If you have ever attended a social media or blogging conference you know it’s non-stop info, networking, and talking. You may come home exhausted (or sick), and have a mountain of laundry, and be thrown right back into real life. It can be tough to take action on the great ideas and plans you hatched, or check those to-dos off your list post-conference, so I put together my definitive action list post-conference.
1. Do a Post-Conference Brain Dump: When you have a minute to breathe (on the plane ride home perhaps) sit down and do a post-conference brain dump. This can include takeaways, to dos, and people you must connect with. It’s preferable to keep this going during your conference, but if you don’t have time don’t feel bad.
2. Baby Yourself for a Day (or more): If you stayed out late night, and talked until your throat was super sore, give yourself a day (or two) to rest and recoup. Even if you have to do it amongst diaper changes, and laundry piles–turn your brain off for a few days if you need to with no guilt. Make sure to hydrate, eat well, and catch up on sleep.
3. Sort your papers: I always come home with tons of paperwork including business cards.
Business Cards: I separate business cards into two piles typically: bloggers/writers and marketing/PR/brands. The blogger and writer pile is great for my startup, Splash Creative Media, and I follow people I’m not already.
The other pile I sort based on our interactions. For instance if I promised to send a deck or one sheet I get those out first. If it’s a person I just want to connect with to talk further I’ll send a brief email or thanks, and possibly follow them our connect on LinkedIn.
Paperwork: Sponsor paperwork or conference get sorted too. I recycle things I don’t need, and file coupons and discounts. Sponsor info I want to keep for blog posts go into a file or pile where I pull from them for the next month.
4. Make a To Do List: Yes, it will seem absurdly long, but do it anyway. I prefer to make several lists within a main one. I create a list of people to followup with, things I need to do/add to my blog, and a list of posts I want to create. Just know that it may take you a month or more to get to it all, and that’s ok.
5. Share your Thoughts and Photos: Share your thoughts about your experience, whether it’s on your blog, through photos, or even a Facebook post. This is valuable insight for conference organizers, fellow attendees, and the community.
Just make sure if you have an ‘fun’ pictures you ask before you tag. 😉
6. Think about Your Takeaways vs. Cost: You knew I was going to go here, right? Add up all your expenses-travel, dining, hotel, etc. Now think about the takeaways you got from your experience. If you were sponsored the cost may have been offset by your sponsor. If you weren’t-was the value of what you walked away with worth the expense?
For myself I take a very dollars and cents approach. Did the conference teach me something that will improve my business? Did I leave with contacts that may be valuable (whether from a monetary or support perspective)? Judging the takeaways is a very individual process, so my takeaways may not be yours.
What advice do you have for post-conference?