Last week we gave you lots of networking tips to help you get the most out of the event you’re planning to attend. So, you’ve made it through the conference and now it’s time to pack up and catch your plane back home. Now what? Today, we’re giving you some post-event tips to ensure you don’t just forget about all the new contacts you made!
- Review Your New Contacts—Get out that massive stack of business cards you’ve acquired and start organizing them. Put those aside that you especially think will be amazing contacts to have so you will remember to pay those folks special attention. For all of your new contacts, at minimum send them a LinkedIn request—but make sure you include a personal message highlighting who you are and where you met (i.e., a certain happy hour, etc.)
- “VIP” Contacts—For those contacts you set aside as being especially important, make sure you spend time writing personal email messages to them, along with LinkedIn requests. Mention how great it was to meet them, and highlight mutually beneficial opportunities (don’t sound desperate by just asking them for what you may want/need). If you live in the same city, consider asking them to lunch or coffee. If they agree, make sure you pay!
- Get Social—Although LinkedIn networking is a no-brainer, don’t forget Twitter. Follow your new contacts on Twitter, and if you so wish, Facebook. If they have Google Plus, follow them there. For those contacts that are especially important, don’t just follow and forget. Check their feeds often, interact with them, retweet and let them know you loved their blog posts. If you have a blog, throw them some link love, and make sure you email them letting them you know you did.
- Consider a Conference Wrap-Up Post—If you have a blog, consider writing a conference wrap-up blog post, and link to speakers’ presentations and sites. For any particular speaker you may have networked with, send them an email and/or Tweet that you linked to them. Everyone loves link love!
We hope we’ve given you some helpful pointers about how to network for success at conferences. Now, get to packing and make the most of your next conference! Also, don’t forget about local meetup groups and networking events—you don’t have to pay a lot of money or travel across the country to network with a group of like-minded professionals. Start local!