After a big networking event, what do you do with the stack of business cards you’ve collected? Do you have certain goals when attending or is it just a check off your professional to-do list? Before you rush into your next event because they say it’s important, think about the following things.
- Why are you attending the event and what do you hope to get out of it? If there are specific people you want to meet, research them online or start up a Twitter conversation with them ahead of time.
- As you network and collect cards, make notes on the back of cards about the person to help you remember them and include things you want to follow-up with that person.
- Bring your social network to the event. Snap and post pictures to Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn. Find and follow people on Twitter while you talk to them, depending on the atmosphere of the event.
- After the event, connect and follow-up with your new contacts. Add new contacts on LinkedIn, continue conversations on social media networks, and follow-up by email.
- Keep networking! It may sometimes feel like work to attend and converse, but networking with consistency and following-up genuinely can bring you to the right connections and you never know where the connections can take you.