So you've made a ton of connections, now don't let them go to waste. In this video, learn how to create a roadmap for how to follow up with your conference connections.
- You've made it. You're at home, shows over, and you are comfortably sipping better coffee. (indistinct) a normal meal at a normal table rather than perched on the floor of an expo hall. As you reflect on your conference, you congratulate yourself on making your presence shine to create deeper connections. So now what? Well, it's really easy to dive headfirst into catching up on missed worker emails. That's especially true, if socializing generally leaves you feeling overextended. But a small investment and follow-up time can reap meaningful benefits and ensure the laborious face-to-face efforts weren't for nothing. I want to share a framework for structuring your post-conference follow-up so that you can optimize your time spent and improve the odds that your new connections turn into meaningful professional relationships. First, it's important to set aside processing time. This is time you will need to take your notes and business cards from the show and organize them. If you have a database system, great. But you can also simply jot a list down. Follow-ups work just as well for folks you never got a chance to connect with at the show. So be sure to review the event materials, the attendee list, or at the very least the speaker list. Scan them to see if there are names of people you want to connect with. Next, it's time to prioritize. Since you're exhausted from the show and your inbox has probably spiraled out of control in the absence of focused attention, you have to trim the fat and decide what activities might reap the biggest return for you. Ideally, you took good notes during the show so that you can identify your goals for each contact. You should aim at putting your list of follow-ups into three categories. Key connections, nice to know and miscellaneous. Discarding is also important. For example, you can absolutely discard that person who showed a business card in your face and immediately started pitching you as your eyes glazed over. Ain't nobody got time for that. Pro tip. I try to process my data on the flight back home, if I've traveled far. Super pro tip. When I'm on top of my game, I actually organize my notes and cards as I go. Maybe at the end of every night of the conference. It's so important to do this when the info is fresh. Finally, be mindful about what to include in your follow-up messages. Craft personal follow-ups for your top connections and apply a basic strategy for all others. For top folks, the goal here might be to turn a one-time encounter into something more meaningful. Email is the best for your top choices in addition to social media connections, like LinkedIn or Twitter. Include specific details from the conference. Ideally from your conversations and a specific reason to follow-up. If you live the same city as your top contacts, try to get an in-person follow-up or see what other industry events you two can meet up at in the future. I make a point of emailing in a timely fashion. No sooner than three days post show and no longer than 10. For the maybes pile, I'll generally send a quick social media connection with my contact details and a reminder of how we met so that we can stay loosely connected and share content or professional insight from time to time. However, you decide to follow-up, it's essential that your messages are in tune with the other person's needs. Try not to turn yourself into a burden. And if your efforts don't elicit a response within the first few outreach tries, let it go for now. It's not uncommon for professionals to attend at least a few conferences per year. By following these simple follow-up guidelines, you can make sure the time, effort and money you spend actually turns into true relationships. Not just one-time conversations that are quickly forgotten. So, if you have a stack of business cards you've been sitting on, start sifting through them and getting the most out of those connections.
This course was created by Madecraft. We are pleased to host this training in our library.