Thursday, June 8, 2023

What to Do With All Those Business Cards After a Writing Conference

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

A large number of us creatives just returned from the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. We brought much home with us—memories to treasure of sweet fellowship with those that truly get us, wisdom and knowledge gleaned from classes and keynotes, and dreams of published words dancing in our hearts. 

If you’re like me, you also brought home a collection of business cards from new friends and updated ones from previously-met friends. Before you absentmindedly file those away with good intentions, spend time completing these seven steps with each card to maximize the friendship and support attached to each small rectangle. Take care to follow all the steps with each individual card before moving on to another one. 

Oh, and I hope you remembered to jot down on the back of each card the circumstances surrounding how the two of you met. Did you meet in a continuing class? Afternoon workshop? Did you share a meal together? If you didn’t do this at the conference, write down as much as you remember now on the back of each card to help you retain the meeting memory. It’s especially fun if you write down their preferred writing genre so you can ask pertinent questions later.

Okay, here’s the steps I suggest to keep in touch with new and not-so-new friends following a conference, using business cards you collected.

Things to Do with Business Cards from a Writing Conference

1. Follow on social media

Look for your conference friend on Facebook (check for an author page as well as a personal one), Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, or any other favorite social media site you frequent. Like and follow, then comment on the last post so that the site recognizes your engagement. It will help your new friend’s posts come across your feed more readily that way. 

2. Visit website

Check out your new friend’s website. Share their website on your social media with a direct link to get to the website.

3. Subscribe to newsletter

Find the link to subscribe to your writer friend’s newsletter. Be sure to verify that you subscribed, which typically is as simple as clicking one link in an email you’ll receive.

4. Share blog

If your new friend is a blogger, read their last blog post. Be sure to make an engaging, sincere comment about the blog post. Then share their blog post to your sites as well.

5. Look for published books.

Explore the writer’s website to find books they’ve published or Google their name on Amazon. Consider adding a book to your wish list or order your favorite right away to add to your “to be read” pile! 

6. Place reminders on calendar to stay in touch

On a paper calendar (or on your phone’s calendar), flip forward a couple of months and jot down your friend’s name. When that calendar day rolls around, shoot off an email message of encouragement to your friend or stop by their social media pages to ask what’s going on in their writing journey. Offer encouragement and Bible verses and ask if they have any special prayer requests. 

7. Pray regularly

Add the new friend’s name to your prayer journal and remember to pray often for him or her by name. Pray for personal requests and writing dreams, too.

Once you’ve completed the tasks for all of the cards you brought home, store them safely in an envelope labeled BRMCWC 2023 (or whatever conference you’ve just attended) and refer to the cards if you need to in the future. 

Have fun encouraging and supporting your fellow creatives, until you meet again at another event. Join the conversation by sharing ideas and tips you’ve put into place to stay in touch with conference friends.


Author and journalist Julie Lavender loved catching up with old friends and meeting new ones at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. She believes writing conferences give writers super-powers to persist on the writing journey. She is the author of Children’s Bible Stories for Bedtime (Penguin Random House), 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories (Revell/Baker), a forthcoming mom’s devotional from Penguin Random House, and two picture books from End Game Press and its imprint.


  1. Julie,

    Thank you for these insights about what to do with the business cards. As an editor, I use this information to follow-up with authors and the other faculty that I met during the conference. A key step in my process is getting the main data from the card into my contact address book. If the data is in my computer, I can easily find it and use the information. Also I search for people on LinkedIN and connect with them there to preserve the connection for the long-term.

    author of Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success (Revised Edition) [Follow the Link for a FREE copy]

  2. GREAT suggestions, Terry!!! You've been such an inspiration to me (and others) over the years of the excellent way authors can support and encourage other authors! Your ability to keep up with your publishing work life, personal writing, AND maintain close relationships with fellow writers inspires and encourages me to want to do the same!! Thanks for reading and commenting. (And SO good to see you at Blue Ridge, even if it was a brief encounter on the way to a meal!)

  3. These are great tips! Thank you Julie! I did keep up in the beginning writing where we met and what we talked about. I have done some of your recommended steps with some of the business cards but I like your suggestion to do all steps for each card before advancing to the next.
    I do this on a regular basis when I meet someone new, even without a business card. I have a spreadsheet called Names to Remember. In a way, this could be my prayer list.

    1. Cathy, how wonderful that you use the spreadsheet as a prayer list! I love how organized you are with the info you glean from the cards! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. Thanks, Julie! Your suggestions are on my to-do list this week.☺️

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. It's always fun to me to go through these tasks with each card, as it reminds me of my time spent with them at the conference!!

  5. Fantastic advice, Julie! Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment! I appreciate your kind words!

  6. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  7. Love these practical tips, Julie. Great advice as we all attend this year’s conferences. Thank you.

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!