Seven Things to Do After a Business Conference
Have you just returned from a successful business conference? Are you excited about the things you learned and the people you met? Then it's important to keep the momentum going before the conference becomes a distant memory.
Keep these tips in mind:
1. Review your notes. Set some time aside to go through the notes you took during the event. Edit and organize them so you'll be able to refer to them easily one, two, and five years from now. You never know when you'll need these insights.
2. Write down your key takeaways. After reviewing your notes, determine what you learned from the conference. Are there any new trends or developments in your field that you'd like to know more about? Are there challenges and solutions that other companies or professionals are dealing with? Are there new technologies available that you want to look into?
3. Report back to your team. Since it's unlikely that your entire team attended the conference, it can be helpful to share what you learned with your colleagues. Prepare a short presentation to bring them up to speed. This can also be a good way to get their feedback on things that stood out for you.
4. Add your new contacts to your database. In her Forbes article "The No. 1 Thing You Should Do After Attending a Business Conference," Pamela Goodwin advises adding a brief note about when and where you met each person, as well as any other interesting information about him or her.
5. Follow up on LinkedIn. Don't send LinkedIn's generic contact request. Instead, send a personalized message such as, 'Hi John, we met at the conference a couple of days ago. I enjoyed our conversation and would like to stay in touch." It's best to follow-up between one and five days after the event.
6. Email the most potentially valuable contacts. There will be a number of people with whom you could build a mutually beneficial relationship. Send them each a polite email stating how nice it was to meet them and that you'd like to continue your conversation. If there's something specific you want to discuss, mention it.
7. Meet with people. Set up a face-to-face meeting with each of those valuable contacts. This can be something as informal as a cup of coffee or a quick lunch, or it can be an invitation to a seminar, networking event, or some other professional gathering. The main point is to establish a good relationship and find out how you can help each other.
Making the most of a conference isn't just about what you do before and during the event; it's also about what you do afterwards. If you keep these seven tips in mind, you can retain what you learn, help your team, and expand your network with some valuable contacts. All things considered, that's a good ROI on the time and energy you invest in attending a business conference.