Nothing beats that heady brew of exhaustion, elation, and pride that comes from throwing a blockbuster party or hosting an event for the ages. The role of carnival host may be challenging, but it’s also extremely fulfilling, especially after all the work is complete. So now that you’ve followed every step assiduously and treated your guests and talent alike to an unparalleled carnival experience, the time has come at last to put your feet up and look back with satisfaction on a job well done.
While you’re drinking your cocktail, smoking your cigar, or whatever it is you do to unwind after a worthy effort, consider your experience. Think about how the whole affair developed. What worked for you and what didn’t? Who was helpful and who was a pain? Where did most of your submissions come from? Most of all, what do you wish you knew that you know now before embarking on the project in the first place? This kind of information may not help you now that you’ve relinquished the mantle of host, but many have yet to take up that august responsibility. Share your feedback with the carnival’s owner, founder, editor, moderator, or high muckety-muck so future hosts can benefit from the fruits of your labor.
If you’re going to be in touch with the carnival’s owner, be sure to share some information about the traffic you received from your turn as host. If you are a typical blogger, you are no doubt intimately familiar with the upsurge in site visits, page views, links, and referrals during the first few days your carnival was posted. Actually, most bloggers I know could probably share hourly stats! In any case, it’s no secret that you know how many visitors arrived and from whence they came. That information is very useful for the long-term health of a carnival. One wants to know how popular a carnival is from edition to edition. Also essential is an idea of who the carnival’s biggest boosters are. You, as the host, are the only person in a position to give credit where credit is due. As the carnival has given to you, give back to the carnival.
If you’re not entirely sold on putting all this information together as a purely altruistic act, you could always use it as content for your blog. You’ve already served up a feast, so how about a little dessert? An epilogue can bring satisfying closure to the event while offering encouragement to others considering hosting themselves. The terrific Troutgrrrl of Science and Sarcasm (where are you, grrrl?) wrote a wonderful recap about her fifteen minutes of fame after hosting I and the Bird #8. Another grrl, the grand Grrlscientist of compiled the wisdom earned from hosting the 23rd issue of the Tangled Bank in an exceptional, highly recommended essay titled How I Hosted the Tangled Bank.
After that, your work is truly done. All that’s left is to bask in the adoration of your new fans, enjoy your increased, ever-growing traffic, and, of course, get ready to host another carnival. After all, when you’ve got a gift, you should share it, right?