It’s easy to think that the hard part of networking is the event itself, and if we can navigate that successfully, we’ve done our jobs well and the work will come in. But a big part of successful relationship development is continuity, and that means following up AFTER an event to ensure that you don’t drop off the other person’s radar. Particularly at this time of year, it’s easy to become very busy and distracted (both you and your prospects!) and no longer be top of mind with someone that you really may want to be better connected to.

So what should you do after a networking event? FOLLOW UP!

Here are three easy ways to ensure that you don’t lose the momentum that you’ve established:

  1. Reach out: Within three days of meeting someone, reach out to them by email or phone to follow up on a conversation that you’ve had. If it was an event with an attendee list, use that to inform your connecting so that you don’t forget anyone that you may have met – importantly, don’t just reach out to everyone on the list. Make sure that anyone you email or call is someone that you genuinely connected with, and will remember having a conversation with you. If appropriate, arrange to have a phone call to continue a conversation that you were having when you last met. Consider sharing photos, or an article that may be relevant to them.
  2. Connect via social media: This is a favorite of mine because it’s really easy, and keeps you connected on an ongoing basis. The easiest thing to do is check on LinkedIn for the other attendees and connect with them.  That way, you can keep up with their activity more regularly.  For ILN members, we also recommend joining our LinkedIn group so that they can continue to interact with their colleagues online. Facebook and Twitter are good options as well – do a quick search for the attendees on these platforms if you’re using them and are comfortable connecting professionally on them. A good tip here is that if you know someone that may be a good connection for them, make an introduction for them through the platform – you’re already showing them that your relationship is valuable to them, and it really makes you top of mind for them.
  3. Check your calendar: One of the things we recommend to our members is meeting with ILN attorneys when they’re visiting another member firm’s city.  When you return from a conference or an event, it’s a great time to take a quick look at your calendar for the next few months and see where you’ll be traveling.  Check these cities against the list of the people you met at the conference, and drop them a quick email to arrange to have lunch or coffee. If you were attending a local event, see if you can get a meeting on the calendar with someone that you connected with, so that you can get to know them a little better one on one. It’s great to have the social media and online connections, but the goal with any relationship development is to take that relationship offline, so that you can further deepen the connection.

A bonus tip – when you have a networking event in your calendar, schedule these tips into your calendar as well for the day after, so that you’re less likely to forget to do them. It’s easy to get caught up in work when we get back to the office, especially if the networking event is a conference or long event. So if you can set yourself up for success by dedicating 15-20 minutes to follow up, you’ll be really making the most out of your relationship development activities!

Photo of Lindsay Griffiths Lindsay Griffiths

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles…

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles recruitment, member retention, and a high level of service to members. She is engaged in the legal industry to stay on top of trends, both in law firms and law firm networks.

In her role as Executive Director, she develops and facilitates relationships among ILN member firm lawyers at 90+ law firms in 67 countries, and seeks opportunities for member firms to build business and relationships, while ensuring member participation in Network events and initiatives. These initiatives include facilitating referrals, the management and execution of the marketing and business development strategy for the Network, which encompasses all communications, push-down efforts, and marketing partnerships, providing support and guidance to the chairs and group leaders for the ILN’s thirteen practice and industry specialty groups, the ILN’s women’s initiative, the ILN’s mentorship program, the management and execution of all ILN conferences, and more.

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2019

During her previous tenure as Director of Global Relationship Management, the ILN has been shortlisted as a Global Law Firm Network of the Year by The Lawyer for 2016 and 2017, and included as a Chambers & Partners Leading Law Firm Network since 2011. She was awarded “Thought Leader of the Year” by the Legal Marketing Association’s New York chapter in 2014 for her substantive contributions to the industry, and was recently included in Clio’s list for “34 People in Legal You Should Follow on Twitter.” She was also chosen for the American Bar Association Journal’s inaugural Web 100‘s Best Law Blogs, where judge Ivy Grey said “This blog is outstanding, thoughtful and useful.” Ms. Griffiths was recently chosen for as a Top Author by JD Supra in their 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, for the level of engagement and visibility she attained with readers on the topic of marketing & business development. She has been the author of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking since February of 2009.