BEECH 2013 is over, and life is back to normal. We have traded our evening luaus on the beach for reheated leftovers in the kitchen and chats among fellow entrepreneurs with little kid giggles. But that doesn’t mean that BEECH is over. There are plenty of things to do after the event itself is complete.
Organize Your Contacts
Pull out all the business cards you gathered during the retreat and act on each one. Subscribe to blogs and follow your new friends on social media platforms. Add emails to your contact list, making sure to notate details about each person and where you met.
Review Your Notes
Take time to read over all the notes you took during the retreat. Highlight or list the action steps you need to take based on what you learned. Maybe you need to do more research or hire some help. Write it all down.
If a certain word or phrase from the event really spoke to your heart, make a mini-poster and display it near your computer so you can focus on it all year long.
Prioritize Your To Do List
It is easy to feel overwhelmed when you have a huge list of action points. Prioritize the steps you need to take, not worrying about the actions lower on the list until you get to them.
Set personal deadlines for your action points. Divide them up into manageable chunks and start marking them off as you complete them. Better yet, involve another small business owner or blogger to hold your feet to the fire with your goals.
Be sure to stay in touch with your retreat buddies. Make a special Twitter list or Facebook interest list of your new contacts so that it is easy to keep in tune with their latest online ventures. Reach out and connect with them via blog comments or social media.
Generously promote your new contacts. Give and you will receive.
Did you promise anyone to send an email with the name of that favorite plug-in or book? Be sure to follow through with your promises. Go beyond expectations and people will remember you.
Start Budgeting for Next Year
Calculate your expenses for this year’s retreat and make a financial plan for next year’s event. Whether that includes saving or getting sponsors, don’t wait until the last minute to find the money to invest in your business and blog.
And while you are thinking about money, collect all your receipts from the event and start a spreadsheet so claiming the expenses will be easier at tax time.
Thank Speakers and Partners
Throughout the months following the event, be sure to thank the speakers and partners who made a difference. If a keynote inspired you, let him know with a shout-out on your favorite social media platform or by email. If you truly love a partner’s product, be sure to let your audience know too. Use the power of Instagram and Vine to create images that show the value of the swag you received at the retreat.
If you had personal sponsors for the event, go above and beyond to fulfill your end of the agreement. Foster the existing relationship and be a positive example of what bloggers can do to harness social media influence.
A blogging event may span only a three day period, but the ripples from that short time radiate outward with impact for months to come. Make the most of your investment by following through on the experience.