Guest Blog - Use LinkedIn Before, During and After a Conference
We’ve all been told that in order to be successful we have to network, right? And for many of us that means attending industry specific conferences that can feel more like a lesson in extreme exhaustion than in building strong relationships.
So if we’re supposed to attend these conferences and come away with new ideas, new contacts and ideally potential leads where does one even start?
Lucky for you, I’m going to share my dear friend, Joyce Feustel’s blog, Use LinkedIn Before, During and After a Conference. Her tips are smart, savvy and will help you learn how to truly utilize a ‘behind the screen’ tool when you’re ready to meet people face-to-face at your next conference or networking event!
Huge thanks to Joyce!
Use LinkedIn Before, During and After a Conference
Have you thought to use LinkedIn before, during and after a conference you attend?
Recently, I attended the 2019 Toastmasters International Convention, held right here in the Denver area. This event was attended by over 2,000 people from all around the world. I found LinkedIn to be very handy before, during and after the conference.
For those not familiar with Toastmasters, it’s the premier organization for helping people improve their communication and leadership skills. Learn more about the organization and the many benefits of membership at www.toastmasters.org.
Use LinkedIn Before the Conference
Post about whatever you’re planning to attend.Let’s suppose you are already connected on LinkedIn with folks likely to attend this event. Your post might lead to one or more reaching out to you, even if they can’t attend physically.
Review the LinkedIn profiles of conference presenters to help you determine whether to attend their sessions. Often there are two or more concurrent breakout sessions. Finding out more about the presenters can help you decide which are best for you.
Research candidates running for office by looking at their profiles. At the convention I just attended, over a dozen people were running for positions on the board of directors of Toastmasters International. Their LinkedIn profiles were very helpful as I decided whom to vote for.
Use LinkedIn During the Conference
Connect with attendees and presenters. As you meet people at the event, ask them if they’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn. Then, use your LinkedIn mobile app to send an invite right after you talk with them. Or you can wait until after you get home.
Ask people to reach out to you on LinkedIn. Sometimes other attendees may not have a business card with them. One way to continue your conversation is to give them your card and ask them to send you an invite. This makes it easier for them as they can do it on the spot if they have the app.
Communicate with attendees using the LinkedIn messaging feature. This is an easy way to quickly get in touch with another attendee. It’s especially helpful if you don’t have their email address or phone number handy.
Post about your experiences. Posting during the event adds a sense of immediacy and might encourage those interested but unable to attend to connect or interact.
Use LinkedIn After the Conference
Follow up via LinkedIn invites and messages. Often people are in overload mode during a busy conference. So, you might prefer to wait until shortly after it’s over to reach out to them. Using this approach, you can review their profile and send a more customized note with your invite.
Post about your experiences. Posting during the event is great, however, posting (again or for the first time) a day or two afterwards, gives you time to reflect on the event and its benefits. Be sure to use the @ sign to reference presenters and attendees. LinkedIn will notify them that you mentioned them. Now your name is associated with influencers and other key people who were at the event.
How About You?
How have you used LinkedIn before, during, and after a conference or other major event? Which approaches worked best for you?
Joyce Feustel helps people, especially those age 45 and up, become more effective using social media, especially Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter. She provides social media tutoring and training to business owners, business development professionals, authors, speakers, coaches, business consultants, job seekers, and many others. Find her at www.boomerssocialmediatutor.com