Here are some ideas to implement right now, because just taking notes and getting excited about new ideas isn't enough to build your business. It's time to implement!
- Low-hanging fruit: Look over your notes from the convention and isolate 3-6 ideas that are the easiest to implement. These are typically short term concepts which are low cost and require very little time to launch. It could be as simple as adding something new to your products/services list, or a technique you learned in a workshop, etc.
- Long term projects: You probably picked up a few ideas on projects that are more labor intensive, but don't let them just disappear. Take the time to make a list and then isolate some time a few weeks from now to look over the list and start to develop a plan of attack. But, if you just keep the ideas in your head without a physical list to read over, those great ideas will become yesterday's dreams!
- Make a list of the most significant people who you met during the week. These are people you're going to want to pull into your network. That means both following them on Twitter and friending them on Facebook.
- Send a few thank-you notes. If a particular vendor or even a speaker gave you some extra time and attention, nothing beats getting them to remember you better than a short note to say thanks. And don't use a store bought card - use your own images on your stationery!
- Product and companies that can make a difference: You walked the trade show and saw new products and companies you're interested in. Take the time to follow up, which could be as simple as a visit to their website, but it all starts with thinking through what you saw at the convention and making a list of companies and products.
- Special offers from the convention. Look through all the literature you collected while at the show. For example, if you made it over to Marathon's booth you hopefully picked up your coupon code for a free 16x24 Bella Art Print. Don't let that opportunity to test drive the quality of Bella fall through the cracks.
- Download your images. Did you take a few shots at the convention? Did you follow my previous advice and get a few pictures of you interacting with vendors and other attendees? Download them and put them in a file on your desktop. They'll come in handy for blog material and publicity releases down the road.
- Keep in touch. Odds are you made some new friends at the convention. Take the time to make a list of those people you met who you want to keep in touch with as friends. The best thing about this industry is the friendships that come out of everyone's mutual love for the craft.
Your follow-up after a convention is just as important as all the planning you put in on the front-end. In fact, in terms of growing your business and your skill set, it's more important. You just invested several days of your time to become a better artist and business owner - don't let the enthusiasm disappear with the day in day out challenges of the business and your life!
Photo Credit: © magann