I have had the great pleasure of meeting industry leaders over the past six months as part of the research for the book that I am now writing. Prior to that I always met new people for my sales and business leadership roles at a large corporation. Either way, I love to meet new people in new places. I call myself a business networking strategist. So of course I need the help of my smart phone every step of the way. Smart networking can lead to unlimited potential. Meeting new people, building a clientele, or wanting to grow professionally within your industry are important reasons that everyone should be networking.
I am always looking for a great “spot” and it must have coffee. Try FlySmart app if you are trying to meet someone new at an airport. It will give you terminal coffee shops and restaurants and other great info. If you are in any major city or suburb, try Dunkin’ or Starbucks. I use the free corporate apps and they help me find great coffee meeting spots almost anywhere.
There are several apps that are fantastic and help you find your way to meet your new contact no matter where he or she is located. HopStop is a favorite for my big city trips. I live in a suburb of NYC so I use this whenever I am meeting someone in a lesser known locale in the city. It provides alternative routes and estimated travel time via subway, bus, or walking. Google Maps is a new favorite and I am wondering if it will replace my GPS. It’s new but it includes traffic info and a photo of the building that I am going to which is very helpful.
LinkedIn is my absolute favorite social site. I always check out my new contacts in advance. It’s especially important to have that photo to be able to instantly identify the person you are planning to meet. I also like to update myself about the person by reading their title, summary, schools, and past experiences in LinkedIn. This allows me to use my meeting time more effectively.
Perhaps you are in a new city for a few days. Check out the Meetup app to find some local meetups. I preregistered on my laptop and now my meetup app is ready to give me suggested meetups. Also use this for your meetups in your own city. For example, there is a group called “New to Stamford” which would be a great place for a newcomer to meet some new people.
If you are attending a conference, absolutely download the app to your smart phone. There are many different configurations but you can expect to see the agenda and the speakers on your app. Sometimes you can pick your seminars and create your own schedule on the smart phone. Some of them list the attendees with titles and photos. Be sure to create your profile page before the conference so you are listed! Many smart phone applications link to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn too. I recommend that you identify which speakers and attendees you wish to meet in advance and contact them. See if they will set aside some coffee time with you at the conference.
Don’t forget your power cord! When you travel your smart phone tends to use the battery faster so you will need to juice up often.