LinkedIn is an ideal tool to create relationships and keep contact with people you meet at conferences, meetings, events etc. In this article, we give you 10 tips for using LinkedIn before, during and after a live event.
Update your LinkedIn profile
Overall, it is essential that you ensure that your LinkedIn profile is updated before an event. Go through your profile and check whether the information on your profile is accurate and up to date – at a minimum, make sure that your workplace and job title is correct.
In addition, it is important that you have chosen a professional and lifelike profile picture, so that other participants at the event can recognize you. When people recognize you, they can have a feeling of trust, which can be an advantage, because people are more likely to do business with people they know, like and trust.
It can be a good idea to use a background image that shows your current projects, the company you work for or a relevant picture according to the event.
Research the other participants before the event
Before an event, it is a good idea to check up on other participants, speakers, organizers and sponsors. Furthermore, it is a good idea to join groups on LinkedIn that are related to the event.
If you come across some particular relevant people that you want to be sure to get in touch with, you can ask to connect with them on LinkedIn before the event. However, remember the personal message, in which you can introduce yourself and explain why you should be connected. Mention the event and tell them that you are looking forward to continue the dialogue there.
Once you start to connect with people at the event, you may want to use a tag with the name of the event, so that you easily can identify them again. This creates structure and overview of your, hopefully, many new connections. Learn more about tags.
NB! Tags will from March 31, 2017 be removed from the free version of LinkedIn and instead become part of the paid product, Sales Navigator (updated December 14, 2016).
If you know in advance that you are about to connect with a lot of new people, it can save you a lot of time and energy to prepare some messages that are ready to be sent when you are connecting with someone. You can prepare a message to send out when you ask to connect, when you have to ask a mutual friend for an introduction and a follow-up message for after the event.
Download the LinkedIn app
If you are not already using the LinkedIn app for your smart phone, you should start using the app prior to a live event. It will make it both quicker and easier to connect and send out messages when you are at the event.
Be active on LinkedIn during the event and move the contacts you are making offline to your online network. People are more willing to accept your invitation if you are standing right in front of them, so it is a good idea to recommend that you keep in contact on LinkedIn when the dialogue is flowing and trust is built. Here the app is useful.
When you access LinkedIn from your computer later, you can tag your new connections with the tag that you created for the event. Remember also to add notes to previous dialogue, so that you can refer back to this in a later dialogue.
Another way to enhance your network is to collect business cards, so that you can follow up on the relation by asking to connect on LinkedIn later.
Note the relevant statements and quotes
It might make good sense to take notes on speeches and presentations during the event to remember important details that you can use in later dialogues or possibly in a subsequent blog post.
Connect, connect, connect
If you have not been connecting with all the relevant people during the event, you should do this immediately afterwards. Find people with help from business cards, participant lists or by a search on LinkedIn. When you ask to connect, it is a good idea to state who you are and refer to your dialogue.
Write a blog post or an update
You can draw further attention to yourself by writing a blog post or an update based on the event. Here your notes will be valuable. You can also mention your new relations from the event to make it easier for others to find and share your content.
Remember the enrichment. Stay in contact with your new connections by sending relevant articles, inquiries and analyses, to become a valuable person in their network. If you have written a blog post, you can send it to other participants for whom it could be relevant.
It is especially important to focus on the new connections, who are potential customers or partners.
When you participate in live events such as conferences, meetings and other business events, there is a solid foundation for developing relationships that may advantageously be continued on LinkedIn.
What is your experience with creating relations at live events?
We would very much like to hear your input in the comments below.