What Do You Do After An Event, Pockets Weighed Down With Business Cards and Too Much To Do?
Updated: Jan 2
I spent the last several weeks on the road. I'm happy to be home.
At all those events, I reconnected with friends. Met new people. And I was exposed to a ton of information.
If you're like me, you'll make a point of attending conferences to advance your career, expand your network, and build your business.
I have to admit that when I first started going to conferences, I didn't really have a plan or a strategy. But the more I was exposed to people who are smarter than I am, I realized I should have a plan.
Generally, I try to walk away from every event with at least one new idea that I can implement in my business.
But planning to attend a conference is one thing. What do you do after you go to an event? I believe it's just as important as planning for and attending the event.
Here are FOUR things that I do when I come back from an event loaded down with business cards and new information.
ONE. Review your notes.
You can usually find me near the front of an audience with a notebook in my lap, writing by hand. If not, I'm on my laptop typing into Evernote.
(I used to live Tweet from events but have mostly moved away from that because I don't want to miss anything.)
I like to spend an hour going through my notes to figure out what I learned, to see if anything inspired me, or if there was something I should take action on.
TWO. Share what you learned.
I write and share what I heard and learned. I do this in this newsletter. I'll do it on Twitter and on LinkedIn.
If I hear a great speaker, I'll compliment them on social media because I always appreciate it when people make me smarter. (I also know people like positive feedback.)
I think it's important to share what you hear and what you learn since not everyone can attend a conference.
So, share what you've learned.
I usually connect with everyone I met at the conference on LinkedIn. (OK, truthfully, not everyone.) I typically wait a few days or even a week after the conference before I reach out because I know people need a few days to decompress after an event.
The only exceptions are people with who I had a great conversation. If we were interrupted or told each other we'd follow up, I'll do right away.
(As an aside, my LinkedIn connection invitations are brief but personal. I remind people how we met. And if I remember what we spoke about, I'll mention that in my invite. What do you do?)
If it's someone I really connected with or I can somehow help with an introduction, or through my business, I'll send an email. I love introducing people. And if I know someone that can help someone else, I'll make the introduction after the event.
FOUR. Practice what you learned.
Like I said, I go to conferences to network and pick up one piece of information that I can implement in my business.
While I'm going through my notes, I'm looking for the thing that most resonated with me, the technology that blew me away, and the people that can help me move my business forward.
For the events I just attended, I was looking for people and technologies that I wanted to follow up on for the next book I'm writing.
I like to list what I can do with the information and how I'll implement it.
So, to summarize: Review your notes. Share what you've learned. Connect with the people you met. Implement what you can in your business. Immediately, if possible.
I hope those were useful to you. But I'd love to know what you do after you attend a conference.