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7 Ways to Maintain Lasting Business Relationships after a Conference
by James Helliwell Thu, 09/08/2016 - 08:51
Conferences can be fun; meeting new people, exchanging ideas and building relationships are interesting activities to engage in. It’s not unusual for that initial fire to burn out after making an acquaintance at the event. In fact, for some, the relationship wanes as soon as they get on the plane.
Conferences provide a great opportunity for like-minded individuals to meet and find solutions to common interests. They are also an easy way to build business contacts that might have otherwise, been hard due to tight schedules and personal engagements. Unfortunately, most conference attendees fail to build on the opportunities within. Here are seven easy ways to maintain lasting business relationships after a conference.
1. Organise your business cards
Arrange the business cards you collected into a two groups; ‘now’ and ‘later’. Put the cards of people you will be contacting within a few days after the conference in the ‘now’ group. They belong to the more important contacts you made, such as candidates for sponsorship, business partnerships or startup funding. The business cards from less important contacts go to the ‘later’ group. By doing it this way, your follow-up becomes less overwhelming. Find out more about organising business cards.
2. Make notes behind the business card
If you have an idea about the kind of business opportunity you would like to build with a contact, write it down at the back of their card immediately. It also serves to remind you after the conference, and break the ice when you contact the person (if they are the busy type). Memories fade quicker than you think, especially if it is a busy conference.
3. Don’t send out emails the day after
This is usually a busy time for most people. Those who attended the conference from distant locations could still be en route or just arriving their destination. Local attendees will probably be overwhelmed by a long list of emails from other attendees. There is a chance that yours could be lost in the swarm or ignored.
4. Personalise every follow-up email you write
Emails are still the best form of communication for business. Few days (2 - 3) after the conference, send an email to the contacts in your ‘now’ group of business cards. People like to know that you remember the conversation you both had, so include a common interest you shared or an important issue discussed. Start off cordial and be professional. Talk about improving on the topics discussed- taking things to the next level.
5. Don’t kiss up (too much) in your emails
If you met an influential contact- a popular blogger, accomplished author or a potential investor, don’t kiss up to them blatantly. It can be a turn off and you’ll end up spoiling you chances of working together. Keep it real and if you would like to pass on a compliment, or refer to a mutual joke, do so without overdoing things.
6. Connect with them online
No, not Facebook or Twitter, start off professionally with LinkedIn. Keep your request straight to the point. If you own a blog or website with trusted server hosting- write about the conference and include pictures. Make it interesting too and link it to blogs of fellow attendees. Tag them in the conference posts, people love such interesting associations.
7. Set up a face-to-face meet
If your discussions are taking a positive direction and your ideas are progressing further, you may suggest a meeting offline. Ensure that the other party is fine with the decision too. Prepare the details of your meeting before you go. Hopefully a lasting business relationship will take off from there.
About the author
Hello I am James I am a business man, journalist and social media expert from SocialQ.co.uk. I am very approachable and love to share good quality content. Always looking to explore new opportunities and help where he can.