Event planners are now paying (long overdue) attention to the pre- and post-event stages. There are many things to review in those stages, and here is one I want to discuss today: what should go in your pre-event email.
To start the event on the right foot, you should scrutinize your pre-event communications. The guys from GreenBook Events emailed me with an IIEX Behavior reminder, and I thought it was an excellent example of a thoughtful pre-event message. Let’s dissect it.
First things first. With all the information on UX-design available and the tools that are easy to use even by newbies, one would think every email would be a designer heaven (ok, maybe not heaven, but at least digestible for human brains). Yet, so many emails, including those about events, are a mess. Clean, easy-to-read email is still an uncommon breed. Why is it important? When you make their brains work harder, it is more likely that they will forget about your message or that they won’t read it at all. So make it clean.
Second, facilitate action. Make things easy for your attendees whenever you want them to act. Want them to put your event on their calendar? Give them a one-click solution. Want them to show up on time? Let them know what time zone you are talking about (or better yet, list several time zones!) and include a link to the event in every email you send. Make it simple.
Third, add WIIFM (what’s in it for me?). Yes, even if this email is intended for those who are already in the pipeline. A few words describing key features and highlights will remind them why they chose to attend (don’t rely on them to remember – information overload, you know). It will also help you get them excited about what you have to offer. With just a few words you are priming them for having a positive experience. Make it relevant.
Fourth, share responsibility. There’s nothing you can do if your attendees don’t come prepared. You can offer the most exciting things in the world, but if they don’t watch the video tutorial about the platform you sent them, or if they don’t prepare whatever the presenter needs them to do, they won’t benefit from it. Of course, you can’t do the prep work for them, but you can remind them of the steps to take. Do it as close to the event start time as possible (information overload, you know-2). Make them your partners in crime.
Fifth, take advantage of the opportunity to highlight your partners one more time. In this type of pre-event email, logos are sufficient and prime for future recognition. Also, it serves as a sign that your event is well-supported. Make it work.
Finally, give the attendees a way to communicate back. The purpose of this is not only to know what is happening and to respond promptly. In addition, it signals to your attendees that you care about their experience so much that you want them to be able to contact you directly. As a result, they feel more in control (‘if there is an issue, I can talk to the organiser’) and feeling in control makes them feel comfortable.
Are you looking to improve the content, communication or execution of your upcoming event? I work with a variety of events, large and small, in-person and online. Reach out to me today: firstname.lastname@example.org