How to Write a Post-Event Blog

Have you ever read a runner’s entire post-marathon race report?

If you said yes, I salute you for your dedication. A 26-part, mile-by-mile report of each step someone took through a marathon is about as interesting as a play-by-play of my morning routine.

But, at least runners write them, a step that many event producers will never take, and that’s too bad. A great post-event wrap-up will:

  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Provide ready-made content for your next email newsletter
  • Serve as great material for marketing your event in the future
  • Spur pangs of regret who chose not to attend

(For a comprehensive guide to promoting your event, see: How to Promote An Event: 50 Tips)

How to Write a Great Post-Event Blog Post

How do you write a post-event blog that’s not as boring as a race recap? Don’t worry, it’s not hard if you follow some simple rules, starting with a big no-no.

1. Don’t be a stenographer.

An event recap doesn’t have to be a play-by-play of the day’s events. In fact, that’s the worst way to do it.

Focus your post on one big insight, a provocative idea, or a quote from the event that you can’t get out of your head. Or, if the event left your mind full of ideas, try a “5 Great Ideas From…” format. Don’t just repeat, add to the discussion.

2. Write Immediately

Get to your keyboard the night of the event or the morning after, when the excitement and insights are fresh in your head, and you feel like you’re scrambling to keep the things you overheard and learned in your mind. The post will be better, it will be more fun to write, and you’ll be more accurate.

3. Use Slideshare.

Embed Slideshare presentations on your site so people don’t have to be told about the presentation, they can see it themselves. The best part? These will show up when people search for solutions for years, driving traffic and awareness of your brand.

4. Create a photo gallery.

Embed a slideshow of photos from the event on your blog, and be smart with your captions. Rather than writing exactly what’s in the photos, use a quote from one of the people in the image, or reference a presentation they gave, or a guest post they wrote for your site. Use captions to add to your photos, not just describe what the eyes can see.

5. Storify your event.

This is especially great if you have an active Twitter crowd. Embed a Storify on your blog of the top tweets from the event. Again, the play-by-play approach to a Storify isn’t always best. Look for insights, humor, even snark.

6. Be a contrarian.

Most conferences are full of sheep. A well-known speaker spits out her favorite one-liners (which were probably lifted from someone she saw a year earlier) and the latest buzzword, and the next day everyone is posting, tweeting, and reporting back to their bosses with the same line.

Stick out by challenging the ideas everyone is buzzing about. It doesn’t have to come from you – maybe there’s an attendee you can quote who came at the problem from a different viewpoint. Nothing drives traffic like an argument  cordial discussion of differing viewpoints.

7. List the speakers, sponsors and attendees

Check out List.ly. It’s a great social way to build lists.

Why list these people and companies after the event? Your attendees will love having an easy list resource for following up on leads, nurturing relationships. Your sponsors will appreciate the love and credit, and it’s a great reference for the next time you host the event when you can add a ‘see who you missed last time’ link in your promotion.

Better yet, some of your lesser-known presenters may be headliners down the road, so they might be better salespeople for your event than you think!

Try incorporating  just a couple of these tips into your next post-event blog and see what it does for your website traffic, or try these content treasure-hunting ideas, and note how much material it provides your marketing team in the weeks and months ahead.

Got any other great tips for post-event blogs? Share them in the comments below.

Today’s post comes from Andy Crestodina, the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, a web design company in Chicago. You can find Andy on Google+ and Twitter.