Wow. Now THAT was an amazing conference. You got away from work for a couple days, met a lot of cool people, attended a lot of great sessions, learned a ton … now what?
The day after kinda sucks. You’re probably still riding the wave from the conference but now you find yourself back home (or worse, back in the office). You’re probably exhausted. You’ve been through a lot. Before you settle back into your routine, there are a couple things you should do to make sure you get the most from your conference experience.
1. Go through that stack of business cards you collected.
I usually break mine out into two piles. One pile for folks that I want to keep up with or learn more about and another for vendors/consultants that I thought were interesting.
2. Email everyone.
Start at the top of each pile and just start emailing. If you can’t remember a lot of details, that’s ok. The people you’re reaching out to probably don’t remember too many details either. Just say, ‘Hey! I really enjoyed the conference and wanted to reach out to say I’d like to keep in touch.’ Trust me, it will be appreciated. The people you thought were cool will appreciate having your email. We were all there for the same reason. I’ve found it’s MUCH easier to find someone I want to reconnect with in my email than to dig through a mountain of half remembered business cards.
3. Connect on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Pick one (or all) and hook up with everyone in your pile of cards. Social networks only work if you keep them current. Connecting with the people that share your passion is what it’s all about. Do it!
4. Log into the conference website and check out the post show content.
Most conferences record some or all of the keynotes/sessions. Check them out. This can be a great way to get the content you missed when you were in other sessions.
5. Go through your notes.
Your notes probably made sense when you took them, but now they might be starting to get a little less clear. Scan through them and add additional details to help bring them back into focus. The Google is your friend, use it!
6. Go through the agenda/conference guide and make notes.
You probably saw a lot of great stuff, but no doubt you missed some things. Make a list of stuff that looks cool and start digging deeper with the Google. It was great being at the conference, but there IS a lot to be said for being home with a nice, stable high speed internet connection!
7. Email the speakers.
You can usually find contact info in the conference guide (step 6). If you thought it was a great session tell the speaker. If you’re still hungry for more tell them. I’ll bet they can point you to additional resources. The deeper you dig, the more you’ll find!
8. Follow ME on twitter (@timcost).
What’s the point of a blog if I can’t push out a shameless plug every now and then?