As soon as possible, enter information about all the contacts that will be beneficial to you on a long-term basis into a database. You should have fields for contact information (name, address, phone, fax, email, website, etc.) when and where you met, and any pertinent information. The comment field will contain specific details you recorded either during the event or afterward to help you remember the person and their needs. I’ve found that having this information handy when talking with them on the phone later helps keep them fresh in my mind. Also, it will make it easier to tailor your future marketing efforts.
Another very important field in the database is the “Call Back” date. If you promise to follow up at a later date, then being able to sort your database on this field at the first of each month (I designate the first day of the month for simplification) helps to prevent your missing an opportunity to reconnect with the prospect.