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My Stack Exchange community has a special event that runs for about two weeks per year. During this event we get a lot of new questions with clever answers and a lot more visitors. It's, basically, a parody/silliness break in the middle of winter.

While some users do stick around after the event and contribute to the normal, non-event Q&A, most don't. What can we do, either during the event or soon thereafter, to encourage more of our new visitors to stick around? The event is fun and light-hearted (and that surely contributes to its popularity), but our community is pretty nifty the rest of the year too. The users who have come for the event and then stuck around have given us positive feedback; how do we get more of those?

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Perhaps recommend to the users that they look at some of the "real" Q&A, related to the silly content. For example:

If you found this question [What is the Torah preferred brand of cell phone?, for example] interesting, you might be interested in our other questions as well.

This could be done by the OP, or interested editors.

You don't have to link to whole tags. Related (serious) questions might be enough to draw in more attention.

And, my guess is that many people won't understand all it. Encourage them to ask questions based on it.

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    A similar suggestion could be provided more subtly via links to real content incorporated organically into the silly questions and answers. – Isaac Moses Feb 24 '15 at 14:08
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Yours is a question marketers consider all the time: change product, tweak conversion rates, or just the number of potential people to convert.

First of all, congratulations on having a popular draw to your community that brings participants who might not normally even know your community exists. You just increased your overall awareness which is a wonderful thing.

I'm presuming changing the scope of your community topics to something closer to your event the rest of the year is not an option (changing the product so to speak). That would reduce the "niftiness" you were referring to.

First, just measure how good your retention is. How big was the spike of new people who joined your community? What is their engagement rate? How long do they stay?

Perhaps increasing engagement or retention rate of all these new people is not the right approach. For example, maybe historically 10% of your target audience really will find your normal topics interesting and make good community members.

Then a better approach is to just magnify the overall spike of people who come to your community during this fun event, since you already know this has mass appeal. Advertise on other relevant sites. Try to get relevant bloggers to post about your event. Syndicate the best questions and clever answers to other places to reach more target audience.

If only 10% of your audience is historically right for your community, but you reach 3X more target audience during this time, that's still a 3X increase on new long term members.

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