Between crucial travel logistics, scheduling networking meetings, arranging a booth set up and ordering all of the needed swag, along with coordinating team member presence, planning for a conference can be a lengthy process. Furthermore, the work doesn’t end once you get home and unpack. A few key follow-up steps can help speed up your personal goal of the event achievements, whether that’s finding new clients, partners, employees or investors.
Follow Up with New Contacts
In addition to having a large pile of your own business cards to hand out to all conference attendees, be sure to also request them from anyone you meet that you want to stay in touch with for future opportunities. Put your new contacts in a spreadsheet so you don’t have to keep track of all of the physical cards before following up with everyone when you are back in the office.
Connect with these contacts on LinkedIn as you are reaching out through email so they will see multiple connections from you simultaneously, and can review your LinkedIn bio to remind themselves of your background.
Depending on your industry, social media could be a primary goal for your new contacts. If that is the case, follow them on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or a social media network more relevant to your industry.
Follow Up After Presenting
If you held a presentation during the conference, be sure that your website is updated, and ideally offer the link to attendees where they can download your presentation and receive more insight. Have an option on the presentation page on your site for attendees, and all visitors, to subscribe to your company newsletter to stay updated on future news and content.
Share Insight with Colleagues
Create a ‘trip report’ with take-aways and lessons learned throughout the conference to share with your team when everyone is back in the office. Include thoughts on whether the team should attend the conference again in the future.
Make the Most of the Attendee List
If you presented or your company sponsored a booth, then you should have access to the attendee list. Create a dedicated email blast that includes links to the company’s accolades and contact information, as well providing future events you will be presenting at and attending for them to keep in mind as they are planning for the upcoming year.
Ask for Conference Suggestions
Looking for ideas for the next appropriate industry conferences to attend? Inquire with contacts you meet at the event, find out about their upcoming schedules and follow them on Twitter. At Four Kitchens, we are friendly with several companies that could be considered ‘competitors’ for business, but we don’t think of it that way as we use them as sounding boards for advice on clients, new hires and upcoming conferences.
Todd Ross Nienkerk is a digital strategist and partner at Austin-based Four Kitchens, an open-source Web design and development consultancy.
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