Whether you’re just getting back into the office from Dreamforce 2013, attended another conference this past fall, or are thinking about attending a trade show during the spring season, you’ll want to make sure that all of your efforts don’t go to waste — especially when both your time and money are at stake. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done.
Once you settle back into your day-to-day routine, it’s tempting to let all of those great ideas and connections slip through the cracks. After all, they’ll still be there when you get to them over the next few weeks, right?
Don’t be so sure. The longer you wait to act on all of the leads, connections, and inspiration that you gathered at the event, the harder it will be to successfully turn leads into new business, connections into partnerships, and inspiration into tangible marketing campaigns.
Worried that you won’t get to everything in time? Take a look at our list of steps below, and see how you can make the most of your conference experience — even after it’s over.
Don’t throw those business cards away.
Instead, follow up with all of the people that you met at the conference. Shoot them a quick email referencing a conversation you had at the event, or invite them to connect on LinkedIn so that you can reach out further in the future. It only takes a few minutes to turn a business card into a real relationship, so why not make the additional effort? You never know when those connections are going to come in handy!
Follow up with new leads.
So, you collected a bunch of new lead data. Unfortunately, those leads aren’t going to turn themselves into opportunities, at least not without a push from you. Take the information that you collected and use it to craft targeted follow-up content that your leads will find valuable, like session slides, white papers, or video content. If you have a marketing automation solution, you can even place your leads on lead nurturing tracks that will automatically send them relevant, educational content over time, keeping your company top of mind.
Turn insight into action.
Remember all of those fun, inspirational conference sessions that you attended while you were gone? Don’t let your notes get lost underneath the pile of papers sitting on your desk. Instead, compile them into an actionable plan, including key takeaways, how you can incorporate what you learned into your marketing strategy, and what immediate steps you can take for the future. Don’t be afraid to put what you learned into practice — after all, that’s what conferences are for!
What other steps should you take as soon as you get back from a conference? Let us know in the comments!