Keep the Ball Rolling After an Event

by 1st VA on December 2, 2009

You’ve just returned from a conference, and you’re excited, motivated and feeling great!

The party’s not over just because you’re no longer wearing a name badge! Resist the urge to get “back to business” the minute you walk through the door – now is the best time to harness that positive energy and put what you’ve learned into action. Here are a few steps to help get you started.

1. Don’t turn the conference into a “shelf help” event, where you leave your materials and notes on the shelf when you return and go back to the old day-to-day. Create an action plan right away to implement what you have learned. If it seems overwhelming to create a whole plan right away, then take the one most important or interesting thing you learned and run with it.

2. Follow up with your new contacts; E-mail all the folks whose business cards you received, along with any of the conference staff, host, or speakers with whom you made a connection at the event. Even sending a short “nice to meet you” note is great. Perhaps you met someone with whom you would like to collaborate? Someone else who can refer your business to others and vice versa? Note one personal recollection from your interaction with that person – how you hope they enjoy their upcoming vacation, or have a successful product launch – let them know you were really listening to them and have an interest in what they had to say. Or, maybe there is someone you would like to thank – the speaker who inspired you, the host who welcomed you – a simple act of appreciation can turn them from acquaintances into allies.

3. Find your new contacts on Facebook and “friend” them. They may also have a presence on Twitter, Linked In, Plaxo, or other business and social networking sites. Perhaps you belong to a Facebook group you think would be of interest to one of them, or have friends to suggest to them?

4. Take action on the home front. Make sure you have marketing materials or products ready to send out to new contacts, customers or potential clients, and that your website/shopping cart are updated and able to handle lots of traffic! Now is also the time to determine how things went with your team or staff while you were away, and make any changes or improvements if necessary so your business can handle more regular time with you on the road.

5. Finally, give yourself a frank performance review. What kind of a first impression did you make? Was your business pitch refined and natural, or do you need to work on your confidence or public speaking skills? Did you hand out as many business cards or meet as many new faces as you had intended at the event? Make an honest assessment of the way you interacted at the event, and make notes of how you can make the next one even better.

Donna Toothaker is CEO and founder of 1st VA the highly sought-after online marketing and consulting company. 1st VA specializes in providing online marketing support and services to entrepreneurs and solopreneurs who wish to effectively build or improve their online presence. Visit http://www.1stva.com to sign up for our valuable weekly ezine and receive a free special report, The Top 5 Essential Tasks for the Ultimate Online Promotion of Your Business.

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