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10 Things to Do Immediately After a Networking Event

March 30, 2009 - Posted by Shama Kabani

The true color of networking is often revealed after the event itself. The emails that get traded, the connections we make, and the relationships that continue to grow. Here are 10 things to do immediately after attending a networking function (conferences, seminars, business clubs).

1) Send email. Don’t wait for the next day or the next week. Chances are you won’t get around to it-and even if you do-they may not recall. Send an email to everyone you took a card from. Even if you don’t see an immediate connection, just say thanks.

2) Connect on Facebook. My favorite strategy. I look the people up on Facebook using their business cards and add them to my network. Now, I know their birthdays, their occupation, and their day to day status (literally!). Best Rolodex in the world.

3) Put one thing into action. Too many people walk away from networking events feeling good, but doing nothing. Take one decisive action from what you learned.

4) Introduce two people to each other. One of my colleagues, Jim Penny, is a master at this. He finds one person at each event and introduces them to someone else he thinks they should know. Now, where those two people take the relationship is up to them, but he is always remembered as the guy who made the introduction!

5) Contact one PRP (Potential Referral Partner). One of the best ways to grow a business is through collaboration with others. Joint ventures can be amazingly powerful. Whenever I network, I try to seek out one referral partner. This can be someone that I can send business to or someone whose clients we can help. The best PRPs are those who can figure out a win-win situation. Example: A web designer sends a printer work, while a printer recommends the designer to their clients.

6) If you took pictures, put them up on Facebook. Tag them whenever possible. Pictures are best posted when the memory of the event is still fresh. If you follow #2, then you can also tag people you have added as friends. Pictures are a great way to attract people to your profile as well.

7) Blog or write about your experience. Whenever I come back from events, my mind is spinning with new ideas. If I don’t get them down, they are lost. Bullet point ideas or write them across your white board. Just get them down!

8) Make sure your website is working well. If you met a lot of people, the chances are that they will check out your website. Make sure that it is up to date and a good representation of who you are.

9) Thank the host – if applicable. This especially applies to local events which are put together by one individual. A quick note thanking them will go a long way.

10) Check networking supplies. Yes, check your stock of cool business cards, pens, and stickers after your event – and before the next one. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to order cards overnite before I learned this lesson. Check your stock after each event, and you will thank yourself later!

57 Responses to 10 Things to Do Immediately After a Networking Event

  1. Ryan Wegman says:

    Thanks for these timeless tips, it’s always great to go back to the basics and brush up because those little details can break you if you don’t perform them regularly.

    I suppose the only thing missing is to continue the follow up until you have exhausted your attempts at engaging in business relation development.

  2. Andrew Windham says:

    Nice post, great reminders and check list of must dos to become a power netweaver

  3. Eleanore Duyndam says:

    Thanks for the checklist Shama!

    Doing all those things really makes a great professional impression. So many people forget to thank the host…This is very important!

  4. PhitZone says:

    These are great tips. A few of them I had never thought of. Thank you.

  5. Emily Sheetz says:

    Thanks for the reminders, Shama! I have found all of these are good practices for me, except I usually connect on LinkedIn instead of Facebook.

  6. Jay Philips says:

    Great tips. The one thing I’ve noticed at events I’ve been too is people like to hang outwith the people they already know. Isn’t the whole point of the networking sessions to get to know new people? I’m not saying don’t talk to the people you already know but get out there and network – that’s what you’re there for. (Hmmm…I should write a blog about this)

  7. Laura Babbili says:

    This is great advice.

    p.s. lol @ #8 because it turned into an emoticon.

  8. John says:

    Nice post with some helpful information the
    first quarter of the year is almost over I
    need to put them in actio thanks.

  9. Jeanette Pham says:

    All those things that we know we *should* do, but don’t always follow through on! Everyone should check this out before their next networking event / Tweetup. I’d say check your website before the event – people will look you up the same night if they’re inspired – don’t dazzle them in person and then disappoint them online! Thanks for a useful article!

