Time Management Tips in 20: Investing in Event Follow-Ups

In this episode of Time Management Tips in 20, Deborah Corn and Productivity Coach Sarah Ohanesian discuss some key takeaways from the 2024 Girls Who Print Conference at America’s Print Show, emphasizing the importance of following up after a networking event. Tuning in, you’ll hear about tips and productivity tools to help you keep track of your new contacts, take action on what you learned at the event, improve your time management going forward, and much more.


Mentioned in This Episode:

America’s Print Show: https://americasprintshow.com/

Girls Who Print Conference 2024: https://girlswhoprint.net/girls-who-print-at-americas-print-show-2024/

Pipedrive: https://www.pipedrive.com/

Todoist: https://todoist.com/

Sarah Ohanesian on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahohanesian/

SO Productive: https://www.so-productive.com/

Asana: https://asana.grsm.io/sarahohanesian308

Command the Chaos Course: https://www.so-productive.com/productivity-course/ 

Deborah Corn on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deborahcorn/

Print Media Centr: https://printmediacentr.com

Partner with Print Media Centr: https://printmediacentr.com/partnerships/ 

Subscribe to News From The Printerverse: https://printmediacentr.com/subscribe-2 

Project Peacock: https://ProjectPeacock.TV 

Girls Who Print: https://girlswhoprint.net



[0:00:05] DC: It takes the right skills and the right innovation to design and manage meaningful print marketing solutions. Welcome to Podcasts from the Printerverse, where we explore all facets of print and marketing that creates stellar communications and sales opportunities for business success. I’m your host, Deborah Corn, the Intergalactic Ambassador to the Printerverse. Thanks for tuning in. Listen long and prosper.


[0:00:31] DC: Hey, everybody. Welcome to Podcasts from the Printerverse. This is Deborah Corn, your Intergalactic Ambassador. More specifically, we are here with the Time Management Tips in 20 podcast series, which means I am here with my very time frugal partner in time crime, Sarah Ohanesian, Founder and Productivity Coach of SO Productive. Hello, Sarah.

[0:00:58] SO: Time crime. That’s a new one.

[0:01:00] DC: I like it.

[0:01:01] SO: I like it. I don’t know what we’re doing with that, but it sounds cool.

[0:01:03] DC: I don’t know. We’ll figure out something. People love those true crime stories, so we could have true time crimes. Actually, I love time crimes. There’s something there.

[0:01:12] SO: There’s a lot of themes in that space [crosstalk 0:01:13].

[0:01:14] DC: Well, that’s what I’m saying. [Crosstalk 0:01:15].

[0:01:16] SO: We’re on to something, I think, actually.

[0:01:17] DC: I love it. We actually just spent a bunch of time together at the Girls Who Print Conference at America’s Print Show. It was called ‘Our Investment Era’. You did a presentation called ‘Invest in Your Time. Invest in You’. Can you share a little bit about that presentation and anything you want to say about your experience at the event?

[0:01:41] SO: Well, Deborah, I have to say, my intention is to make people a little bit jealous here if they weren’t able to attend, because it was such a phenomenal event. One of the reasons for that is you created such an environment and such a safe space in the room. What blew me away was the amount of people who were willing to share, to really divulge personal information, divulge struggles that they had been faced with personally or on their teams, but this willingness to help each other and to dive in. We had a few women in the room say, “Hey, here’s an obstacle that I’m faced with.” The amount of people who were willing to dive in and help in that moment, I just thought was so powerful.

Cheers to you for creating a space where people felt like, “I can share. I can talk openly and I want to help the other women in this room.” That was my biggest takeaway. It was tremendous. I actually wish the sessions could have been even longer, because you saw, there was so much good discussion going on that I had 90 minutes. As a facilitator, I actually had to say, “Oh, we have to keep going and get this wrapped up,” which was quite sad, because I think we could have gone for hours helping each other in that space. That was my big takeaway. Just an amazing environment for helping each other.

[0:02:57] DC: I really appreciate that. I have to say, you did an amazing job. Brett Jenkins from Hummingbird Soul did an amazing job. Of course, Kelly Mallozzi did an amazing job. Sarah had people writing instructions on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Apparently, nobody knows how to do that in a time-frugal way, or an efficient way. I thought that that was really interesting. Can you share a little bit more about your presentation? Then I want to get to the heart of this conversation.

