The first part of this guide discussed what you should do before the networking event, as well as what to do during the event, in order to make the experience less stressful and scary for you.
This next section discusses what to do after attending the networking event.
After the event
Once you have all the business cards for the people you would like to stay in touch with, now is the time to follow up. Aim to follow up within 24 hours – your contacts will most likely still remember you, and your promptness will leave an impression.
If the event or conference you attended was in a casino, you may find that you bump into them again that evening or the next day. Make a point to speak to them, even if you are in the middle of an exciting game of blackjack.
If you found you made a really good connection with someone, skip the formal email and give them a call. Invite them for lunch to further explore the connection.
Keep in touch with your new contacts, even if the connection hasn’t yielded immediate benefits. If you come across an article one of your contacts may be interested in, send it on. This will keep you ‘top of mind’.
The better you plan for these networking events, the more comfortable you will feel while you are at them. And the more comfortable you feel, the better connections you will make. You might feel awkward and uncomfortable in the beginning, but it will start to get easier the more you attend. Push yourself out of your comfort zone – the connections you make will be worth it!
When you schedule your next networking event, set aside a couple of hours the next day for the task of following up. This way you have no reason to put it off.