…So when should you say thanks – send the after event ‘Thank you for coming’ email? So how many days after your event is the right time to press send? I’d suggest the conversation must surely be around how many hours is right and NOT how many days!
Event done….so what’s next?
Most event managers know that an event is not done when it’s done: it just moves into the breakdown and reconciliation phase. It is also now time to say thank you to those that attended your event.
Event planners understand the benefits of preparation – getting things done in advance. I therefore suggest you draft up the thank you email in advance and create a distribution list made up of your attendee list cross referenced with; you’re actually turned up list.
Thank you. But what else should you say?
The after event emails’ primary purpose is to thank to all those who attended your event. As the email subject line is clear in its meaning…it gets opened. It is quite common that the open rate of these types of email will be double the open rate of your monthly newsletter.
This email, with its high open rate potential is also an opportunity to go beyond just thanking people. You might want to add event photos and videos: say thank you to a sponsor or partner: ask for feedback or perhaps run a competition for some event memorabilia. Towards the end of this email you would also mention what you do; any special offers made at the event and give them a heads up on any forthcoming events. I’d also be encouraging attendees to ‘share’ their experiences too.
When should you send it?
My answer is always within 24 hours. Don’t wait – do it now. While everyone I meet agrees it’s important to send out a thank you email – we often differ as to when you should send it. If your event is a one off then I’d say within 24 hours is right. Where I get most disagreement is from those attending trade shows. Many think attendees will be inundated with these type of emails (their inboxes – full to bursting with thank you and sales chatter – trust me they don’t) and therefore believe it’s best to wait a few days.
My argument is why not be the first to thank them. I am pretty sure they are more likely to open it rather than ‘thank you’ email number 4-6. From a more practical point of view: do you really think the recipients will remember one of the many trade show conversations they’ve had several days ago? In my case no! My point: don’t wait for everybody else to fill up your prospects inboxes – get in first and you‘ll get read.
Thank you…for what?
You’ve put on a great event, so let’s assume everybody who attended your event will be happy to receive emails from you. It is alas not uncommon for people on your original attendee but who didn’t turn up to also get emails thanking them too! This should never happen – it’s lazy, unprofessional and will damage your relationship. The lesson – before you press send, make sure you have the most up to date attendee (actually turned up) list: making sure you remove all ‘no shows’. For free events you can expect up to 30% of those actually signed up to not turn up.
Just a thought…you could send the registered but didn’t turn up an email too and ask them why they didn’t show. Ask them what would make them want to attend next time around. It might reveal some important information.
The after event thank you email should be sent within 24 hours – while they still remember you. I suggest you go beyond just saying thanks and look upon it as an opportunity to keep the conversation going.
A final thought – don’t forget that thank you is one of the most motivational set of words in the book – use them often!
Chris Powell, The Event Expert specialises in helping accidental and occasional event planners develop the skills and confidence to design, programme, promote and deliver their own exceptional events. I deliver In-house event management courses and coaching programmes and books covering all types of public and business events.