I recently had a wonderful trip to Phoenix, Arizona for the Craft & Hobby Association’s Annual Trade Show and presented at the Designer Round Tables on the topic of “Post Conference Follow Up”. Put simply, my round table was focused on how to further pursue contacts and continue to network with brands you love!
This year’s show was so fun as they re-branded the show to be called “Creativation”. The word Creativation is meant to capture – creatvity, inspiration and innovation – and the conference definitely met up to those aspirations. Now that I am back home, I am ready to work on Post Conference Follow Up. While it is exciting to meet, talk and connect with people at the conference – my work needs to continue once I get back from a conference. I have found that relationships merely begin at the conference and really develop and are nurtured throughout the year! Here are my Top Ten Post Conference Follow Up Tips:
During Creativation and within a week of the conference
- Social media: Send tweets or give some Instagram love (tag the company in your photos)
- Think about this: What contacts did you make? How do those contacts fit into your overall plan, future and vision for your business? How can you work with those contacts to collaborate and create an relationship that will be mutually beneficial (a win-win)
1-2 weeks after Creativation
- Hand written notes to your favorite connections. Check out my blog post on “The Importance of Thank You Notes” to learn more about thank yous and how to write a good one.
- Review your business cards and send emails to good connections, try to be personal and include a thoughtful observation
- Connect on LinkedIn. (While you are doing that – find me too! I would love to connect with anyone who reads my blog.)
- Make this your content: Blog about your experience and your top tips for attending a creative conference
A month or 2 after Creativation
- Email a proposal/pitch that is a win-win proposition
- Pay it forward, connect others who may not have been at CHA but need to know about these manufacturers
- Invite others to join CHA
- Continue to engage with manufacturers and designers on social media (FB, IG, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.)
I hope you enjoy my tips and implement them too. If you have tips – leave them in the comments below! Although this post relates to Creativation, they can also be applied to other annual trade shows and blog conferences. I hope this post will help you to further network and reach goals that you set for yourself!
– Miss Rina