5 Tips for Following Up After a Networking Event
You Worked the Room Like a Pro.
With more than 5,000 attendees — including over a thousand students — expected at this month’s American Academy of Audiology Annual Conference and Exposition in Nashville, Tennessee, the event’s shaping up to have the largest turnout in years.
It’s a great opportunity to meet others in the industry, trade elevator pitches, and discover common interests. Too often, however, those connections can get left behind as you return to the day to day of your busy life.
Fast-forward a few years later, when you’re working on a project and remember an expert you met at AAA but haven’t contacted since. Or you’re relocating to a new city with a prominent audiology clinic, but it’s been radio silence since you met the peer at AAA who could get you in the door.
Reaching out for a favor from someone you haven’t connected with in a long time can come across as a tad — ahem — tactless, so what to do? Here are five tips for stepping up your networking game after you’ve worked the room:
Check Your Timing
Finding that sweet spot between too soon and too late can make a difference in following up with your new contact. If you meet on the first night of an event, chances are the person won’t be back in the office until you are as well. Give the person a chance to return to their daily groove, but don’t wait too long to reach out.
Focus on the Highlights
Mentioning a topic or key point from your conversation at the event can refresh the connection. Maybe you had a great chat about the latest hearing technology, but you also share a love of the same baseball team — remind them of that to help recall the conversation.
Lend a Hand
Offering to help your new contact — and coming through with the promised assistance — goes a long way in building bridges. Always offer to lend a hand before requesting a favor. Maybe it’s forwarding an article you were talking about or connecting them with another person who can help in some way.
If your new contact is local to you — or you’ll be in their town for business or pleasure — ask them to grab coffee or lunch and catch up. You might even pick up the tab if it’s in your budget. An informal gathering offers an opportunity to learn more about your contact, share some of your specific goals, and turn the burgeoning connection into a solid alliance in your network.
Connect on LinkedIn
LinkedIn, the social media platform launched in 2003 for business networking, is still going strong, so be sure to connect with your contact there, too. When sending a connection request on LinkedIn, go a step beyond using the default message. Customize it to show you took the time to remember the contact and reach out with a personal invite.
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*U.S. News & World Report. Don’t Believe These 8 Job Search Myths. Accessed April 10, 2018. LinkedIn. New Survey Reveals 85% of All Jobs are Filled Via Networking. Accessed April 10, 2018.