Are you using these 4 online networking tactics to follow up on conference leads?

woman-1446557_960_720October is a busy month for business networking events in Yorkshire. Today sees Yorkshire business leaders and professionals gather in Harrogate for the annual Brand Yorkshire conference. If you’ve missed the boat for Brand Yorkshire, do not fear! Later this month, Leeds Business Week will bring thousands to venues across Leeds city centre for a week-long programme of high profile speakers, workshops and events for and about the thriving business community in the North.

Networking opportunities in Yorkshire are numerous, giving business leaders plenty of scope for face to face networking. But if you’re investing your time and resources into networking events, how do you keep the momentum going on opportunities and leads during and after the event?

In this post we pick out some highlights for forthcoming Yorkshire business events, and then share our tips and advice on using digital and social media to follow up on your networking leads after the event.

Brand Yorkshire 2016

The Brand Yorkshire conference comprises a number of speaker sessions, designed for delegates to listen and learn from some of the most successful business individuals in the UK and develop solid business strategies.

This year’s keynote speakers include Phil Sibson, a tenacious business developer who has developed a string of successful businesses. Phil will talk about how to add value to your bottom line with SMART procurement. Team Yorkshire Rows will also tell their inspirational story at the conference of how four mums from Yorkshire became the first women to row the North Sea and hold a world record in rowing across the Atlantic. And Brand Yorkshire’s own Richard Norman will talk about how to develop and implement a full marketing plan.

Leeds Business Week 2016

Leeds Business Week is the UK’s biggest business week. Run by The Yorkshire Mafia and including 100 seminars, workshops, conferences, product launches, exhibitions and many more, Leeds Business Week attracts thousands of professionals from across the country.

I’ll be speaking at two events:

  • ‘Social media on toast’ 17th October: Now SOLD OUT!
  • ‘Amazing tools for social media strategy and ROI’ 19th October: Click here to book.

Find out more about the Leeds Business Week 2016 here and view the full programme here.

Digital and social media tips and advice for post-event networking

To maximise opportunities from your conference networking events and make sure your leads don’t go cold after the event, here are some simple tips on using digital to keep momentum going and achieve ROI after the event.

(1) Follow and use the event hashtag coffee-break-1177540_960_720

Most conferences or events will have a hashtag. Why not try the hashtags #BrandYorkshire and #LeedsBizWeek? By getting involved online and on social media, whether its leading up to the event, or posting images and Tweeting whilst your there, or if you have written a blog or review about the conference, use the hashtag! This is an excellent opportunity to start conversations online with other attendees, or join in on them! It’s a great way to get your content on the radar of the relevant people, and in turn get yourself and your business on their radar!

Look out for others posting at the event, can you arrange some meetings? Use a social content curation platform like Hootsuite to set up related keyword searches to look out for people enquiring about your services or industry topic, and follow the hashtag conversations to scan for opportunities. Be helpful and respond to others’ enquiries by giving helpful insights. Join in conversations, be generous with your contacts and knowledge. And include the event hashtag in your related tweets and posts to increase their reach and exposure.

(2) Maintain relationships through social media

Not only is it important to make those connections with individuals in person at the conference and swap business cards. Also remember to connect on business social media platforms such as LinkedIn too. A top tip is to do this straight away or at the latest, later that night. Conference visitors may meet hundreds of people at an event – so connect while they still remember your conversation! By connecting on social media you can easily learn more about someone’s business and tap into their business network. Set yourself reminders to follow up with them at a later date or book a meeting in.

(3) Educational opportunities – Listen and learn, and then turn it into a blog!

No matter how experienced or inexperienced you are in business and your field, it’s never too late or too early to learn from others. Networking events (online and offline) expose you to fresh ideas and different points of views, so you can business-people-1166576_960_720stay on top of new trends and ideas that could have a knock-on effect on for future business.

Attending conferences brings educational opportunities, which a great opportunity for a blog post! Share your new found knowledge with your audience and of course credit where you resourced your new area of expertise from, whether it be a speaker or from the event itself. This is also a great opportunity to link or tag relevant people and companies when you share the blog on your social media and website – and ask them for a retweet! This allows you to become a resource for other business people who were unable to attend that particular event.

(4) Observe your competitors

It’s no coincidence your competitors are present at the same conference as you. Like you, they’re there to learn, network and benefit from the unique energy physical conferences, events and meetings provide. Without running the risk of looking like a ‘business stalker’ by nestling up too close to your competitors, take advantage of the exposure to other businesses within your sector by observing, learning and undertaking some competitor benchmarking.

Do you have a social media plan for your conferences and events? What social platforms do you find most useful for events engagement and how do you use them? It is important to be aware of relevant events for your business and proactively seek them out. Have you registered for Leeds Business Week 2016 yet?

For more digital marketing tips and ideas be sure to sign up to our blog.

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