Last night I attended a super fun networking event at the Village Pourhouse. Meet the Neighbors was a chance for young publishing professionals to meet one another and oftentimes, exchange our very first business cards.
I had that Ugly Betty episode in my head the whole time. You know, the one where she goes to a similar networking event and ends up making a similarly ugly friend in a sea full of model-like magazine professionals and then gives the ugly girl Mode's next cover story? Eep! Anyway, without giving away any of my house's secrets, I was determined to make some publishing friends.
My goal was to give out 10 business cards. I thought that was a good solid number. I failed. But I still managed to hand out 5 business cards and collect 3, so I thought I was a (minor) success.
Flash forward to today. It was really great that I put myself out there, talked to people I didn't know, and attempted to make connections, but what now? What are those connections worth if I don't follow up on them?
I took tips from the following sites to help in drafting e-mails to the three ladies that I collected cards from:
10 Things to Do Immediately After a Networking Event
Big Tips for Effective E-mail Follow-Up
7 Steps to Follow Up Success
Early this morning I wrote each of my connections a similar e-mail telling them how great it was to meet each of them. I told them I'd like to keep in contact, and if they were free for lunch or coffee, I would really like to hear more about their respective areas of business. Then I suggested we connect on Facebook or LinkedIn.
So far, I've heard back from one of them and we'll hopefully be having lunch within the next couple of weeks.