You booked your flight, bought your ticket, and began the process of planning for SaaStr Annual ‘17. You followed your favorite speakers on Twitter and after months of anticipation, the day finally came. Not only were you were ready, but you had the SaaStr Events app in hand and were a rockstar attendee. You spent three days packed with breakout sessions, keynote speakers, networking and more. Before you knew it, SaaStr Annual ‘17 flew by and sadly, came to an end. Just because SaaStr Annual is over doesn’t mean the work stops. In fact, it’s when the real work begins. Here’s our rundown of the 6 things you need to do now.
1. Share your knowledge
You’ve learned so much over the course of three days. Don’t let those great insights fade once you return back to the office. Since you likely didn’t bring your entire team with you (props if you did!) review your notes, gather the best slides and share your knowledge with your team and industry peers. Consider writing a blog post about your conference experience. It can be a great source of web traffic and helps cement key takeaways. You can then use that blog post to join the conversation on social media and stay on the radar of prospects and attendees.
2. Create an action plan
Ride the post conference wave and schedule a brainstorm session once you return home. Enlist the help of your team to turn your new found inspiration into an action plan. Start by reviewing your notes and create a takeaway list. Were you inspired by a founder? Did you love an idea or strategy you learned about? Think about how each insight could impact your own business or department. From there, transfer your knowledge into an action plan and work it into your next meeting.
3. Keep the momentum going
With so many people at SaaStr, you’ll likely be heading home with a stack of business cards crumpled in your swag bag. If there is one thing you do, make sure you send a quick follow up to each contact you made via LinkedIn or by email. Either way, make sure you contact each person (whether it be a thought leader, a prospect, or a new friend) with a personalized — not generic — message.
4. Get social
Use multiple channels to stay in touch with your new contacts. Find them on Facebook/Twitter/ LinkedIn and talk to them. Follow up and see how they are implementing the lessons learned during the conference. Engage with your prospects, fellow sponsors and even the new people who started following you during the conference. If a speaker impressed or inspired you, don’t be afraid to let them know! This type of gesture can potentially lead to a valuable connection later on (or maybe just a retweet).
Take a moment and reflect on your conference goals. What resonated with you most? Did you get to listen to the sessions that mattered to you? Did you meet with enough prospects? Going to an industry conference isn’t just about collecting business cards and expanding your professional network; it’s also about your professional development. Did the conference make you realize that you have a skills gap? If so, take the time to decide what steps you need to take to improve.
If you were a sponsor, sit down with your team and analyze your performance. What worked? What didn’t? Take advantage of the resources around you and make a plan of what you’re going to do differently next time. If you find that your biggest hurdle was from the conference organizer, send a note. Let them know your concerns so next year you won’t face those same issues.
6. Thank your team
Attending a conference is truly a team effort that includes cross department coordination and a tremendous about of prep. You most likely had help from your sales team lining up meetings and your marketing department providing you with any collateral you needed. If your boss or coworker advocated on your behalf so you could attend a conference, be sure and offer your appreciation to them as well. Thank your team when you return back to the office. Sharing your appreciation and a sincere “thank you” can go a long way, particularly if you’d like to attend future conferences.
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