If you’re headed into the new year determined to make the most of your networking experience, it’s important to realize there are things you need to do after attending an event.

First, it’s essential to follow up with your new connections. After attending an event, take notes about the details you discussed with those connections you’re looking to continue and strengthen a relationship with. Perhaps you talked about a big event like an upcoming trip or child’s college enrollment. Make a note of it! Send a message to each of your new contacts or give a call to tell them you appreciated your conversation with them and make time to meet up again, be it over a simple cup of coffee or lunch. Extend the courtesy of reminding them who you are when you reach out as well.

You must also remember to whom you made promises. Did you say you’d connect someone you met with a business partner or friend in a complementary business? Do it. Following through is vital.

It is also important to show your appreciation for your newfound connections. Thank them for spending time speaking with you at the event; sending a nice note afterwards is a great touch. Gratitude and the power of a handwritten acknowledgement go a long way. Consider sending a thank-you note to the host of the event, too. Organizing a networking event isn’t an easy task. A lot of thought and planning goes into putting together an event that’s productive and enjoyable.

Finally, sit back and take time to reflect on your experience. What do you feel went well? How do you think you can improve your experience moving into the next event on your calendar? Were your conversation starters effective and did ending a conversation feel natural, or did you struggle? Do you feel like you were an active listener and that you really engaged with those individuals you spoke with? Do you feel like you have a positive attitude heading into the next networking session? These are all great questions to ask yourself, and you will benefit most from answering them honestly.

Now, let’s get to networking! This year, Pagoda Business Network will be making the move to quarterly get-togethers. We hope to see you at one in the near future!

Learn more about Pagoda Business Network online at pagodabusinessassociation.com and more about Smith Enterprises Consulting LLC at smithenterprisescorp.com.