For many Event Managers, the word “recap” usually conjures up some less-than-pleasant memories: falling asleep in front of a laptop well past bedtime, not being able to recall all salient points about the day’s activities, or perhaps having to explain why a recap arrived late.
Why this less-than-optimal status quo has been allowed to continue for so long should raise questions, and for the sake of our clients, we started asking a few!
In setting out to build a better, more rewarding recap process, it became obvious that four elements need to be considered:
1) Have a template for consistent response. Whereas many recaps are a blank email that require original thought each time, the most efficient recaps ask for specific details in structured sections (effectively, a questionnaire-style). This is a huge time saver for field staff.
2) Standardize recap information across events. Building on a questionnaire-style recap, be sure to ask Event Managers to report on the same aspects of each event such as traffic impressions, weather, or product interest (to name a few). By doing this, comparing performance across events becomes possible.
3) Make the recap easily accessible. Using a laptop at an event presents a challenge because Event Managers are on their feet most of the time. Look no further than the smartphone; they are always within reach, and it's easy to add detail throughout the day (instead of waiting until after dinner).
4) Centralize everything. Make sure recaps (and their accompanying images) all end up in a single, secure location. Sending multiple emails with attachments, or worse—text messaging bits and pieces—is not only labor intensive, it increases the likelihood of losing files or important data.
A well-designed recap will yield some very eye-opening details that can’t always be uncovered using standard event metrics (i.e.opt-ins, registrants, etc.). This intelligence can be used for better planning and maximizing of resources to justify renewal budgets.
Want to see the recaps we use with our clients? Check out the app we recently launched called EventBoss. One of its main features is a complete recap function (that, of course, adheres to these four best practices above).