3 ways to apply what you learned at a conference to your career

It’s a classic situation: You haven’t attended any networking events in a while, but you eventually get yourself together and RSVP to the biggest conference in your industry. After making enough new connections to last a year or two, you come back to work, ready to be that much better at your job.

But here’s the thing: After all that, you get caught up in transitioning back to your daily routine and the new names on all those business cards you grabbed fade away.

You should aim to keep the momentum going — here are three ways to apply what you learned at a conference to your career.

Take thorough notes while you’re there

How else will you remember all those tips?

Whether you whip out your trusty notebook and pen that never fail or record some audio on your phone during workshops, make sure to document what you hear.

This is a good way to make sure that all the valuable insight you’ve picked up during your time at the conference doesn’t disappear. Plus, you can always refer back to the information later.

Quickly follow up with contacts you met

Take out all those business cards you collected while at the convention, make a list of those you want to reach out to, and give yourself a few days to send them a message and see where things go.

Just don’t wait too long— you want to make sure that they remember you when you send them a follow-up email.

But don’t make the message all about yourself. While you may just want to slide your resume into their inbox, also ask if you can help them professionally at any point in the near future. Communication should always be a two-way street.

Give yourself a week to draft out a plan

Once you’ve looked at all your notes and sent out all your emails, take a week to get a career plan off the ground.

Conferences can make you re-evaluate your work piece by piece, so you won’t want to waste the steam you picked up while around the best and brightest in your industry. Take their advice to heart, and make it your own by seeing how it fits within your professional life.

Also, try out new resources and platforms that you didn’t know about before. Attend other networking events and meet up with new contacts in person when possible.

Just don’t let weeks go by before you decide to crack open your notes and attempt to put some things you’ve learned into practice. After all, conferences can only be as rewarding as you make them.