One of the best ways to get attendees for your own event is to attend other events. After all, people who go to events already understand the value of attending events. You meet some great, like-minded people at workshops and seminars. If you host a local workshop, going to networking events also expands your circle of influence and exposes you to more people to invite to your event.
However, when you meet so many people, you need a system to be able to follow up with your event connections.
Having stacks of business cards on your desk is not an efficient way of staying in contact with your prospects.
Adding everyone to your email list is NOT an option, because they have not given you permission. Seriously, I cannot tell you how many newsletters I receive because I have met a person at a networking meeting. NOT COOL!
What you can do, and I encourage you to do so, is to add your new event connections to your social networks. That is an easy way to stay in touch with them.
My favorite way to process the business cards I receive and to follow up is through CardMunch, a free app on my iPhone.
Here is how it works:
- Take picture of the business card. The key here is that if you can read it, the card can be transcribed.
- Upload the card and submit it to be transcribed. It can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours before you get it back and you can add it to your contacts.
- Add notes. The notes will automatically let you know when you uploaded the card, but you will want to add some other details as well. For instance, where you met and what you talked about are always good things to remember.
When it comes back, you have a few (1-click) options.
Send them an email.
This is an excellent way to say how much you enjoyed meeting them and offer your ethical bribe. If they are a good prospect, they will appreciate that and opt in to your email list. If not, you can still stay in touch, just not through your regular ezine.
Add them to your contacts.
This is a great feature of CardMunch. Although you can add them to your contacts, you don’t have to. After all, you don’t want to have every single person you meet in your iPhone contacts. That contact list is usually reserved for people you will call frequently, friends and family. Adding everyone else would clutter it up and make it unwieldy.
Thankfully, CardMunch has its own contact list in the application. That way you have a separate contact list of your business contacts and event connections.
Invite them to connect on LinkedIn.
I always like to add a note reminding the person where we’ve met, but CardMunch does not give you that option. However, if you’ve just met and had a conversation that may not be necessary. Yet another reason to follow up immediately. Once they have accepted your LinkedIn invitation, their LinkedIn profile is now included in their contact information.
CardMunch is a simple way to get rid of those stacks of business cards and connect with the people that you meet. Although it is only available for the iPhone right now, since it is owned by LinkedIn, chances are that they will expand the service.
Make sure you use LinkedIn to fill your workshops and seminars. LinkedIn is a great way to connect with and prospect for those professionals and that could benefit from your events. If you want to learn more about how to do that, check out How to Market a Seminar with Social Media.
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