I spent 3 hours at a networking event yesterday for women in product management, and I learned a lot of great things about product management but didn't come out of it feeling like I made any meaningful connections. I basically did the whole networking thing and chatted with a lot of people which was fun but I feel like I'm missing something? Or maybe it was just one dud event where I didn't connect with anyone?
You're already taking a great step forward by (1) going to those events, and (2) talking to folks at the events!!! Follow up is definitely not easy, but I'm sure you'll do just fine.
One really valuable strategy would be to first, exchange contact information with them. Once you've done that, try to add meaningful value to their lives before you expect anything from them! For example, send them articles or products that reminded you of your conversation with them. Ideally you can use those as conversation starters, then you can maybe ask them to meet up or jump on a call from there, and hopefully you can build those strong connections!