Attending a conference puts you one step closer to building an effective network. It’s what you do when you come back home that will influence your networking and growth strategy.
A conference can help you learn about new opportunities and, most importantly, it connects you with great people. Experts in your niche and possible business partners.
That’s why it’s important to set clear goals for your business and your blog before signing up for any conference. Whether or not you will meet these goals depends on how you’re planning to use the advantages of industry events.
Check our top ten things to do after attending a conference, to grow your networking, drive more traffic to your blog and boost your online presence.
#1 Take a Day Off
It may seem odd, but the best thing you can do right after a conference is chill out. Many conferences are overwhelming and generate over-excitement. You come back from your trip and feel like putting everything you’ve heard in the past days into practice. But this excitement can rush things in the wrong direction, and you risk ending up with too much on your plate all of a sudden.
Emotions are good, but you need to calm down before acting when it comes to your blogging strategy. So, take a day off to relax and clear your mind. Everybody needs to recover after traveling, attending various presentations and meeting so many new faces.
Take advantage of this day to spend some time with your family. Take your kids to the cinema, organize a movie night with your friends or lay on your couch watching TV. This way, you’ll recharge your batteries and get yourself ready to start any new challenge.
#2 Go Through Your Notes
Whether you use an app or a block notes, you write down plenty of information during a conference. Once you’ve cleared your mind, you need to organize it, to make sure you don’t miss anything important.
Start with putting all information in one place. Evernote, for example, is a great tool for keeping notes in order. Transcribe handwritten drafts and impressions, separate relevant data from the less interesting details and decide what information you can use to grow your blog.
Besides your notes, write down anything you can remember about:
- useful tips that can help you drive more traffic;
- original methods to engage with your audience;
- the way in which speakers connected with their public during sessions;
- new trends in the niche.
Organize all the materials you received during the conference. If you bought books, make sure to leave time in your schedule for reading. In fact, choose one book and start as soon as possible. Otherwise, you’ll forget about the books and waste good learning opportunities.
#3 Organize Your Inbox
Industry conferences keep you busy for days. Between sessions, workshops, and meetings, you get little time to check your email. So, you may have over a hundred unread emails in your Inbox. Or, even worse, you’ve read the emails on the go, but you haven’t had the time to send proper answers. And now you don’t even remember what they were all about.
Save an entire afternoon to read and answer emails. Leave this activity for the second part of the day, as it consumes a lot of energy. If you start your working day with the Inbox, you’ll lose focus and be less efficient with your creative tasks.
#4 Thank the Event Producers for Their Efforts
Everybody appreciates valuable feedback. Furthermore, it’s a good opportunity for you to stand out by saying “thank you” after being part of a useful event.
You may think organizers receive too many emails already. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write a few nice words. Event producers work long hours to organize professional conferences. “Thank you,” and some fresh impressions after the event will help them understand how their work has influenced participants. And it will motivate them to continue with similar projects. If you receive a post-conference survey, take time to give accurate answers and provide useful information.
If you received assistance to get to the conference, make sure you also thank those who supported you – your boss, a follower, a friend or a business partner. Gratitude makes you happier, healthier and can even help you boost your career.
#5 Follow Up with New Contacts
An industry conference puts you in the same place as interesting people. Some of them can become important partners for your future projects. So, don’t waste the opportunity to connect with them after the event.
Prioritize, though. You can’t afford to spend days looking for people online and sending messages. Start with:
- Follow-ups for professional purposes;
- Follow-ups for possible projects outside your niche;
- Follow-ups for personal development.
Write emails or connect through social media, especially LinkedIn – the most appreciated platform for B2B. But don’t ignore other social networks, depending on your niche.
Write customized messages, in which you include details about the way you’ve met the person you’re writing to. Just because you remember all faces, that doesn’t mean everybody has the same abilities.
Don’t send the same generic message, looking to save time. Most of the people you’re trying to connect with know how to recognize impersonal messages. They’ll realize in a second how much you care about building strong relationships.
Don’t use these new contacts to grow your email list. Not unless you have the owner’s permission, at least. Sending tons of newsletters to people you barely know, who didn’t subscribe, isn’t going to improve your online presence.
#6 Measure How You Met Your Goals
When going to an industry conference, you need to set clear goals. They help you organize – what presentations to attend, whom to connect with, what workshops to sign up for.
After the conference, measure how many of these goals you’ve met. This way, you’ll be able to identify new methods to improve your performance.
- Fresh information. Make a list of the new ideas and trends you come across during the conference. Include all tips on how to increase exposure for your blog and your productivity.
- New peers. Analyze your new connections. How many of your new contacts are experts in your niche, which ones of them can help you grow your business or personal blog, what projects could come out from these partnerships?
- Latest products. Conferences are a good source of information about the new products in your niche – apps, software, gadgets, books. Many of these tools can help you improve your blog, or give your visitors better user experience. Plus, new products give you the possibility to write useful reviews for your readers.
#7 Write A Blog Post or Article
Business events are a good source of inspiration for fresh content for your website or personal blog:
- Summaries of the most interesting presentations and workshops you’ve attended;
- New points of view about older topics;
- Interviews with experts in your niche;
- Tips and tricks.
Start with writing about your attendance at the conference – what sessions you joined, why you chose them, what speakers influenced you the most, and what new things you learned.
Share as much of your experience as possible. Then distribute your content on social media. Use the designated hashtags of the conference to make sure all people interested in this topic can find your posts easily.
Check what other participants have written on the topic. Connect with influencers, ask questions if you need more information and add comments where you think they’re relevant.
#8 Write A To Do List
You’ve learned new and interesting things at the conference. Now it’s time to put them into practice. Make a list of all the things you could do to grow your blog and improve your online presence.
Then separate them into more categories:
- Things you can start doing immediately;
- Things that need more planning;
- Projects that need in-depth analysis and research;
- Interesting projects that for various reasons don’t fit your current strategy, but which can be useful in the future.
Once you have your to-do list ready, you can start setting clear goals for each project. Make sure all your objectives are measurable: what amount of effort they require, what effect they generate, how much time you need to achieve results.
Write down specific tasks for each of these goals. This way, you’ll be able to keep track of your efforts and measure your results as you go further.
#9 Discuss New Projects with Your Team
If you’re part of a team, make sure your associates get the most out of your presence at the conference.
Update them on what you learned. Write a report or design a PowerPoint presentation to brief them on discussions or presentations. Send them conference materials and links to speakers’ websites, when you think your team could use the extra information.
Share your to-do list with your co/workers. This way, you can discuss new projects and come up with better methods to put them into use.
#10 Start Planning The Next Conference
Discipline in organizing your first weeks after the conference helps you get the most out of the event. These actions can increase your networking and improve your blog:
- Ordering your notes;
- Connecting with new contacts on social media and via email;
- Writing high-quality content related to the conference;
- Choosing relevant ideas and adapting them to your blog.
Then you can start looking for similar events, where you can learn about other useful and interesting ways to grow.
Search for conferences where you’ll be able to:
- Connect with people you can do business with;
- Take part in presentations and workshops that are relevant to your niche;
- Find accommodation for an affordable price.
Make sure you correlate your participation with your goals – choose the right presentations to attend and get in touch with relevant people in your niche. And, very important, have fun. People tend to remember the people they had fun with.