This is a three-part series with tips and tools to take the stress out of attending a conference.
You’ve returned from your conference with an armload of materials. You may be tempted to drop it in your office to sit untouched for months. Imagine what would happen if you immediately put the information to good use so your time at the conference could be considered time well spent.
Here’s your step-by-step action plan to make that happen.
There are three types of conference information you will bring back in your briefcase. Here’s what to do with it.
1. Business Cards
You’ve met many interesting people with whom you’ve exchanged business cards. Resist the urge to let those cards collect dust in your desk drawer. Here are three simple things to do immediately:
1. Put the contact information into your contact database or CRM.
2. Connect with the person on social media.
3. Send an email saying how much you enjoyed meeting them and encourage them to keep in touch. If they live in your city, extend an invitation to get together for a coffee.
2. Tasks to implement
Conferences make you feel motivated to make change. Upon your return, it’s easy to let the busyness of your work creep in and push out those new-found ideas you were eager to implement. Instead, pull out your To Do list and add them right away and set a deadline. For ideas you’ve collected, put them in your notebook to ensure they are captured in a place you will refer to in the future.
3. Reference materials
You return with a stack of handouts. Sort through the material, separating out what to toss and what to keep. Write a summary of key thoughts and ideas (usually scribbled in the margins of your conference materials) so you can keep it top of mind.