November 15, 2013
After attending a conference and arriving home, relaxing and enjoying your swag may seem the natural thing to do. However to make the most of your conference experience some work is still required on your part. This work starts with unpacking your suitcase and going through the materials, handouts and business cards you accumulated. Why is this important? Because you’ve made new contacts and expanded old ones, and now that you are home and the event is still fresh in your mind it’s the perfect time to carry those relationships into the future.
Here are some follow up steps to complete after a conference in order to make sure that you can benefit from attending long after the event is over.
- Keep your promises. If you’ve made any promises while you were at the event, the first thing to do now that you are home is to keep them. Whether you promised to email someone or send someone something, get that done as soon as possible. Keeping these promises in a timely manner will not only make you look reliable and trustworthy, but also bring you to the forefront of people’s mind.
- Follow up with contacts. Depending on the interaction you had, this activity can take many forms. It can mean sending emails to say how much you’ve enjoyed a conversation, or calling someone to discuss potential business. You might want to follow people on Facebook and Twitter, or connect with them on LinkedIn. This will help you keep in contact with them regularly and expand relationships past the event itself.
- Pay it forward. The best thing to do with all the new information, inspiration, and contacts you acquired at the conference is to share them with fellow coworkers, colleagues, and friends. Your takeaways may be useful to someone, so send out videos of the sessions you thought were valuable, or give a talk about something you learned.
- Review the event. Lastly, while it is still fresh in your mind think about what things worked well, what didn’t, and what you would do differently if you attended again. Should you attend more seminars? Did you need more time to visit vendors? Make a few notes for yourself that you can refer to when planning to attend your next conference.
The reason we attend conferences is to become better informed, stay up to date, and connect with other industry professionals, so next time you attend give these things a try to end up with a better, more valuable experience.