As I write this, SXSW 2016 is kicking into high gear. People from around the world are descending on Austin, Texas, to make magic, raise their company’s profile, land new clients, network like crazy, and party like rock stars. You know what’ll happen after they drag themselves home, completely exhausted?
For some of them – a lot. For the rest of them – nothing. The difference lies in their post-event follow-up.
The attendees who use SXSW as a springboard to greater heights will follow up with everyone, set up meetings and demos, and hit their sales goals. The attendees who are too disorganized to email or call their new connections will lose sales, new opportunities, and whatever brand buzz they were able to generate.
Don’t let that happen to you, ever. Whether you’re attending a networking event down the street, a trade show in Vegas, or a major industry convention in London, you need to have a focused post-event follow-up plan in place ahead of time.
Here’s how to get started:
Clear space on your calendar for follow-up
The faster you follow up, the more likely people will remember you. Set aside time post-event to write emails or make phone calls. If you attend a local networking event, follow up within 24 hours. If you attend a large trade show or convention, follow up with 2-3 days of arriving home.
Choose a goal
What do you want to happen when you reach out to people in your follow-up? Do you want to set up meetings with potential clients? Schedule demos? Remind them to purchase your newly published book?
Your goal will determine your message, which brings us to...
Write an attention-grabbing message
Whatever you write or say needs to grab their attention, so focus on them. How will your services or products make their lives easier/better? Why should they buy from you? What benefits will they get?
Keep the message short and to the point. If you’re sending out a mass email, spend a lot of time on the email subject line to ensure your email gets opened.
Make an ask
Based on your goal, make your ask very specific. Tell them what you want them to do, and make sure it’s easy for them to do it. If you include a link to the contact page on your website, make sure the link works!
Set up an automated email campaign
If you’re using email for follow-up after a large event, definitely set up an automated email campaign. Send them valuable information in each email, like a case study, ebook, infographic, or special offer, like a free consultation.
What tactics do you use for post-event follow-up?
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