Today’s guest post is from Amy Moore, a speaker at TBEX Europe on the topic of How to Pitch.  If you’ve ever returned home from a conference with lots of business cards, but no idea what to do, you’ll want to pay close attention to Amy’s suggested follow ups.

Amy MooreLet this article be your reminder to follow up with contacts you made during TBEX in Costa Brava, if you haven’t already.  Following up is a crucial part of networking, and it is the biggest point of failure for many travel bloggers.

Why Follow Up is Necessary

Think back to how many conversations you had at TBEX.  I am willing to bet you had close to a hundred, if not more.   Every person you had a conversation with had as many connections as you did.  If it was an industry rep, think about what they do for a living.  They might have already been to another convention and had another hundred conversations since then.  While not every social exchange warrants follow up, you can see why a conversation you had could be easily forgotten without it.

Steps to Take Now

First, follow up on any action items you have after the convention.  Make following up on any specific partnership ideas with industry reps or other bloggers your top priority.  Hammer out the specific details, and get started!  Since you already have specifics in mind, this is the least likely to fall off your radar.

Next on the priority list is to begin on any non-specific plans you discussed.  If you know you vaguely want to work with someone you met at TBEX, develop a pitch and begin to discuss possibilities.

Building Relationships

After you take care of immediate priorities, don’t forget to follow up with people you met and want to establish a long term relationship with.  These are the other bloggers or industry reps you met that don’t fall into the categories above.  Maybe you don’t know how, or if, you’ll ever work with them in the future.  But you had a great conversation with them or you really love what they are doing.  Focuses shift and priorities change.  A casual, but genuine, relationship you begin today may pay off years down the road.

This is a continual process, however.  One quick email saying “great to meet you!” does not make a relationship.  Did you have a conversation about something you are both interested in?  Periodically when you see news about it, drop them a line and include a link you think they will find interesting.  Did you see a press release about their company or do you see a project they are working on that you find interesting?  Drop them an email and say so.  Congratulate them when they grow.  While it is far from rocket science, building relationships can be crucial to your long term success.