Inspired by speakers, peers and ideas. Full of free shrimp. And loaded down with pens, bags and anything else we could get our hands on.
Our intentions are good, if not ambitious. But after a flight home, 376 unread emails and a weekend it is back to work. And our plans for industry domination, social awesomeness and a few blue ocean strategy sessions fall beside that pile of forgotten conference name tags.
The post-conference drop.
As a speaker and attendee, I have picked up a few tips, tricks and dare I say, best practices for avoiding the dreaded drop. Here are 13 of our favorite.
2. Schedule a brainstorm session with your team. You likely did not bring everyone with you to Las Vegas, so when you get back…ideally as soon as possible…debrief your team. Print the conference schedule, bring your notes, pull up online presentations from speakers. Share the wealth.
3. Present a conference summary to your membership, peers, partners, etc. Just like your co-workers, peers within your local industry can benefit from your conference experience. Download some of the best slides, find the best tweets, add in a couple videos and unleash the conference hero within. (Hint: Storify)
4. Email, tweet or chat with the speakers. Trust me, it is okay to talk to us. And if you ever do run into a speaker who is too busy to return a post-conference tweet or email, then you are too busy to read their hack of a book.
5. Talk to your new friends. Remember that guy / gal from Raleigh / Des Moines / San Diego? Talk to them. Email, tweet, poke, a week or two weeks later, ask them how they have implemented lessons from the conference.
6. Send a review to the organizer. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has an opinion about the conference. Most just keep it to themselves, quietly upset that more time was not spent on mobile marketing. Guess what? Tell someone.
7. Email everyone. Every card you picked up. Email that person within a week of getting back to the office. Not only will it force you to remember the person, but it could also lead to some interesting opportunities and partnerships.
8. Send thank you notes. Yeah, the ones with a stamp. When I return from a conference or speaking appearance, I stop by the local drugstore and pick up 5, 8, 10 Denver / Colorado postcards and send a quick thank you note to my new friends in Toronto. It works. Do it.
9. Create an action item list. Loved that idea or app? Transfer the knowledge to an action list, work it into your daily routine or the next department meeting. Don’t let it gather dust in your notebook.
10. Create a takeaway list. Pull out the conference schedule, check your notes and for each session write down the one takeaway. Create an email and using a tool like nudgemail, email the list back to yourself in a month. Repeat the inspiration cycle.
11. Craft a conference recap. Take that action list and takeaway list and create an email summary for your organization. It will help you remember the conference content. Plus, your CEO will love it.
12. Come through on those promises. We all make them. Oh, I will send you that. Let me connect you with her. I will give him a call. This is not summer camp, you really should follow through on any promises made during a conference.
13. Connect through social. The people you met, the speakers, even the people who started following you during the conference. Find them on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and talk to them.