Blog conferences are all about the follow-up: business card test

I’ve been to the large blogging conference BlogHer twice and am about to go for my third time early next month. Business cards are a must-have when you attend conference like this because you meet so many new people….  at BlogHer, there’s a huge expo hall filled with sponsors that everyone wants to meet and many times you also throw your business card into a bucket to enter some sort of contest or giveaway. Then there are the private parties used for networking, too, and all the other bloggers you interact with.

So last year I tried something new. I was really curious about where all these business cards ended up, who was actually looking through them, and if they were being used.

I created a brand new email address and had it printed on my business cards. The address had never been printed anywhere else and was never given out to anyone before BlogHer. The inbox was empty (can you imagine?!?! haha).

The results? 

Probably what you’d expect. I got added to a LOT of mass email lists… like the newsletter updates or press releases from the brands and PR reps. There were the standard, “It was great to meet you at BlogHer!” follow-up emails, but none of them personalized (not that I expected any with 3000 people in attendance though).

A few pitches, but not many. Like some “Hey! We met at BlogHer! Would you like to receive XYZ for review?” and the good news is that those are still–one year later–still coming in once in awhile.

Also a few invites…. I’ve seen some people this year (BlogHer12) talk about emails they received about a BlogHer event and others wondering why they didn’t get the invite if they’re a registered attendee too…. well, I got them and they were sent to this email address (which is STILL, by the way, not published anywhere on my blog or anywhere else). So? The invites appear to be sent to previous attendees.

I don’t think I got any emails from bloggers that I met, but I also didn’t expect any either. Bloggers usually connect with each other on social media platforms… twitter or facebook. Or by starting to read and comment on their blogs!

I’d say I get about 2 emails a day to this email address, almost a year after the conference… most of them just get trashed though.

Surprisingly? I’d say there were a LOT of companies that clearly never used the business cards or added me to any sort of list. I never heard from a bunch of them post-BlogHer. But… maybe that’s not surprising. That’s completely my point… it’s all about the follow-up on your end.

What did I learn from all of this?

Blogging conferences like BlogHer are great for connecting with brands and getting on their PR email lists. It’s an awesome way to get a contact and get brand related news…. but? it usually stops about there.

If you want something out of all those contacts… FOLLOW UP. Most of the time when you hand someone your card, they’ll hand you one of theirs, too. USE IT. Don’t sit there and wait for good news to come to you, go after it!

When you get home from BlogHer and you’re on the post-conference letdown and you don’t know what to do with yourself (or where to hang your Sparklecorn outfit)… go through those business cards! Sort them, save their email addresses in your contact list, email the ones you remember and want to thank, pitch others with opportunities to work together…  don’t let all those beautiful business cards you slaved over go to waste!

GOOD LUCK! Can’t wait to meet so many of you at BlogHer in 2 weeks! EEEK!

And here’s a preview of my new business cards–this design will soon be my new blog header/button as well <3

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