Continue Engaging Your Audience
For so many artists the idea of continuing to engage the people who come to their Open Studio event is anathema if ever they have even had the notion. For most, it is a task which is simply overlooked, unthought of.
If you have an Open Studio event, the event is not the end of the process, it is simply a point in a continuous process cycle. You need to continue engaging your audience.
The Planning Cycle Can Help Your Audience Grow
The great Event management web-based tool ‘Eventbrite’ produces an excellent example of what it refers to as ‘The Event Planning Cycle’.
You can see that Post-event, according to Eventbrite has 25% of event-related effort allocated to it.
Now, most Open Studio events operate by focussing on Planning and Event, Planning and Event and they wonder why they do not achieve increased growth each year.
You need to do the 4-step process. If you are not, then you are relying on luck for income rather than exploiting every resource you have.
Continue Engaging Your Audience: Drilling Down
Today we are looking at ‘Post Event’ and drilling down a little more, we are specifically focussing on only one aspect of that post-event process ‘Continue engaging your audience’.
What Does ‘Continue Engaging Your Audience’ Mean?
Continue Engaging Your Audience means that the moment a potential Real Collector leaves your studio, either holding a piece of work which you created or with empty hands, you know that the engagement you just had is the first of a very long and beautiful relationship, whether they know it or not!
Practical Advice To Help You Continue To Engage Your Audience
So what do you need to do?
- Connect with them: If you are able to, connect with your visitors on social media. That way you will be able to invite them to future events and you will be able to invite them to like your Fan Page.
- Invite them to like your Facebook Fan Page.
- Share post-event content on social media. Your event generates a lot of content from video to sound bytes to photos. Sharing these on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter show non-attendees what your events are like. And if you mention attendees, they’ll also feel like they were part of something great and engage back.
- Send thank-yous. People spent their time and sometimes even money just to be at your event. It’s just right to thank them for it, so give them a token that will remind them of your event. It can be a physical item like a card or something virtual like a discount coupon for next year. What’s important is you appreciate them so they remember to come back next time.
- Share “coming soon” posts to your fan page. You want your next event to be part of your attendee’s calendars so make sure to create a teaser for the next event on your page. You can even ask them to sign up via a Facebook event to gauge their interest. Likewise, you can share the links to events to other Facebook Groups you are a member of and you can invite all your ‘Facebook Friends’ to attend.
- Ask them to share their experiences on their social channels. Ask attendees to share their photos and videos on your feed or get their public feedback and reactions for specific aspects of your event. You can even add prizes if you’d like to encourage them to post. Don’t forget to comment and like those posts to show that you appreciate them!
- Survey them: Each year you hold Open Studio, you should survey those who attended. You can create a great free linkable survey on Survey Monkey. The survey needs to remain the same each year and as part of this series of Open Studio articles we have set out a few ideas for you to think about.
None of this is rocket science, and it is essential that you do every step if you want your event to grow year on year rather than just crossing your fingers and hoping.
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