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GDC Follow up: When to Do it, How to Do it

January 29, 2008

When you return from GDC (or any conference for that matter), you typically have a pile of business cards. How do you follow up? More than one of you has wondered that and asked me to post on it. What follows is my experience.

First, though, please make sure you read Darius’ article on taking proper notes on the people you meet. It’ll help you a lot when you’re trying to sift through the cards you collected.

During GDC, I collect tons of business cards – easily in the hundreds. Every night during the show, I separate the cards into five piles:

  • Opportunities, people I said I’d get back to right away on X, Y or Z
  • New Contacts
  • Old Contacts (people whose card I already have)
  • Connections (“If you see Sheri, can you give her my card?”)
  • Random

I get back to the “right away” people usually before I’m even home from GDC, and most times during the actual show itself. The second wave of follow up involves the Linked In festival. I link to everyone I’m not already linked to. As a student, be aware that there are some developers who will not accept your link, particularly those that do a lot of speaking at schools. Otherwise, they’d be bombed with link requests.

My email follow ups go out either Tuesday or Wednesday following the show. Why not Monday? My reasoning is this – on Monday, they got back to the office and discovered that a) things were on fire figuratively speaking, b) they had a mother lode of email themselves and c) they might be trying to get their own “nice to meet you” emails out. I figure that by Tuesday or Wednesday, the load is a little lighter, and a follow up email is less likely to increase the noise. It certainly works that way when I receive them.

Regardless of which day you send them out, though, get them out that week. Follow ups later than that just say, “I’m slow.”

A random truism: I have numerous designer friends who tell people to email them, and you’d be surprised at the tiny, tiny number who actually do. So, follow up with people. Don’t expect a response, but keep at it.  The key here isn’t in making that initial contact, but in getting from that initial contact to a regular contact. Again, I’ll reference Darius’ networking series here (linked above). He really covers all the bases there.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 29, 2008 3:29 pm

    Between you and Darius, I feel more and more confident about GDC. This will be my first time (as a Student), and I’ve found these types of posts to be very helpful.

    Thank you!

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