Did you come home from your last conference with a stack of business cards? Hooray! But is that stack just sitting on your desk now, waiting ever so patiently for you to take the next step? It’s easy to get so caught up in the excitement of conference planning, we sometimes forget that our actions during and after the conference are key to forming lasting and valuable relationships. To begin with, wasn’t networking one of the reasons for attending?
We know this from experience! In March, we both attended We All Grow Summit and came home so inspired and motivated! And yes, we also came home with a healthy stack of business cards and contacts for new opportunities and collaborations.
We want you to learn and grow with us, so we thought it might be helpful if we shared some tips and tricks for you to take during the conference so that following up afterward is a little smoother.
Tips to follow during the conference:
- Connect with people and remember their story and their name. Remembering these little details are so important, both for your follow up later and for building relationships in general.
- Write down that info on the back of their business card at the end of the day. Writing it down while it’s still fresh in your mind is the key here.
- Make an effort to talk to people you don’t know; try to get out of your comfort zone instead of hanging out with the same clique. Variety is the spice of life!
- Be ready to tell a clear message about your brand and what you do. Even if you are confused or you haven’t figured this out yet express that stage with clarity.
- Always ask yourself, how can I serve this moment or this person? Start the giving and receiving cycle of friendship with giving. Be a good receiver without expecting.
- Stay true to your message and vision, don’t sell out for the money or the press or because everyone else is doing it. Stop to think through what you want to manifest.
- Smile often, smiling is the best gift we can give each other. Especially show a relaxed and attentive face to a presenter or a panelist.
- Be curious and ask questions, stay away from those tempting know-it-all attitudes.
- Follow up, follow up, follow up!
- Make it a point to tell people something you like about them.
- Stay away from complaining altogether.
Advice for following up post-conference:
- Take a day or half day after the event to look at your notes and transform them into actions, goals, etc. Also, take this time to organize your photos, and do everything post-event related.
- Prioritize your contacts. Select the business cards of the people that you would like to connect with right away – maybe you want to pitch them something or you guys talked about something at the event and they are waiting for information from you. Again make sure you are offering help before you ask for help. Staple those cards in a notebook that you use often and write a description on the side. Schedule those emails/phone calls or decide when you are going to write the emails and schedule those hours in your calendar. Make sure you don’t do it right after the conference is over, give people time to get caught up with their lives.
- Make sure you stay connected with the rest of the people. Go to their websites, follow them on social media and comment on their feeds to make sure you are there and you remember them. Relationships grow stronger if we take the initiative and be present.
- I love using Boomerang to make sure emails come back to me as reminders, in case I need to follow up again after no response.
- Schedule another time in your calendar to go back to your notebook and make sure you have connected with everyone.
- Send people any blog posts or any post-summit content that they can enjoy and remember you from. This doesn’t have to be elaborate, it could be a Snapchat story, or a simple photo or a link to FB or Instagram post.
We hope that by following these steps your inspiration and energy will stay high when the conference is over so that you can grow valuable and meaningful relationships with the people you met. How about you, do you have any tips or tricks that have worked well for you? Share with us, the comments below are a great way to share your thoughts!