We’ve all been there. You go to a great event, meets lots of interesting people, hear amazing presentations, take pages of notes, and walk away excited, energized, and enthused about your next steps. You can’t wait to get started.
The post event lull. The after engagement blues. The back in the office overwhelm from all the things that didn’t get attention while you were away and all the new things you think you need to do because of what you just learned.
And it lingers…sometimes for days (or weeks) on end.
You wonder where the excitement went. You question the decisions (and perhaps the next step investments) you made at the event. You long to be back in that space, reconnected and reengaged with those amazing people. You fear that all those great ideas and insights will be lost forever, and never acted upon.
If you’re anything like me this feels all too familiar, and you would probably like to find a way to avoid it in the future (or deal with it at the moment if the experience is recent).
At the moment this is a critical issue for me. In the past 45 days I’ve attended two amazing events—Mike Kim’s Influence and Impact and Michael and Amy Port’s Heroic Public Speaking Live—events I would rank among the top five I’ve ever attended. And I don’t want to lose the momentum they have created for me in terms of new relationships and new insights.
That’s why I created The 5-Step Plan for Capturing the Momentum and Avoiding the Post-Event Lull:
STEP ONE—Capture Critical Content—If you’re a copious note-taker then you have several pages of notes. But chances are you can’t quickly locate or identify the gems in those notes. That’s why you need to review them and capture the critical content. Here’s how:
- Skim, scan, and scroll through all your notes to reacquaint yourself with the stuff you wrote down, adding any clarifying information that occurs to you as you go.
- Set your notes aside and make a list of the Top 10 Insights you picked up as you went through them.
- Return to your notes and highlight the areas where those insights were captured, and mark them for easy reference in the future.
STEP TWO—Connect and Create Relationships—Chances are you met a number of people at the event, collected a pile of business cards, and connected well with a few people you want to get to know better. Rather than just add those cards to a file, try this:
- Send an e-mail or a direct message to each person you met to remind them you met and let them know you’d like to stay connected.
- Invite them to connect with you on whatever social media platforms you use, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and let them know the kind of information you share there.
- Join any event specific groups that exist on Facebook or LinkedIn and contribute to the conversation; post any images you have from the event and tag the people who are in them to invite them into the conversation.
STEP THREE—Follow-Up and Fulfill Promises—Often when we meet people at an event we end up in conversations where we share potential resources that aren’t easily delivered in the event setting. Use this process to follow-up and fulfill any promises you made to people you met at the event:
- Reach out to the person and remind them of your conversation and the promise you made.
- Deliver whatever you promised to them in the way that makes it easiest for them to access; get their permission to send it to them since they may not remember the conversation the same way you do.
- Follow-up after you deliver whatever it was you promised to make sure they received it and were able to access it; consider asking them for their feedback if that makes sense in the context of what you have shared.
STEP FOUR—Share Your Insights with (at least) 3 People—It’s been said many times that ‘to teach is to learn twice,’ and I am a big believer in that statement. When you invest time in discussing insights you have gleaned from an event with others you cement the material and the context in your mind and you serve them. Here’s a quick path:
- Identify at least 3 people in your ‘inner circle’ who need to know the stuff you learned at the event.
- Invite them to join you (either one-on-one or as a group) for lunch or coffee, and let them know you learned some things at an event you attended that you would like to share with them.
- Share generously and focus on how what you learned might help them achieve better results, including any specific evidence you gained that relates to their business situation or industry.
STEP FIVE—Identify and Schedule Your Next Steps—Often we leave great events with too many ideas and no clear path for action. What matters most is taking the right next step and avoiding the temptation to rush off in too many different directions. Here’s my recommended process for avoiding that trap:
- Review your Top 10 Insights list and prioritize them in terms of relevance to where you are at this moment in time.
- Translate the Top 3 Insights into specific action steps you can take to produce a result that moves your business forward.
- Schedule each action step on your calendar to support completion within the next 30 days.
BONUS STEP: Consider writing a blog post, doing a live or recorded video, or a podcast episode sharing insights from the event. It allows you to relive the event and share it with others who can benefit; and in the process you gain clarity on the lessons you learned and how they fit in your business at this point in time.
Though I cannot claim perfection in the execution of this complete process every time I return from an event, I can tell you that it helps me get the most out of the events I attend. Use it, tweak it, and make it work for you so you can avoid the (inevitable) post-event lull and get the most leverage for you and your business from the events you attend!
P.S. What’s your best tip for getting traction after events? Please post a comment and share it so we can try it. Thanks!