Following the Source

Every time you meet someone new, a golden window of opportunity opens to turn new contacts into contracts and additional prospects.
At the very least, take a few moments immediately after the event to sort through all the cards you tucked in your pockets during an event. Note on the cards the date and place of the event (Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce mixer, 5/25/00).
No later than a day after an event, you’ll want to sort through the business cards you’ve collected. Make the most of your networking event by writing additional notes on the back of the cards or in your database. Comments like “firm rapidly expanding” or “needs a business plan.” will help you remember who to follow up with.  Write anything about the person to help you recall the details at a later date. This can be anything from first impressions (“very graceful walk and commanding presence; wore a classy red suit with gold scarf”) to something specific you discussed (“knows my brother from college”).
These notes will to provide the details that in months or years rom now will remind you of the person and enable you to recall specific details. Otherwise, important information will be quickly forgotten; the more people you meet.
After all of the calls, send handwritten thank-you notes saying how much you enjoyed meeting them and the time they took to spend with you. A handwritten note in this day of faxes and email creates a special positive impression. This is also a good time to add an article you know they’d appreciate, preferably one you have written.
The better the event, the more likely it is that you will collect more leads than you can immediately pursue. Even if you follow up all of your leads quickly, you’ll still want to refer back to them again months later. That means you need to develop a good tracking system.
Likewise, follow up on other promises to send them information. If you have a published article you wrote that will add to the validity to your doing business together, include it as well.