Business Conferences – Client Maintenance
A business' marketing plan includes networking. Follow-up is even more important than participation in the conference itself. In this post, we'll focus on the business activity that comes after the conference / meeting / event that we participated in.
At the event, we smiled, talked, met new people and strengthened existing contacts – those are the foundations of networking. After the event, we feel good: Many people took our business cards, became interested, complimented our work methods, and noted the need many businesses have for ours. Some even said they have clients who may be interested in our product / service, or see possibility for cooperation between the businesses.
When each person goes back to their regular commitments, many will return to their day-to-day lives without making contact after the event. Since there isn't any contact to regain the conversation or interaction that took place at the event itself, the responsibility for follow up falls on us – without focusing on radio silence from the other side.
Recommended schedule of activities after the event:
Table or list – Create a list with the following parameters using the business cards you collected: Full name, business name, and urgency for initiating contact.
Identifying detail –We met many people, and so did all those we are planning to contact. So we to need to add an
identifying detail to the list mentioned above. We need to help the other person connect the dots to our name, face or persona at the very beginning of the email or phone call. For example:
"Hello ________, this is __________, we met during the Networking and Wine Event last ________day.
We spoke about working together on nuclear physics and you mentioned a contact in Afula who may be able to further develop the subject…"
Social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) – you can make contact within the first 24 hours after the event, so that the person has your photo and associates it with your name. This eases the identification process - even if you contact them later on.
Emails – It's best to wait 72 hours, although if you connect through a social network, you can also contact them after that. Many people initiate contact immediately after a conference creating a "jam" that causes the receiver to put the emails aside. For this reason, it's good to give them some time.
Choosing the mode of contact – The choice depends on how your conversation ended at the meeting. If you decided to meet, you should call or send an email immediately after the event to set a time, especially if you indicated the meeting as "urgent".
It is important to remember: the responsibility is your and yours alone. The possibilities of networking are immense, and there is no way of knowing where the short contact you generated at the event will lead. It may be that you've met your business partner, a direct connection to one of your target audiences or even your next client. Patience – mixed with contact maintenance - is the key in each of the paths mentioned above.