[0:03:27] SO: Yeah, absolutely. I walked people through my productivity system COAT. C-O-A-T, which we’ve gone through on a few episodes previously on this show, but it’s to get clarity, which is where we did that peanut butter and jelly exercise. It was quite amazing that we had eight teams in the room and actually no team effectively wrote out the instructions or successfully created a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which was an interesting activity. The reason for that is many reasons, but one of them was we didn’t have clarity. They weren’t sure what I was asking them to do. They didn’t feel like they had enough time. There was some pressure. One of those activities was quite fun to show the importance of clarity.

The next step is to organize, and we’ve talked a lot about that on the show here, but we’re going to get into that a little bit later in this episode. But how do we organize all the work we have to do? Then we did the act step. That’s the A in COAT. And acting on impact, acting on the things that are most important to us, getting alignment as our businesses. What do we need to prioritize? What do we need to take action on? Then finally, that T is to take time. To take time and treat ourselves and honor our co-workers on the jobs that they do quite well and then celebrate our wins and successes as well. That was really the core of my session was to teach the women the COAT framework. Hopefully, that makes it really easy for them as they’re determining, what is the most important thing that I’m going to work on today? That’s my high-level overview.

[0:04:56] DC: Well, I love it. This just happened to be in a Girls Who Print setting, but there’s nothing that you spoke about, or shared that was gender specific really in any manner.

[0:05:07] SO: No, not at all.

[0:05:08] DC: I mean, people might have different tasks at the end of the day that they need to find time for, but it still seems that I am not alone when I say, my biggest problem is time management during the day.


[0:05:24] SO: I’m Sarah Ohanesian, Founder of SO Productive, a productivity, training, and consulting company. Teams I work with get more done. They experience improved processes, greater productivity, and increased efficiency, all without stress and burnout. If you want to improve your performance, or the performance of your team, visit so-productive.com and get started today. I offer conference keynotes, one on one coaching and hands-on corporate workshops, all focused on increasing productivity and time management. Let’s discuss how SO Productive can supercharge your organization. Links are in the show notes.


[0:06:07] DC: You definitely helped everybody in the room. I know a few people have reached out to me to get your contact information and follow up with you to see how you can help their companies. There was an organization there, how you can help their members. I only see good things moving forward for you as a result of all that. But this is exactly what I wanted to talk about today. We just went to or participated in a pretty great event. Everybody was networking. Everybody was networking in that room, handing each other business cards. If they didn’t have a business card, I know I’m trying to get over it. I told everyone to bring business cards. If they didn’t, they found a way to connect on LinkedIn and things of that nature. Even people at the event who followed all those instructions still reached out to me to find you, right?

[0:06:57] SO: Yeah.

[0:06:58] DC: I have spoken about this with printers and how they expect their vendors to follow up with them when they go to a trade show. I thought for the remaining time we had in this podcast, that you could help everybody find the time to effectively follow up from a networking event, from a work event, even a personal event, if there’s follow-up to be had. Take it away.

[0:07:26] SO: Absolutely. It’s such a great tip, because we do. We leave these events with a stack of business cards. It feels, it can actually then start to feel overwhelming. What we don’t want is for you to start resenting the pile of business cards that are sitting there and making us feel bad that we went to the event at all. My recommendation here is hopefully, we have a tool, or a system that we can use to put these business cards into. That could be as simple as your Google contacts, or whatever system you’re using on your phone. Just get them into the system. Keep track of them digitally is a great way to do it.

You might have a CRM that your company uses. If you can get those things into a CRM. I use Pipedrive as my CRM. There’s an app that I can actually scan the card and get them into the CRM. Again, create these things digitally as quickly as you can. Then hopefully, there’s a process that you can think through. What are you going to do with those cards going forward? Is it just I’m going to reach out to them and say, hi? Do I have an email that outlines some next steps or ways to work with me? What is the process that you actually want to go through with those cards?

