It was an awesome function last night. You met loads of interesting people and promised to keep in touch, but the reality is their business cards will likely stay in your bag until you next clean it out, or (only slightly better) will be taken from your bag and left with the other cards in a pile until you move desks (so once in a decade).
Our industry is comparatively small and chances are you'll run into most people again and again, but how can you build a solid working relationship from an initial meeting?
The sales folk out there likely have a system in place to manage new and potential clients and we can learn from them on that front. General practice is to enter those details into a database and then shoot an email to the person.
So what do you put in the email? Aside from the expected, 'It was great to meet last night', try adding some useful content such as a link to a pertinent news article (Traveltalk's of course) or an invite to a similar event.
You can then suggest a follow up meeting, but only if it seems a natural progression.
John Hall, chief executive of Influence & Co., a company that helps brands build their influence suggests people avoid being pushy.
"Your best prospects and potential partners might be flying under the radar. You just have to be patient, stay top-of-mind by providing value, and let the relationship develop organically."