Whatever industry you work in, attending conferences can be a valuable way for you to improve your knowledge, increase your business and expand your network of connections. The benefits of the event don’t stop when you leave the venue if you take a few simple steps in the days, weeks and months that follow.
1. Add your contacts to your CRM system
A customer relationship management (CRM) tool is vital for any business that has moved beyond the small business status. You can’t possibly remember everyone you meet and this is a great way to manage your contacts. Tools like Capsule or Salesforce work well and can integrate with your email system to help keep track of communication. But any CRM system is only as good as the information you store in it, so make sure you record all contacts in there.
2. Solidify your understanding of the content
Often at conferences you learn a lot of new ideas in a relatively short space of time. You probably took a lot of notes and gave yourself reminders to follow up on areas of interest. Make sure you do this. It takes time for new concepts to be fully comprehended so it’s likely you have some questions before your learning is complete.
If you have specific questions that speakers or exhibitors might be able to answer, reach out to them via email or social media. They will be more likely to share some deeper insight with you if you show genuine interest in their area of expertise.
3. Connect with your contacts on LinkedIn
When you meet people at events you already know they probably work in related industries, so take the time to find and connect with them on LinkedIn. If they’re actively sharing on LinkedIn you’ll likely find some great information, and if you’re actively sharing you’ll increase your readership.
4. Keep your promises!
If you met someone at a conference and told them you’d send them something, give them a call or email an article, make sure you do this. This may mean taking some extra notes while you’re at the conference so you don’t forget your commitments.
A great trick is to note down on the person’s business card what you discussed and what you promised them. These notes should also be transferred into your CRM when you input the person’s contact details.
5. Nurture your leads
If you met potential customers at an event, the most valuable thing you can do is ensure you keep in contact with them through some sort of lead nurturing strategy until they are ready to become customers. While they might not be ready to become customers right now, if there’s a chance they will be in the future you don’t want them to forget about you.
Lead nurturing involves cultivating relationships with customers and potential customers at all stages of the buyer’s journey. The simplest way to do this is via a newsletter, and a more complex method is using automation to specifically target people who have shown interest in a particular area of your work. To delve deeper into lead nurturing, check out this article.
Take the time to get the most value
Attending events and conferences already takes time away from your busy work week. You’ll no doubt have some catching up to do as soon as you’re back in the office, but by putting in a little extra effort after the event you can increase the benefits.
By making these tips a standard part of your post-event activities, you’ll be able to truly make the most of the time spent out of the office.