Keeping in touch after the event
I attended the 2008 AIGA leadership retreat in Omaha, Nebraska (I'm starting in July as the new Web Chair for AIGA Portland). There were some great opportunities to talk about Web Development and get inspired about this great organization.
It's been a while since my last big networking event and there have been a lot of advancements in online networking tools, so I've taken a moment to recheck my process for getting new contacts into my address.
My new process involves two great online tools: Plaxo and LinkedIn. If you haven't signed up for them, do yourself a favor and check them out. They are both free, but offer premium membership. Plaxo is great because it allows you enter in contact information and notes, and they offer tools to get them into whatever local contact system you are using. I happen to be on a Mac and using Thunderbird and there are downloadable applications that sync up with them both.
Linked in allows my to connect with the people I've met in a business friendly way, and because most of the people I have met already have accounts it's as simple as looking them up and having their email handy. Because Plaxo allows you to import data from LinkedIn, some people may opt to add their connections there and THEN import them but I feel its important to get the contacts in so you can make notes while your mind is still fresh.
While Plaxo and Linked seem very similar (and do many of the same things) each excels in an area the other is weak in. Plaxo to disseminate to my local address books and linkedIn to maintain my connection. That's how I do it - how about you?