One of the many tasks we have when we return from a technical meeting
is to follow up with contacts using the business cards we have received.
Some of the follow up happens automatically, like when someone sends
a Linkedin invitation, which acts as a mutual follow-up.
There are also people who you want to connect with and provide specific
information and people who you want to work with on a common project
collaboratively. Fact of the matter is that if we did not have these
little business cards, with short notes on the back reminding us of the
situations of meeting, follow up actions and points of information we
would lose much of the purpose for attending meetings– committed
Not long ago, Joanna Stern authored a piece in the WSJ telling of many
of the attempts to create digital replacements for business cards. Her
conclusion and items from many commentators: Keep on using them
and learn some business card tricks.
Coincidentally, while I was at a recent meeting Diane Darling (one of
the better speakers I have attended) sent an email in which she included
How to Process Cards after an event. Some of her ideas are in the
Within 24-48 Hours
Send thank you notes for kind gestures, to hosts, for people who
provided you professional services [I believe this is critical.].
Invite specific people into Linkedin and connect with your
contacts to establish if there is mutual value in sharing a reference.
Diane recommends doing a ‘more professional job’ than the
standard invitation in LI. (I suggest this only when the situation
calls for it.)
If you promised a specific follow up, comply. If you cannot do it
within 2 days, I suggest a short note telling when you can do
Diane and I like to note Linkedin, follow-up plans and items
on the cards we receive and keep them for future reference. I
also like to organize the cards in a card file and, funny little thing,
I attach post-its with added ideas and connections in my hotel
room and return flight home, while things are relatively fresh.