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  1. #1

    Now What? - Post-Convention Thoughts

    Folks,

    Thanks to all who organized and made possible the great convention and trade show. The show was wonderful and so were the people I met.

    Having attended many conventions/trade shows in other industries over the past 15 years, I still struggle, upon return, to make sure I don't squander the value I received from the convention by immediately becoming consumed again with my daily tasks. I've learned a few things over the years that work for me, and thought I'd share them as my small way of giving something back.

    Business Cards
    You are returning with many business cards that you obtained from others. Most likely these are in one or more loose stacks, in different pockets, and in no particular order. Many of these cards represent people or companies that you wish to follow up with. Other cards you will look at and not remember who they are at all.

    Most likely these cards will end up in a neat stack, probably somewhere near your monitor or phone. One day you will knock them over, re-stack them, look through them, and decide to wrap them in a rubber band until such time as you get caught up enough to go through them and follow up. Seven months later they will still be there, reminding you daily of how disorganized you are, and you will throw the entire stack in the trash. This has happened to me many times in years past, and when I talk to others about it, they admit the same.

    Instead, what I now find useful is to set aside an “appointment with my cards" on my day timer, 3 to 7 days after returning. I make sure that I have undisturbed time to go through and follow up with any promises made such as "I'll follow up with you when I get back home" or "I'll send you that info next week". I treat this appointment as seriously as I would any other important appointment, and it can't be bumped or put off no matter how busy I am.

    If you haven't done so already, it is also helpful to write notes on the back of the business cards such as "sat next to Monday lunch. Does server admin" or "told I would email info on services" or whatever else might be useful to jog you memory and the reason you are keeping that business card.

    Ideas, Brochures, Projects, Etc.
    Much like your stack of cards, you have that beige bag filled with goodies, brochures, your notes, hackysacks, rubber pigs, and stuff that you intent to sort through when you have time. This bag, if it escapes from your suitcase, will most likely find a resting place on a book shelf, under your desk, or elsewhere in your office until such time as you can get to it. Seven months later, it will remain where you left it upon return from the airport, and you will throw it away (or put it in a new place with renewed intentions).

    Instead, I have personally found that I have to, as with the business cards, make an “appointment with my bag of stuff". I set an appointment with my bag of stuff and spread it all out on the conference table (or dinner table), and I spend an hour or two sorting through everything, making notes on a yellow pad, creating a to-do list, then throw the rest of it away. My rule of thumb is, if I don't know at that time exactly why I want to keep something and how I plan to follow up or utilize the information, it gets tossed.

    The to-do list will result in items being placed in my day timer or appointment book so I can make sure they don't fall through the cracks and that any new ideas I have will actually have a chance at being implemented.

    I could go on, but the above are just a couple of things that work for me personally to help make sure that I get the highest possible return from the time and money I invested in attending the trade show.

    Steve
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Arlington Heights, IL
    Posts
    504
    Very good post and very useful suggestions. Thank you!
    George A. Roberts IV ~ President & CEO, Purity Networks

    Powerful, easy to use antispam services

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Kirkland, WA
    Posts
    4,448

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    203
    I have to agree witrh everyone, these are some very usefull suggestions that you have posted, I have been guilty of the same in the past myself and am proceeding with implementation.. Thank you again.. Mouse
    Frank Spaulding COO Purity Networks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    237
    Hostingcon was just great.... I bet it'll be 2-3 times the size it was this year, next year... I can't wait... thanks to all the people who put this together

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    203
    Originally posted by ee99ee
    Hostingcon was just great.... I bet it'll be 2-3 times the size it was this year, next year... I can't wait... thanks to all the people who put this together
    Thank you and everyone for the positive comments, it will still be a couple weeks or so of work closing out Hostingcon2005, once that is done we will take a little time and breath and then start compiling all of the lessons learned and begin implementing them into planning for Hostingcon2006 as we sort out where, when, etc.. Mouse
    Frank Spaulding COO Purity Networks

  7. #7
    Thank you and everyone for the positive comments, it will still be a couple weeks or so of work closing out Hostingcon2005, once that is done we will take a little time and breath and then start compiling all of the lessons learned and begin implementing them into planning for Hostingcon2006 as we sort out where, when, etc.. Mouse
    You guys did a great job. Most trade events this large are handled and managed by professional association management companies. For you guys to have pulled this off the first time with the small number of glitches (that I noticed at least) was an undertaking that many may not fully understand or appreciate. It's a massive amount of work and logistical planning and you guys made it work.

    Now take a break !!
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