Post-Event Networking (Debra Eckerling)

Debra Eckerling


Did you just return from a multi-day conference? A mixer? A workshop?

What an awesome event! I’m sure you met some amazing new peeps!

For in-person, you likely walked away with a stack of business cards.

For online, I’m guessing you have a saved “Zoom chat.” Bonus points for taking screenshots of your Zoom screens, so you can put faces with names. I also keep a notepad for virtual meetings, so I can jot notes of topics/characteristics/expertises that stand out.

So—what’s next? How do you catch up from time spent away from the office, while incorporating new people into your world?

First things first, set networking appointments.

Schedule time the day after (or within a few days of) to do your post-event debrief and connection requests.

Then, create an ongoing networking appointment for relationship development. These can be divided in ways that best fit your schedule (perhaps an hour each week, or half an hour twice a week).

The key is to find consistent time for your networking.

Once you prioritize that time, here are three things you can do:

1. Categorize new contacts

First impressions count for so much. When you meet someone new, you can usually tell what category they fall into: friend, resource, prospect, podcast guest, host (of a podcast, live show, conference), etc. You may have a few TBDs (to be determined), so they get a segment of their own.

Divide them out, so you can conquer. Put them in separate piles, and also prioritize which contacts deserve the most attention, based your personal and business needs.

Bonus: If you use a CRM (Customer Resourse Manager), this would be the time to add them into your system.

2. Connect on LinkedIn

Send connection requests to new contacts, along with a personal note. There are not salesy outreaches. Remind them where, when, and how you met. And, for those A-list kindred spirits, maybe add a line about looking forward to continuing your conversation.

Bonus: Before connecting, follow their social media platforms. This will help you get more of a sense of who they are, and also give you an opportunity to show up on their radar. And if there’s a post about the event you met at, add a comment.

3. Stay in touch

Relationship development doesn’t happen overnight. Sure, you may encounter a prospect at an event who has an immediate need for what you have to offer, and they’ll rushed through your process—but that’s also more exception than rule.

Go back to your priority list, and set an engagement schedule. Which of your contacts do you touch base with each week, every other week, once a month, once a quarter?

Remember, “engagement” can range from sending a note to say “Hi,” congratulating them on a milestone they posted, or sharing a resource via email or message.

It also includes commenting on their social media, inviting them to be a guest on your podcast, or scheduling a Zoom or in-person coffee.

Bonus: Remember, things don’t always move according to your timeline. If a relationship isn’t developing the way you think it should, there may be something else going on. Give it a break, and schedule a reminder to follow-up in a few months.

Going to events is an excellent way to meet new people and expand your tribe. Don’t let those new connections fall through the cracks.

Keep networking top of mind, be genuine in your interactions, and stay open to all the possibilities.


Debra Ecklerling @deckerling
Goal-Setting Expert, Virtual Speaker


Tell Us Below:

How do you follow up after a conference, mixer, or workshop?

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I connect with everyone on LinkedIn. I make sure to take pictures with people, and then when I post those to LI I can tag the new connections, (re) starting the conversations. It’s ALL in the follow up! Great tips, @deckerling

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Thanks for chiming in, @dorien! Gold stars for your wonderful connection strategies!

You and I are a great example! We met at a conference, connected online, and stayed in touch! Years later, we have spoken for each other’s podcasts and communities!

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Great article @deckerling ! I gave a talk at an in-person event last week about this very thing. I talked about before, during and after!

  1. Research who is going to be there
  2. Take photos and connect on LinkedIn using your QR code
  3. Follow up on LinkedIn.
    It’s a fair bit of work but it’s so worth it!
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Thanks for your comment, @sarah2

All these action items are different levels of time-consuming, but so worth it!

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Most people won’t bother with most of it, so I’ve found that it absolutely stands out—even if, as with me at the moment, there’s a bit of a delay to some of it! :heart:

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Absolutely @christine The right connections are always happy to hear from you - we all seek win-win situations for sure!

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