How to Follow Up After a Networking Event
Timing is of the essence when writing a follow-up letter to a contact you met at a networking event. By following up, you solidify your relationship with that person. Following up also gives you a chance to ask a particular question, or even arrange a time to meet one-on-one.
It's best to follow up within 24 hours of meeting. Express your appreciation for their time and include details pertaining to the conversation you had.
Read below for more specific advice on when and how to follow up. Also, see a sample follow-up letter to send to a contact you met at a networking event. Use this sample as a guide to help you start a professional conversation and relationship.
Tips for Following Up With a Contact from a Networking Event
Follow up within 24 hours. You want to follow up quickly so that the acquaintance remembers you. Send an email or letter within 24 hours of meeting him or her.
Mention a conversation from the event. To help remind the person who you are, mention a conversation or topic you discussed at the event. For example, you might say, “I enjoyed speaking with you after the keynote lecture at the XYZ Conference.” A quick reference to your conversation will help jog a person’s memory.
Offer to help. When making a networking contact, it is always a good idea to offer help before asking for a favor. If there is any way you can help the contact, do so (perhaps you had offered to connect him with someone, or maybe she asked you to forward an article you were discussing).
Ask to meet up. Suggest a time to meet up for coffee if you live in the same area. You might phrase it as a chance to continue a particular conversation you were having at the event. For example, you might write, “I would love to continue our discussion of best practices in cloud computing. Perhaps we could meet next week and discuss further over coffee?”
Connect on LinkedIn. Connect with the contact on LinkedIn to further strengthen your professional relationship. Once you get to know the person better, you might ask him or her to write you a recommendation on LinkedIn. However, don’t ask for this favor in your follow-up email. Focus on your connection, rather than asking for anything too specific.
Edit, edit, edit. Whether you send your follow-up note as a letter or an email, be sure to thoroughly edit the message before sending it. Remember that this is a professional message. You want to make a strong, positive impression. Therefore, make sure there are no spelling or grammar errors in your letter.
Follow-up Letter to a Contact From a Networking Event
Mr. Alan Thompson
ABC Legal Associates
123 Main St.
Albany, NY 12201
January 31, 20XX
Dear Mr. Thompson,
It was a pleasure meeting you at the Albany Young Business Professionals Reception last Friday. Your insights into the future of environmental law were fascinating and only increased my interest in the field.
As you recommended, I contacted John Smith to discuss potential job openings at his firm. I will be meeting with him next weekend.
Please let me know if you hear of any other job openings for a paralegal in your firm, or if you have any further suggestions for people whom I should contact regarding open positions. I have attached my resume for your review.
Thank you so much for your assistance. I hope to see you at the Albany Young Business Professionals Cocktail Reception in the fall.
234 Longview Rd.
Saratoga Springs, NY 12286
Following Up Via Email
In the subject of the message, include your name so your contact knows who the message is coming from. (For example, Subject: Jane Adams - Update) Your message will have a better chance of being opened and read if the recipient is aware of who is writing.