So you’re home. The suitcase is unpacked and the laundry put in the basket. You’ve turfed out all of the surplus conference detritus you inadvertently brought home and hung the conference bag up with its new companions. Now what? Oh hang on, there’s just a few more things to do…
Here’s a beginning list of those other things – six ways to follow up the conference:
1. Email the people you met and want to keep in touch with. Dear x, it was great to meet you at the conference. I was really interested in y and would love to keep in touch with how the project is progressing/any papers you might write/plans you might have to for future conferences etc. You might decide to send one of two of these people some of your own work – I thought you might be interested in…
2. Email anyone whose sessions you didn’t get to and whose paper you want – Dear x, I noticed that you had a paper on y at the recent conference., I really wanted to come to your session but it clashed with… I’d really like to read your paper because… could you please send… Tell them about any relevant work you are doing too so they have the option to open a conversation.
3. Email anyone with whom you were having a conversation about co-presenting at another event, developing a special issue with, plotting a bid with etc… and fix a time and process for proceeding.
4. Salvage the conference programme – it helps if it’s digital – to note in a well-labelled file any relevant work that is close to yours that you want to keep track of – these are projects where you don’t necessarily want to contact the authors but want to know what happens and what gets published.
5. Allow yourself a few minutes to reflect on your presentations. What did you learn from them? If there are changes that you need to make to your paper(s), note them now before you forget.
If you were co presenting and haven’t already, make a time with your co-presenters to debrief the presentation. Do the above exercise together.
Draw up a timeline for getting the paper to the stage where it can be finished off and submitted, if it isn’t in the publishing pipeline.
6. Email any publishers you connected with and say how pleased you were to meet them and that you expect to have a proposal for them within x months.
And now you get to do your expenses. Allow a lot of time for this if your university online system is anything like mine!