Now that you’ve settled back into the groove after returning from Catersource Conference & Tradeshow, you may be wondering: What now? Amidst a wedding boom unlike any other, it may feel challenging to process and apply what you learned while diving back into the thick of running your event business.
If your schedule is packed, you may not have time to do everything you planned while at the conference. If nothing else, prioritize these three steps to maximize your attendance and make the most of your investment.
Set aside time to decompress and reflect.
There’s a good chance you came home with a notebook full of ideas and takeaways to apply to your business. When you get back to your office, consider how you can incorporate what you learned. The key here is to start small. Taking on too much at once is an easy way to lose control of your focus.
Pick something approachable and share it with your team—it may be a sales technique, an upcoming trend, or an operational strategy. If you’re browsing your notes and questions arise, don’t be afraid to reach out to some speakers for clarity! Continuing the conversation will help you better implement the lessons learned and open a dialogue that may form the foundation of a valuable relationship.
Be intentional with follow-up.
Attending a conference is about networking as much as it’s about education, particularly Catersource where we get to connect with fellow industry professionals within our field of expertise. So if you came home with more business cards than you can count, you’re not alone! Just don’t let those new connections dissolve before they turn into anything.
Block off some time to follow up with everyone you connected with at Catersource—even those you already knew going into the conference. It’s as simple as sending “so nice to see you” emails when you return to the office. For potential clients or partners, you’ll want to personalize the outreach a bit more to speak to a potential collaboration.
Cultivate your new relationships.
The big goal of networking is to establish long-term relationships, so in addition to sending a quick email, be sure to follow everyone you met on social media. A simple follow opens the door to further engagement with other brands and industry pros, which can lead to new opportunities for your business.
Keep tabs on other people’s big wins and go the extra mile to congratulate them. A small congratulatory gift for a major speaking gig or the launch of a new service can mean the world to someone and keep you top-of-mind when they’re in the position to refer business or reach out with a new project idea.
While your schedule may look busier than it has in the past, remember why you decided to attend Catersource in the first place. Whether you went for the education or the networking opportunities, you walked away with both—so make sure your investment doesn’t go unappreciated!