Events are a great way to network, but often we struggle to keep in contact with the people that we have met after the event.
Event management companies can help to form meaningful business relationships. There are a number of things you can do to make sure the relationships you made last including social networking, making a mailing list, and sending personalized emails.
Organizing the information that you have gathered after the event and making sure you take notes during the event are the first steps to starting long lasting business relationships.
Social networking is a great way to stay in contact and showcase your business to potential business partners and clients.
For a more personal approach, writing a direct email to connections can really get the ball rolling. But writing that all important email takes some practice. Here you’ll find information on how to make your email as effective as possible.
Although the event itself might seem like the most important part of networking with potential clients and business partners, the things you can do after the event to ensure you keep in contact with other attendees are just as important, if not more. You might feel like you’ve made some meaningful connections at the event but making sure those connections turn into lasting relationships takes a bit of work.
Event management companies specialize in managing and organizing events. With years of experience in this industry, these companies have found that building relationships post event has been the most beneficial part of holding events for their clients. With this in mind, let’s take a look at just how you can build those all-important relationships with some post-event networking.
How to organize your information post-event
The first thing you will want to do after any event is to organize all the information you gathered about attendees. During the event, make sure you take notes after every meaningful connection or conversation. You will really appreciate having written down small details about your possible business connections later when you are writing personalized emails and trying to think of something important you discussed to engage their interest and show that they really caught your attention. At every event, you will meet so many possible contacts that keeping all the information separate in your mind will become almost impossible. For this reason, it is essential to note down every interaction.
Once you have your notes and a collection of business cards from attendees, it is time to start deciding which contacts are likely to be the most beneficial. Although you might want to contact everyone you met, realistically not everyone is going to be as receptive as they seemed face-to-face, so prioritize people you felt a genuine connection with.
For the more promising connections, you can focus on contacting them directly with a follow up email and building a correspondence. With less promising leads, you can still stay connected through the relatively effortless option of social media networking.
Social media networking
The key to networking in the modern world is having a social media presence. After you’ve introduced yourself and handed over a few business cards, you can be sure that the first thing potential clients or business partners are going to do is search for you across social networks. As well as having a well-presented personal account on networks like Facebook and Twitter, you want a separate space for your business where you can share everything that you have been up to.
This informal way of marketing gives people an insight into your company and the way you run things. These social networks also give you the chance to learn more about your connections by browsing through their social media. Respond to their recent posts to show your interest. This will encourage them to do the same for you.
For professionals, sites like LinkedIn not only give you the chance to share information about yourself, but act as another way of reaching people who might have been interested in your company at the event. Once they have engaged with you on social media, you can send them private messages, add them to your contacts and keep them up to date with how your business is thriving. You could even build your own business blog to share more information with your connections.
Once you have separated people who are genuinely interested in your business from people who were just being polite at the event, you can start building a mailing list. This gives your connections the opportunity to choose whether they want to subscribe and continually receive information about your business or not. If they choose to receive regular emails, you have a more personal way of sending them the latest updates about your business and they won’t be forgetting about you anytime soon.
Personalized follow-up emails
Securing a connection through social media and regular email updates is a good start but for more meaningful business relationships, you will want to get personal. You might not be able to send a personalized email to every person you talked to at the event but you can pick out a few key contacts that you can see building a strong working relationship with and contact them directly. During the event, make sure you exchange details and try to get a personal email address so you can talk to that person instead of their company administration.
TIP: Personalization is great, but so are mass emails. To help expedite the process, use an email template builder to help you craft unique, personalized emails that can also be sent en masse.
When crafting your follow-up email, make sure you reference something that you talked about or shared at the event so they can see you took an interest in them. Keep your email short and to the point and make sure it looks like you aren’t expecting anything from them other than forming a potentially prosperous working relationship.
You can even offer to help them with something for their business first so that they see you are not offering a one-sided relationship. It is also recommended to send a follow up email within 24 hours of the event so that it is still fresh in their minds. Encourage them to connect with you on social media if they haven’t done so already, then think about proposing another meeting if the correspondence is well-received.
Remember that the aim is to build a long-lasting relationship so make sure that you include the next steps in your email. Whether you want to go straight into organizing a business meeting, assuming that you are both interested in doing business together, or just want to meet up for something casual, make sure you mention this in your email correspondence. Meeting again in person is the best way to solidify the relationship so even if they aren’t interested in doing business straight away, invite them for a coffee or a drink after work to keep that relationship alive for the long term.
Post-event networking is key to building lasting relationships
Whether you are holding your own event or just attending a networking event in your industry, professional help is always a good idea when it comes to post-event networking. With the help of experts, making the most of your connections post-event is a simple process and can leave you with prosperous business relationships that last.
Another way to kickstart your post-event networking is to send event attendees a post-event survey. Not sure how to craft the perfect questions? Download G2's free event survey questions one-sheet for inspiration.