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“My Conference Was Cancelled; Now What?” How to Salvage Missing a Networking Opportunity

Okay, you planned to go to an industry conference to do some much-needed networking. You had high hopes of meeting new people, securing some leads for exciting work, and establishing yourself as a thought leader in the industry.

Unfortunately, The Coronavirus got in your way. The conference was cancelled, and you missed out on valuable networking opportunities you had hoped to have while there.

Now, what can you do to moderate the loss, salvage the cost, and make some new contacts, despite missing the event? Here are some ideas:

  1. Contact the people you planned to connect with at the conference. Ask if you can meet them by phone or videoconference to discuss sessions missed. Chances are, you’ll be able to turn that conversation into an advantageous discussion about their specific needs.
  2. Go through the agenda on the event website and identify speakers who may be good contacts for you. Write them an email and explain how disappointed you are that you missed their presentations. Make that initial contact a starting point for more meaningful conversation and, perhaps, a new friendship.
  3. Select conference sessions you thought would be the most popular and try to create a similar presentation or panel as a webinar. Involve the original panelists and moderators. They will be happy to share their prepared remarks and you will probably start some good new relationships.
  4. Re-create a networking experience for others by reaching out to a prospect or client who also missed the event and offer to introduce him/her to another would-be attendee.
  5. Use some of the time you would have spent traveling to the conference reviewing your pipeline and trying to connect with prospects by phone.
  6. Contact the conference organizers and inquire about their plans for rescheduling the conference. Offer your assistance and get involved. That conversation may lead you to a new referral source or client.
  7. Finally, don’t worry about it too much. There will be other conferences and events in the future. Who knows, with a little luck, some may even be in person.

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