  10. Caitlin says:

    I think that #8 should be done BEFORE a networking event. With the current mobile technology, people often don’t wait to get home/back to the office, before they start looking you up on the internet. In fact, your website(s) should always be up-to-date, or they might as well be offline; better to have no information online than to have inaccurate information.

  11. Susan says:

    Well, wow. Amazing how one finds this site!!!!

  12. Bryan R. Adams says:

    Great list, Shama. Two years ago, I would have run to the LinkedIn site after an event, but now I get Facebook requests while I’m still at the event. I think social media has turned a good number of people into better networkers.

  13. Mimi says:

    I loved the article and I look forward to reading more of them. Keep them coming, I learned a lot.

  14. Oliver says:

    I love the fact that you posted this link they were are True Key points of information. I will definitely be looking for more information from you. Thank you.

  15. ALRADY40 says:

    This is very good article. I like the practicality of networking in an organized way. I still have to do followup from an event last week. If a person isn’t following up then why attend?

    One thing though, is not everyone has facebook, many have linked in or other media they use. The process is the same though. :) KUDOS for great topic.

  16. Debra Murphy says:

    Super post and great ideas Shama – many people don’t know how to network to start and then forget the follow up. Now, mixing networking face-to-face with social networking enhances the experience. I’ve forwarded the link to all my networking friends.

  17. Adam Urbanski says:

    Hey Shama,

    Great advice! I like all your tips and esepcially #3 – too many people try to get things perfect and as a result they never follow up at all!

    Shama, I’ve been hearing about you from some of my friends. I see you are actually offering your service as a “marketing department”… We should talk. ;-)

    Smiles,

    Adam
    http://twitter.com/adamurbanski

  18. Atlanta video production says:

    These are great tips, I have followed many of them before but the introducing two people element is good. Also, I look people up In linkedin as well as facebook.

    Jason Montoya
    Noodlehead Studios

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  21. Doug says:

    nice article. thanks!

  22. Montana says:

    Thanx for the valuable tips. This is some timeless stuff

  23. Alexandra Gibson says:

    Really appreciated this article.

    I think it’s also important that you add value when you follow up by email. That could mean remembering what the person talked about and sending them a link or a referral. That will go much farther than just saying, “Nice meeting you.”

    Alexandra Gibson
    @gibsondm

  24. Josh says:

    Hi Shama,

    Great post.

    I especially like #4. I always find it is rewarding to help other people, especially if you know someone that they would connect well with.

    Thanks for the post.

    Josh

  25. Ronald Earl Wilsher says:

    Great post, Miss S!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Keep the faith and keep being YOU!

    ~Ronald
    TrueBeliever & HopeDealer

  26. Steve says:

    Great tips. Also like to send a handwritten card cause almost no one else does!

  27. Patrick Allmond says:

    I’d add that the first thing you should really do is remove the cards from the stack that you have no need for. What you will find is that there are people you can help immediately, people that can help you immediately, and all others. You need to prioritize those and work on the first two stacks. Make notes on the third stack. But they are not real important to follow up with. For example: I meet a real estate agent at just about every networking event I go to. I really do not need to network/connect with 100 real estate agents I’ve met over the years. Most would take that as a sign that I want to buy/sell and hawk me.

    Patrick

  28. Brandi Maine says:

    Thanks for these great reminders!

  29. Brent says:

    This was my first “retweet”

    Great Ideas!

  30. Heidi Richards Mooney says:

    Shama, Great tips! thanks for sharing…

    Heidi Richards Mooney, Author, Entrepreneur, Business Coach

  31. On the Web with Kim Vallee says:

    Great Tips! I put #2 before #1, if you find them on Facebook, write a message with your request to become a friend.

    I will also try to connect with them on Twitter. In fact, I ask all contacts I meet if they are on Twitter or Facebook. With my iPhone, I sometimes add them on the spot – less chance to forget.

  32. Bama Hip Hop/Ali Shabazz says:

    Excellent post. I do events where people can network and it frustrates me to no end to see people attend with no pen or paper for notes and names, no business cards or something to leave with a new connection and who will often leave without one piece of literature, card or flyer from another attendee AND THEN will complain about not getting anything out of having been there.

