Post-Conference Action List

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?  


About Kelly

Kelly Whalen is the founder and editor of the Centsible Life blog. She started the blog 6 years ago as her family faced a mountain of debt. The blog became a resource to readers and a hub for everything you need in life for less. Kelly lives in the Philadelphia area with her superhero husband, 4 awesome kids, and one adorable dog. She still believes you can have it all....just not all at once.


  1. says

    What a great post, Kelly! I am definitely wading in business cards right now but I wouldn’t have it any other way. And yes, you are right, you have to follow up to get the most out of them.

  2. says

    Excellent tips! Pinned the post to be sure I remember them all and follow through. I did start sorting business cards yesterday while waiting for my flight and began follow up emails as well as reviewing notes last night. Taking a mental break for a bit today. My mind is definitely still recovering from all the info and fun! Enjoyed meeting you yesterday and appreciate the baby name suggestions. :)

    • says

      Thank you! I try to remember to mark them as I receive them, but I admit there have been a few bigger conferences where I couldn’t remember who someone’s client was or couldn’t place where I got the card.

      Hope the delivery goes well!

  3. says

    I completely agree with this list. Conference are great but you need a plan to get the most out of them. This is perfect for any one preparing to head to a conference or just returning.

  4. says

    I agree about the brain dump. Since I’m an insomniac, I can log onto Evernote on my phone at 3am during the conference and type up some notes; sometimes they’re kind of a short hand and sometimes they make sense but I least I get them out of my head and onto ‘paper’.

  5. Chrissie B DiAngelus says

    I’m always at a conference and I was trained really well by my former boss and now mentor. I’m both an appointment setter and a – try to go to as many touch points as possible to meet/network with new people – person. Each conference has to have its own mini marketing/event plan. While I’m there, my notebook is glued to me. I am always taking notes – and if I know I’m meeting with someone and we’ve talked about something previously, that set of notes comes with me. Like you, I use the plane and train rides as time to organize and think. On the trip home, I prioritize the follow up — what can wait a week, what needs to happen immediately, what can be done at 10pm, etc.
    I keep an envelope for receipts, organize them within 10 days of being home and also started making notes in the bigger written marketing plan what worked at a conference and what didn’t. And for me, being in sales, the true ROI on a particular conference may very well be 18mo-3 years.
    I send a lot of feedback to the organizers as well. If you have a staff, a post conference follow up with staff is smart too.
    And for the ones that kick our asses to the curb after 4-5 days of nonstop “on” — taking 2 days off is necessary. Even if it’s just taking the morning to unwind over coffee, magazine and a pedi, then taking a half day, sitting and working from my couch. Conferences are awesome and there’s nothing as invigorating as meeting our clients face to face and dining with our friends. But it can wipe us out and we need to be able to carry the “high” of the conference back while still recharging and getting back to the grind.

  6. says

    love these tips. I had a plastic sleeve, almost like a zip lock, that I carried in my purse the entire weekend of BlogHer. I stuck biz cards and USB drives in it as people handed them to me so that I didn’t lose anything!

  7. Nancy Ross Vecchione says

    Love how you’ve organized it. It’s important to organize it to get the most bang for your (or my) conference buck! We spend all that time there, it should be productive as well as fun.

  8. RookieMom Whitney says

    Totally agree, Kelly. I pretty much did all these things and have been mulling over the ROI for a couple of weeks now. Sometimes you don’t know if a relationship you formed has a return for many months…

    • Kylie Ofiu says

      I agree. I went last year to a conference and footed half the bill myself and I was flying internationally. I was unsure if it would be worth it, but 12 months on I am still benefiting from attending so it was definitely worth it.

      Great check list Kelly!


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