You can’t follow up too soon after meeting someone at a conference.
If there is downtime on the exhibit hall floor, start organizing business cards and leads right there. You can finish this up in the hotel room later on.
This way you can schedule more time with key people and fill holes in your meeting schedule while you are still at the conference.
Sometimes that is not possible, so get the business cards organized and follow up that night with an email and/or LinkedIn connection.
When you get back to the office, break out a pen and some thank you cards for hand-written notes.
No novels – just a couple or three sentences to further your conversation and set up a phone call.
In some cases, you’ll also want to send out literature, brochures, sales kits, etc. Hopefully, you pulled together all of that stuff before the conference, and now it’s ready to go in the mail.
If you don’t hear back from that initial contact in a week, drop them an email or ring their phone to jumpstart the relationship.
Nobody else is going to do all this, and if you have a good address for each contact you can expect at or around a 100% open rate.
Trust me, they have a nice impact.