In this, the last in the series of “Get Conference ROI,” I will offer tips for follow-up and follow-through with connections you made at the BlogPaws 2017 Conference or any networking conference or event. Keep this post handy (and download this Conference ROI Checklist) to assure you’re getting a return on your investment of both time and money.
This three part series included:
- Planning BEFORE you get to the conference
- Maximizing your time DURING the conference (with a touch more pre-planning tossed in)
- Following up and following through AFTER the conference is over. NOTE: There are steps you will want to take on-site during the conference to assist in your post conference follow through.
The Importance Of Follow-Up: Be A Follow-Up Rockstar!
- Send a thank-you card. A handwritten, dropped in the mail, honest-to-goodness thank-you card. Mention where you met, what you spoke about, your appreciation for having met. If the person you met is wearing something unique, make a note of that in the thank-you. “I loved your purple paw-printed scarf!”
- Send an email no more than a week after you mail the thank-you card. Avoid using a subject line like: Touching base or following up, or checking-in. Use a subject line that highlights your connection, when and where you met.
- Two weeks later, pick up the phone and make a call. I hear the gasps! Not many people reach out via phone, and that will help set you apart!
- One week after your call, send another email to touch base. Mention something relevant from your previous conversations. Remember, you’re in relation-building mode, not sales mode.
- The follow-up is about THEM, not YOU. Don’t say, “Hey, my product can help you do XYZ!” You want to talk about them, ask questions about their business, ask what their pain points are. Build the relationship and be a trusted resource.
Did you know? It takes up to five touch points to convert a contact to a client. Don’t give up, but don’t be a pest!
You should have a post-conference follow-up strategy in place. Following up after a conference shouldn’t be a slipshod approach. Just as you have a marketing, blogging and social media strategy in place, so too should you have a conference follow-up strategy as part of your business plan.
Connect with… Yourself!
Take time to reflect on the conference and ponder these questions:
- What three take-away gems do you have?
- What “aha” moments did you glean from the sessions you attended?
- How do you feel about your attendance at the conference? Overall, was it fun? Did you feel it was a success? Would you attend again? Why or why not?
- Connect on social media: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. When you send a connection request, make sure you mention where you’d met and anything you have to jog the connection’s memory of you.
- Be a connector. If you met someone at a conference who would be an ideal connection for another business colleague, make an introduction — they will both thank you!
- Schedule blog posts or social media updates and connect with those you met at the conference in relevant content.
- What will you do to make the next conference you attend even more of a success than the one that just ended?
What are your best conference follow-up tips? How do you gauge whether you are receiving a return on the investment you’ve made in attending the conference, traveling to it and being out of the office? I’d love to know!
Robbi Hess is an award-winning author, full-time writer, newspaper columnist, writing coach and time-management guru. She works with bloggers and solopreneurs and blogs at All Words Matter. I will be speaking at BlogPaws 2017 on the topic of: Overworked & Overwhelmed? The Four-Step Process for Reinventing Your Writing” Synopsis: Whether you’re writing full time, blogging, in the midst of a multi-book project or just starting out, this session will help you lose the feeling of being overworked and overwhelmed. You’ll learn a four-step process to beat procrastination, use time blocking to help you get more done, claim your writing time and bump up your creativity and some in-the-trenches writing tips, hacks and advice. There will be giveaways, handouts and time for questions! Hope to see you there!