A Few Key Items for your To Do List After Getting Back From an Industry Event
Industry events can be very valuable for companies looking to bring in new business, meet with current clients and partners, add to their industry education, and generally network with others in the industry. Last month, we wrote a blog post about how to get the most out of our most recent industry events (Affiliate Summit East, MailCon, and the Mailer Meetup). That post was focused mainly on how to prepare for an event. However, really getting the most value from one of these trips doesn’t stop at the prep stage or even the event itself. That leads us to today’s post on 5 key to-do list items for when you get back to the office from an industry conference or trade show.
- Take a Few Minutes to Get Organized
For me, this is a key first step. I make sure to unpack everything from the trip (business cards, notes, receipts, etc.) and put my office back together (reconnect my laptop, cell phone charger, etc.). Taking a few minutes to get my desk/office back into a normal state also helps get my mind focused on what things I need to do first.
- Compile and Translate your Notes
Unless you are incredibly on top of it during a conference, you probably come back having notes in a few places – your laptop, cell phone, a notebook, on business cards. I like to go through all of them and rewrite them all onto a new doc on my laptop. Personally, I have terrible handwriting, so getting to my notes while they are still fresh in my mind is important, since a week later I may not be able to make out my own notes.
- Make a Follow Up To-Do List
Once you have all your notes written into a doc, you can start prioritizing a follow up list of to-do items. I tend to start with a big list and then sort it into priorities, so I can hit the most important things first and then leave other follow up items for later.
- Fill out your Expense Report
This is one of those chores that no one I know is particularly excited about when they get back from a trip, but I find it’s best to just get it done and out of the way quickly. It’s also easier to identify missing receipts or remember what a receipt was actually for, when you just get back from a trip. Wait a week and it always becomes more challenging.
- Actually Follow Up
You would think this is self explanatory, but anyone who has gone to at least one event, has likely had someone promise to follow up, and then had the experience of that person never reaching out. If there is only one piece of advice I can give, it is to actually follow through on all your event follow up items. By this simple step (doing what you said you would do) you will separate yourself from a good percentage of other companies and you’re well on your way to maximizing your event ROI.