My recommendation would be before you reply to anybody, or reach out to everybody, just spend five, 10 minutes and think through, ideally, what is my process? What do I want to do with these leads, essentially, going forward, these people that I’ve made connections with? Now, hopefully, you have a CRM. A CRM is a wonderful productivity tool, because that CRM can allow you to put notes in on the people as well. I think notes are key. When I get a business card, a physical business card, what I try to do immediately, even before I walk away, I try to just write a couple of notes. Where did I meet them? What’s my next best action with this person? Did they ask me for something specifically? Do I need to email them something to follow up with? What do I need to do for them? Always try to think of, what is the way that I can serve this person going forward?

At this event, for example, someone said, “I would like some coaching. I would like to get some new steps on how to join your email list. I would like to read some of the content that you’ve written.” I write that on the back of the card, and then as soon as I can, get that information over to the people that I’ve reached out to. Again, that CRM tool can be really, really helpful to make sure that you’ve done it and then you’ve got a nice digital place to keep those notes in the future.

[0:09:47] DC: I don’t have a CRM tool. I would say, that this was a professional conference, 100%. I’m not really sure that the people in that room were looking at each other to the fullest extent as sales targets and people to put in their funnel and things of that nature. There was certainly some of that going on as it should at a professional event. My take was that it was a little above that. It was more about creating a tribe.

[0:10:21] SO: Connection. Yeah.

[0:10:22] DC: Yeah, connection. What do you do then at that point? Use me as an example. I do not have a CRM, and I will fully admit to you that I don’t have to look at the business cards. Of course, I’m happy that I have them. I have the attendee list, of course. I’ve been sitting here for two days knowing that I want to send an email, thanking everybody, but I’m still a little paralyzed because there’s a lot of people.

[0:10:48] SO: Yeah, absolutely. One of the other things that I just heard recently is to keep – every time you go to an event, and especially if you go to a lot of events, to keep those physical cards in a Ziploc bag and just write on the bag the name of the event. Then, you can put them in your drawer and bring them out. Again, a CRM is great, because it might tell you, “In six months, follow up with this person. Or in three months, follow up with this person.”

Well, if you don’t have a CRM, you can still say, “All right, I’m going to go back to my Ziploc bags and have them in my drawer. I’m just going to rotate through them.” If it’s been six months since an event, I can pull out that stack of cards again and just see if there’s anybody in there that I’d love to reconnect with and follow up with.

When we come on an event and we connect with 25 people on LinkedIn, it’s a little bit hard to keep up with all of them in that moment. I think, having just a set time where I’m going to reach out in three months again, or in six months just to check and see how these people are doing, I think that’s a great process. Like I said, you can do it with a Ziploc bag in your desk drawer. Easy enough.


[0:11:53] DC: Are you looking to elevate your game and take your bottom-line customer relationships and events to the next level? Then I want to work with you. I’m Deborah Corn, the Intergalactic Ambassador to the Printerverse. I engage with a vast global audience of print and marketing professionals across all stages of their careers. They are seeking topical information and resources, new ways to serve their customers and connect with them, optimize processes for their communications and operations and they need the products and services and partnership you offer to get to their next level. Print Media Centr offers an array of unique opportunities that amplify your message and support your mission across the Printerverse. Let’s work together, bring the right people together, and move the industry forward together. Link in the show notes. Engage long and prosper.


[0:12:54] DC: I have a tip for everybody out there.

[0:12:57] SO: What?

[0:12:57] DC: Because when I come home from events, or when I host them online, or whatever it might be, I do end up connecting with a lot of people. What I’ve done is per your – are you typing this thing 150 times over and over again? Can’t you have a process for that? What I do is I create three, or however many it applies and I segment. This is just a straight networking connection. Thank you so much for attending. If I can help you in any way, enjoy yourself, right? Other people, I might have a deeper relationship with. It might be a more personal thank you. And other people, thank you so much for inquiring about working with Print Media Centr, whatever it may be. I put the most generic information in a word document and then I add, “Dear, whoever it is,” I write that in myself and then maybe a personal sentence about something we connected on, or spoke with, or something that happens, so they know I’m not just cutting and pasting.

But the call to action, or the thank you, or whatever, is a repeatable task that it doesn’t take the personal touch out of it. In my opinion, as long as you add a personal touch to it. It does save me time cutting and pasting.

