Whew we Survived!!!
Congrats you survived your event and everyone on your team is still alive and moving! I know all you want to do is crawl into your comfortable bed and sleep for a month but unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen. You need to recap the event while the event is still fresh in everyone’s mind. The best thing that you can do is to put a post-event recap report together. It is suggested to use the same format year after year and for event after event. This way you can track your data year after year and keep everything in an organized and orderly format.
When to Start
The first time you should be thinking about your post-event recap is when you start planning your event. You don’t want to wait until the end of the event and realize that you need to create a recap when you are exhausted. Make sure that you put your recap together when you are planning your event. It should be your last page in your binder of the last folder in your Google Drive.
There are lots of things that you want to include in your recap and obviously the larger and more complex an event is the longer and more complex your event recap will be. That being said I have outlined some of the most important things that you should be including in your recap.
General Overview: This is where you can put your basic numbers, statistics, and information. Often you can pull this page and use it as an information page with just a few tweaks.Items that should be included in this area are: Location, Attendance, Keynote Speaker, Number of Sessions, Revenue Generated, Number of Exhibitors, and anything else of note.
Attendance Overview: This is where you can take a deep dive into who attended your event. It is important to include such items as age, race, geographical location, if they are a member/non-member. If you are a medical convention you should be including what degrees attendees have, how many CEUs they received at the conference. If you are an organization putting on a Gala you will want to know what the average spend of the attendee at the event. If you have data from past year’s this is also where you can put together a chart to show how the event and organization did YOY (year-over-year).
On-Site Experience: In this section you will want to detail how the experience was for your staff to work with the different vendors. Make sure to outline any issues or problems that occurred. This is also the area to go into detail about what you liked about working with the venue, the location, and the staff overall. Make sure to make comprehensive notes for anyone that might come after you. An example is that you had a conference in Hawaii at an amazing resort that was wonderful to work with. The issue is that most of the industry is based on the East Coast and that they couldn’t make the event due to travel time. While there was nothing wrong with the actual venue it might make sense in the future to only look at places on the East Coast.
Marketing Experience: In this area you will give an overview of the marketing campaigns that you produced for this event. You can and should include examples of any collateral that you sent out via mail or email. In addition, include your hashtag for the events as well as some of the highlights for the event. In addition, this is where you want to include open rates, click through rates, and any SEO or PPC information that you can pull. Finally, if you were picked up by local or national media outlets for the event make sure to mention this in the segment.
Recommendations: This is the fun section 😉 This is where you take everything that you talked about and experienced for the event and make suggestions for the next year. This can be anything from automating your silent auction to an online portal to suggestions for location, exhibitors, or layout. Make sure that you mention everything in a concise and professional manner. Remember that this will be around for years to come and you don’t want to have it written down that “Johnny from the Hilton was a jerk and I hate him” something along the lines of “Johnny, the CS Manager from the Hilton was difficult to get ahold of at times and was delayed in sending us our BEOs”.
These are just the fundamentals of what should be included in a Post-Event Recap Report. Other areas that you choose to include could be: Attendees Experience, Exhibitor Feedback, Safety and Security Protocol, or even Food and Beverage. It all depends on the structure and dynamics of your event.