Now that one of Gospel music’s biggest weekends is over, what will you do with all of the cards, phone numbers and email addresses you collected during the Stellar Awards? It is important to attempt to make good on the time you spent and the connections/contacts you made.
Now granted, “Hollywood talk” apparently runs rampant during social events like these. Everyone is eager to exchange contacts and excited to work with you in the future. But, after the excitement of the moment dies down, that same sentiment may not be true. Don’t let this discourage you. Do not attempt to distinguish who was being “real” or “fake” when deciding whom you will follow up with. Follow up with every contact you made. You never know, the extra steps you make in post-event activities could make the difference on the overall impression you make.
Many people neglect the importance of post-event activities and proper follow-up procedures. I’ve found, that paying attention to these details will set you apart from the sea of people who may be attempting to contact the same people as yourself.
Below are some helpful tips in the art of the follow up and how to successfully network with business contacts.
First, Prioritize and Organize.
Take the time to separate the contacts you made into categories: radio personnel, artists, program directors, television executives, etc. Within those sub-categories, begin to make notes of the conversations you had with each contact. Attempt to make these notes as quickly after the event as possible to ensure that you remember as many details as possible. Then, organize these contacts (and the notes you attached for each) into whatever system you use to hold contacts (i.e. cell phone, Google contacts, LinkedIn contacts, etc.)
After that, prioritize this list into which you would like to contact first. As stated earlier, however, it is important to make contact with everyone you met, even if you simply state how much of a pleasure it was meeting them. But, contacting the president of a record label may be more important to you than the magazine publisher you met. It simply depends on what your goals are at the moment.
Second, Make Contact.
It is important to remember how each contact told you they prefer to be reached, which is why it’s beneficial to make these reminder notes as soon as possible. You may think you will remember, but after a long night of meeting several people, it all could become a blur before you know it. So, if someone told you to call them next week, do just that. Do not send an email if they specifically requested that you call (and vice versa).
Also noteworthy is proper email etiquette. I prefer sending separate emails to each contact in order to make the correspondence more personal by including elements of our interaction in order to jog the memory of the recipient. However, if you find it more beneficial to send a mass email to certain sub-categories, please be sure to use the “Blind CC” (blind carbon copy) option. This protects each recipient of your email from having their contact released to other parties. It also prevents you from looking negligent and careless with other people’s information. Furthermore, you may not want everyone to know whom you are contacting (even though you may be sending out the same information).
Finally, Repeat As Needed.
This process is cyclical. Once you’ve made your first round of contacts, you will need to continually follow up with those who responded back to you. It would be beneficial for you to even contact those who may not have responded to your initial call or email. But, please remember there is a fine line between being persistent and being a pest. Give people an adequate grace period of time to respond to you. If you have not heard back from someone within a week or two, make another attempt to reach them. But, always be kind and polite. Don’t show any frustration in having to make multiple attempts. At the end of the day, this is business, not personal. So, do not take it personally if someone does not respond. Just continue to work your system and maximize on the successful contacts you’ve made.
I’m looking forward to your responses to this post. What are some other post-event networking tools you utilize?

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