  33. Chris Zdunich says:

    These are great, technology based tactics.
    A handwritten, stamped thank you note still has strong impact.

  34. Hesham says:

    Thank you for the great tips!

  35. Jimmy Roos says:

    Great tips again… A lot of common sense stuff that we just never do. Thanks

  36. ALRADY says:

    HI I am seeing this article with new eyes after attending a booth event for a company I am working with.

    The importance of website can’t be underestimated! The company needs a website overhaul and they are working on it.

    I have joined Facebook since last posting and I am trying to find a way to separate personal from professional for obvious reasons.

    The website linked above is to my article about using social media to increase customer loyalty.

    The comment by Alexandra about giving some value with your email is something that I really relate to.

    For some reason, when I try to post this it asks for valid email, which is what I am entering. So contact will probably have to be through twitter @alrady40.

    Thanks again for the great blog! I am learning from this!

    Alrady

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  38. Aileen Brazeau says:

    That was fantastic information. It helped put things in perspective and organize my time.

    Thank you for sharing your bullet point items, as they were truly helpful. Especially, in this economy, every edge helps.

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  40. Louise Reynolds says:

    Provides a great framework for networking and how to constructively follow up and focus effort. It is always useful however to be genuinely interested in others. Many people can spot if you are constantly looking for that “Potential Referral Partner”. Networking can be fun just for the surprise element of who you might meet next.

    Louise Reynolds-Property Venture

  41. Clay Franklin says:

    Thank you Sharma,

    This is a wonderful checklist to Take Action Now after an event. Thanks to Warren Whitlock for tweeting the link.
    Great idea to write about what to do at the event in this checklist format.

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  43. Joe King says:

    Great advice. In addition to Facebook on #2, I’d add connecting via Twitter/LinkedIn also.

  44. Irma Guzman says:

    Regarding #1,besides sending the email, make your own database with all those emails. It works!

  45. Sarah Bailey says:

    Excellent tips! One of the keys to success is being able to set yourself apart from your competition, and that means doing things that most people are unwilling to do. Most people are not good about the follow up, so if we follow the advice you give, we will really set ourselves apart from others. Great suggestions!

  46. Elizabeth says:

    Very true and good advice!

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  48. Shama Hyder says:

    Hi Laura,

    Yes, I noticed. Kinda cute isn’t it? : ) 8 = websites working. Stuff I talk about ALL the time. I left it.

  49. Shama Hyder says:

    Hi Jay,

    Thanks! Great point. Perhaps my next post should be 10 things to do AT the networking event? : )

  50. Shama Hyder says:

    Hi Andrew- Thanks.

    Hi Emily – That works! The point is to get “socially” connected ; )

  51. Shama Hyder says:

    Hi Eleanore-

    It’s true. We love the event but forget who pulled it together in the first place.

  52. Shama Hyder says:

    Hi Ryan-

    Welcome! Hmm…it’s interesting that you say continue to follow up until you have exhausted your attempts. I actually don’t do this myself. I will make a well intentioned attempt, but I am not too persistent because I believe in letting things happen in their own time. I don’t like pushing things to happen-but that’s a personal philosophy – not necessarily a business one.

  53. Shama Hyder says:

    Hi Jeanette,

    I love that! “Don’t Dazzle In Person and Disappoint Online.” Can I use it in the future? : )

  54. Shama Hyder says:

    John, Oliver, Mimi, Bryan – So glad you guys enjoyed the post. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I know what busy lives we all lead! Means a lot to me.

  55. Shama Hyder says:

    Caitlin, Susan, PhitZone – Thanks for the comments guys! You make blogging fun! = )

    Caitlin: Good point. The world is going mobile. = )

  56. Shama Hyder says:

    Hi Adam,

    Well, you are a master networker sir-so I am sure you do many of these things already. = )

    I’d be happy to chat further abt the “marketing department” aspect.

  57. Shama Hyder says:

    Hi Alrady40 (you totally look 21!) = )

    Agreed. Some may not have FB. You want to pick the network that you use most and add them to that. If they aren’t there, they aren’t there-and you have email which keeps you covered!

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