to whom you are hoping to sell something. And just as other kinds of sales don’t happen in one phone call, you can’t expect everyone to buy-in on the spot at an event. There must be follow up.
As the founder of a sales and sales training agency, I tell my clients that getting buy-in requires two things: a spirit of partnership and time. We cannot expect for everyone to have their minds made up about whether or not they will buy what you’re selling immediately. Not everyone makes buying decisions in the same way. Some people make quick, gut level decisions. Others need time to deliberate and process. Still others like to research and consider all options. To increase the number of people who get on board with whatever we are inviting them to do at an event, it pays to put in place multiple engagement strategies for these different decision-making styles.
What could follow up look like for your event? There are all kinds of options. From direct mail campaigns to surveys to webinars to post-event conversations, the key is to plan for what kind of customer service and support will happen once your attendees are no longer physically in the room together.
It does not make sense to expect all people to make decisions the way we, as people selling something, would like them to. Instead, let’s anticipate the different ways different people make decisions or choose to participate, and then design our post-event support and engagement strategy for that very human–and normal–diversity. Because even when the event is over, in many ways the work is just beginning.
Dr. Nadia Brown is the founder of The Doyenne Agency, a global sales and sales training firm serving small service based businesses. Find out more at www.TheDoyenneAgency.com.