[0:14:23] SO: Absolutely. I think this is a really good opportunity for if you did write a note on that card about that person specifically, or about something you could send over to them, great. It’s a great opportunity to do it. I’m all about templates. I think templates are a wonderful thing, so I’m really glad you’re doing that. I think the pushback we often get is, well, templates are so impersonal, but the way that you just described it, that’s very personal. It’s just saving you time, which I think is really strong.

Again, it hopefully allows you when you’re sitting at this list of cards, instead of thinking, “I have to write all of these emails.” No, you actually just have to write a sentence, or two to tie that template into the person that you’re speaking with.

[0:15:00] DC: Okay, do you have any other tips in general? Time management tips? I mean, there was also a trade show going on and there were there were exhibitors there who were meeting people in booths. Let’s bring everybody to the follow-up party.

[0:15:15] SO: Absolutely. The nice thing, too, is you can use your task management tool, right? I use Asana, Deborah uses Todoist. Use that tool, again, to remind yourself to get those contacts made, but then also to do a follow-up in three to six months or so, whatever feels appropriate to that relationship. Deborah, the other side of it is, sure, we’ve got business cards and people to follow up with, but what are we doing with all of the notes and all of the wonderful things that we learned at these conferences? What are we going to do about that? That’s another huge piece I see.

You might remember that I ended my talk at the event with, this could be something that sits in a notebook, all of these great notes, and a year from now, you look at them and think, “Well, that was really nice, but I didn’t do anything about it.” We’ve got to take some action. One of the core themes of this podcast is eating an elephant. When you come out of a large event, especially, you might have an entire notebook filled with wonderful things that you want to do, but what’s the one or two things you actually want to put into action this week, or this month? Then go back to those notes and pick another thing in a month or two.

I think what happens is we come out of these events and we’re all revved up. Then by time the plane lands, we’re like, “Oh, back into reality. I’m not going to be able to get any of this done.” But what are those bite-size ideas that you actually want to implement from the event and just tackle one of them at a time? Do one. Be successful at that, then do another one. I think that’s really the difference between us feeling like, “Oh, that event a year ago was nice,” versus, “I made some real changes coming off that event a year ago and look what’s changed since then.”

[0:16:58] DC: I appreciate your advice. Everybody appreciated your advice at the event. Just in case, let’s remind everybody how they can work with you, because that was very topical. Before your time gets taken by everybody, let’s get our listeners to have a little advantage.

[0:17:16] SO: Deborah, thank you so much for asking. Obviously, that was a big question I got as I was wrapping up the session at the event. A couple of different ways that people can work with me, one is one-on-one coaching. Especially if you’re someone coming off, there was a lot of great conferences this spring. If you’re coming off a conference going, “I don’t know how to implement this stuff. I don’t have enough time.” That’s a really strong opportunity to consider working with a coach who can help you do that. You can definitely utilize me for that. The other is, what are some of these core issues that you’re finding your company is faced with? One of the exercises we did at the event was, what are the common fires facing your team? Boy, Deborah, you were there. The room literally went on fire during that part of the session, and people were sharing all these different things that caused potential obstacles.

One of the things I do in the consulting side of my business is come in and actually interview everyone on your team, or everyone at your whole company and figure out where are those points? Where are those pressure points? Where are those fires starting in your business? Then what can we do about it? That’s a consulting side.

Then certainly, I talk about Asana and Todoist a lot. If you are a company who’s using a software and you think, “We’re maybe not using this to its full capacity, or the salesperson told us it could do all this stuff, but we’re not getting all of that out of it.” Our team does implementation of those softwares as well. A few different ways that you can work with me to help make all these things you learn at the conference an actual reality for you and your team.

[0:18:47] DC: Excellent. As always, the links to connect with Sarah and check out Asana and we always put Todoist in there, too, are in the show notes. Sarah, thank you so much for your time and your expertise, for coming to the conference, for really helping everybody. I’m loving #timecrime. We’re going to make something with that happen. I just wrote it down, so I didn’t forget. Just thank you so much. Until next time, everybody, time management long and prosper.


[0:19:22] DC: Thanks for listening to Podcasts from the Printerverse. Please subscribe, click some stars and leave us a review. Connect with us through printmediacentr.com. We’d love to hear your feedback on our shows and topics that are of interest for future broadcast. Until next time, thanks for joining us. Print long and prosper.

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