As an event comes to a close, you may feel like taking a well-deserved rest. But hold that thought, an event wrap-up is a key part of any flawless execution. It not only helps you in the long term, it provides closure to attendees, your team and yourself. With a little planning and organization, the wrap-up can be done quickly and efficiently. Only then can you can take a deep breath and head out to a relaxing day at the spa.
Make a Checklist/Timeline
As you are planning your event, start to think about wrap-up details; a checklist format works well. Use the checklist to assign tasks to your team. As the event moves forward make sure and make notes and update your checklist as needed. Schedule all wrap-up tasks to be completed within a three-weeks timeframe after your event.
Once the event is over, your wrap-up checklist should be finalized. The checklist should include tasks, who is responsible and a due date. Distribute checklists to everyone on your team so that all team members are aware of what tasks to complete and when.
Immediately share your event’s success with a press release. Note number of attendees, if the event was sold-out, fundraising goals that were met or exceeded and a quick recap of the keynote speaker or entertainment. Include photos or live footage and cross post to your website and social media channels.
Communicate to the Event Community
Share any event related press from outside sources on your social media channels or any special groups created. Make sure and share channels for attendees to stay in touch and remain engaged with one another. Sponsors may request attendee engagement through social media so pay special attention to ensure that the sponsorship message is shared.
There are many ways to survey attendees post event. Some like to use an app during the event to gather feedback, others like to email a questionnaire. Some of your most valuable feedback will come directly from your attendees. It is a great practice to call sponsors and high level donors to thank them for their support and to solicite their opinion on how they experienced the event. In addition, schedule a team meeting so that those involved have an opportunity to provide productive feedback.
Consult the Budget
This is the step that may take the most work and attention to detail! Account for all income and expenses two to three weeks after the event. Process all outstanding invoices or reimbursements and verify that checks have cleared. Track event related expenses and press for any outstanding payments. Make an itemized report and update any numbers to reflect actual costs and revenue. Make a note of any discrepancies.
Appropriately thank all speakers, VIP guests or any key vendors or venue staff that made a significant impact on your event. Staff should be thanked as well. Send a nice handwritten thank-you note or small gift to show your appreciation.
Write a Report
Record event specifics while they are still fresh in your mind by writing up a report. All details should be included such as date, venue and number of attendees. Include your budget. Include all notes in an easy-to-read format. You may have one section on timeline, another on menu, sponsor feedback, and more.
Applaud a Job Well Done
Set aside a time to celebrate a job well done. Gather your team and others who have helped in your success and host a brunch or lunch to show your appreciation.
After the last song has played, the last dance done, the party doesn’t end for the event planner. Event wrap-ups can be powerful tools for future planning and improving your skills. Follow these steps and you will have an effective event wrap-up.