I have talked briefly for the last few days that I have spent the past weekend in Schaumburg, Illinois outside of Chicago for the first annual Financial Blogger Conference (FINCON11). Two hundred and eighty of my favorite personal finance bloggers came together at a business conference to learn from each other, swap ideas, trade business cards, and garner insight into how we can make our personal finance blogs better in order to ultimately help you, our readers, take better control of our finances.
But, all of the networking and idea exchange will all be for naught if you make one of the biggest mistakes immediately after a business conference. We all forget one of the best techniques immediately after a conference or network event that can have a big impact…the follow-up.
You Must Follow Up To Build On Those Relationships
If you do not follow up on the contacts that you made and the ideas that you floated at a conference, you are making the biggest mistake. One of the most important steps after a conference or convention is not following up with the people that you met.
Did you talk to people about a collaborative project? Did you ask someone for a piece of advice or someone ask you for help later? You took the first step of planting a seed in order to build a relationship with someone. Now that the conference is over, it is the perfect time to follow up with that contact.
Do Not Go Longer Than 24 To 48 Hours To Follow Up
You do not have to finalize any deals or collaborations that you discussed over your conference, but you do want to touch base with the other party as soon as possible after all of the dust has settled and you are finally back home. Do not let more than two days go by before you reach out to those people that you have made contact with, pitched ideas to, or simply want to stay in touch with. You worked hard to build contacts and introduce yourself to people at a conference, and now you need to stay in touch.
Do Not Forget To Say Thanks
Another thing that can set you apart and keep your name in people’s minds is to say thank you to anyone and everyone who has helped you during the conference or convention. Do you know the conference’s host? You may not if it is a big national event. But, every financial blogger who attended the Financial Blogger Conference (FINCON11) knows Phil Taylor of PT Money who put the event together. He runs a huge blog in the personal finance space. How much of an impact would it make for small, new bloggers who are trying desperately to make a name for themselves to drop Phil and his crew a thank you note later this week?
I make this simple personal example using the conference that I just attended this past weekend, but it can be used in any industry at almost any event. The art of a Thank You and a Thank You Note is one that is sadly quickly fading away, but it can make a big difference, in the long run, getting your name in front a large people in your industry and having them remember you afterward.
Don’t forget to follow up with the contacts that you have made a business conference. Following up on discussions, ideas, collaborations, and other ventures can be worth the price of admission to the business conference in and of itself. You went to the business conference to network and learn. Immediately afterward is the time to put those contacts to work, stay in touch, and follow-up.