Connections 2016 came and went with a bang, as always. By now you’re recovered, rehydrated, and ready to implement some of the things you learned. You probably went home with loads of information to digest over the next few weeks, but these seven things key takeaways will help you prioritize and work through it. While we wrote these tips with Connections in mind, they can help you tackle re-entry after any event you attend!
- Network Even After the Event
Connections might be over, but the networking is just beginning. At the event you inevitably ran into acquaintances, partners, and businesses that you want to find out more about. With luck, you have a business card from each of them (more on that later). So now it’s time to put those newfound contacts to use. If you’ll need to get in touch with a lot of people, make a list of contacts ranked by who you need to speak with most. Then, while it’s still fresh in everyone’s mind, follow up with an email that might sound something like “Hey, we talked at Connections, and I really wanted to get in touch about…”
- Compile Your Notes From Sessions
If you took notes during your sessions at Connections, now is the time to sit down and pull them all together. Having all of these notes in one place will help you remember the most important things you learned at the conference and give you an ongoing reference to go back to when you want to start putting them to use.
- Practice What You Learned In Demos (and watch more)
If you went to or received a personalized demo or training on a solution you are already using, don’t let it get stale. Practice what you learned to make sure you don’t forget it, and when the time comes to roll out a new process you’ll already be a power user. If you don’t yet have to the software or product that you saw demoed, check out the company website and subscribe to their updates so that you can watch to make sure you stay up to date.
- Catch Up on Your Business Cards
Business cards. They are the bane of our existence at conferences. You either forget yours, or forget to grab one from your favorite booth. And if you remember yours, you might have forgotten to give them out. Still, chances are you managed to take a few home with you, and you definitely don’t want to lose them. Spend some time photographing each one with your mobile phone. This makes them readily accessible, easy to email, and a lot harder to lose. If you’re tech-savvy, there are a variety of apps that can scan and store business cards as well. So long as they’re securely stored where they can’t be misplaced, the method you use is up to you.
- Reflect on Your Conference Goals
Did you get to visit all the booths you wanted to see? Did you get to the sessions that were most important to you? If you had certain goals for the conference, take some time to think about what it was you wanted to achieve, and if you didn’t get a chance to do a training session or visit a partner’s booth, look for ways that you can follow up. You might contact a partner directly if you didn’t get a chance to chat, access the slides from sessions you missed, or download some resources on a new software if you didn’t make it to a booth. Those goals were important for a reason, so aim to fill those gaps if you have any.
- Don’t Forget to Share With the Team
If your whole team wasn’t able to make it to Connections, it might be worth scheduling some time to share what you’ve learned with them. It’ll help solidify it in your own mind, as well as giving you a good reason to organize your thoughts around the most important things you took away from the conference. It will also help align everyone around what projects to tackle next, and your colleagues will appreciate your take on industry trends.
- Start Planning for Next Year — or Dreamforce!
If you missed a session (or the dramatic Pardot Keynote), put it on your list for next year! Having a game plan will make sure you don’t miss the things you really want to attend. If you didn’t get to go to Connections this year, or you are hungry for more learning, never fear… Dreamforce is only a few months away, and we’ll be there in full force.
So get ready, get set… go! It’s time to put all the great insights, ideas and inspirations to good use (and show off your swag around the office). Put new projects into action, get a head-start reaching your post-conference goals, and we’ll see you again soon!