I recently wrote about the need for connecting with your event guests in my article, ' Are You Maximising Engagement With Your Guests?'.
One of the tips I gave was sending out thank you emails to guests immediately after your event, to continue, as well as maximise, engagement with them.
Being the organised people we are, event managers often have their list of attendees and thank you emails ready to go before the event has even started. Then all it needs is a simple hit of the ‘send’ button.
But beware. Being too organised and automated can have its downfalls.
Recently I registered to attend an event. Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances, I couldn’t attend and emailed to let the event team know (as an event manager, I know how frustrating no shows can be).
So I went about my day and then what should happen to arrive in my inbox at the conclusion of the event? A thank you email for attending. A thank you that included a kiss (x) from someone I have never met, from an event I didn’t attend.
And what should I receive a week later? A phone call thanking me for attending the event and asking me how I enjoyed it.
Now while I commend the event team for being so organised and for their follow up, it is clear that they didn’t actually take any notice of who turned up at the event. All it would have taken was a quick stock take of their registrations (or even the name badges that weren’t collected) and they could have easily updated their database for the post event emails.
All that great communication in the lead up to the event, where I felt acknowledged, valued and recognised by the event, quickly fell down with that one error.
Suddenly, rather than valued, I was just a line on a registration database. Any relationship they had built prior to the event went out the window. And needless to say, they lost all engagement with me with that one oversight.
So next time you are getting super organised, make sure you leave yourself a little room to move.
Georgie Stayches is Founder and Managing Director of Fetching Events & Communications, a boutique agency specialising in event management, communications and volunteer management.