People think that networking can be rather old-fashioned. You just need to bring yourself and your business cards to the networking event and you will be set. They are partially correct – you do need to be present and on your best game and be able to share information about yourself both verbally and physically. However, the technology is now helping us in all aspects of our lives, why not make networking more effective?
These are some new networking technology available to help you make the best out of your networking efforts.
Networking technology #1. Business card scanner.
Business card scanners range from a phone app to an office appliance, depending on what is your scanning turnover. Using scanner helps you save time by automatically recognizing and saving information into your phone or email address book, as well as CRM. Another advantage is an ability to avoid accumulating business cards on your desk. Get a card, scan it and return it back. You can also send your electronic business card via email or text. Platforms like 100AM allow you to create your own design so your e-card looks unique and memorable.
We have talked about different scanners in detail here.
Networking technology #2. Event apps.
Major networking events’ must-have. Each time the event is trying to step up their game and come up with more features and intuitive design. The main reason to have an app is to have fast access to the event schedule, map and, most importantly, the list of participants. These are some features that will make your conference life easy:
- See and save attendees profile. It is vital to understand fully if it makes sense for you to meet this person. Besides the name of the company and the major field of their company, it is useful to have info on what they are looking to get from this event and what type of contact they are looking for (partner, supplier, vendor, freelancer, etc). It is helpful if you can also add them to your favorites. You will create your own network and skip going through the huge list every time you need to look up the data.
- Appointment setting. This is your bread and butter. If you get to set an appointment you will have a valuable face-to-face time, hence more chance to do business together. This feature is usually supported by options to add to your calendar, get alerts when someone accepted or declined your invite and even find the slot both parties have in common in the span of the networking time.
- Matching by the interest. It may take a lot of time to read each profile separately. Having an option to be matched is a life-saver. All participants are encouraged to enter their interests and then you are connected based on that. This automatically illuminates attendees you have nothing in common with from your feed.
- Geolocation. My favorite! Oftentimes, you want to meet with someone, but their appointment book is full. However, there are so many opportunities to meet outside of business sessions – coffee breaks, lunches, evening entertainment, or even hotel bar. With the geolocation too you will be able to see who is nearby and approach them. You can use the app as an icebreaker so it wouldn’t be weird like you were spying on the person.
- It is a great tool that illuminates pesky pen and random notepad. Make a note of where you meet a partner or client and what you were talking about, so you will never forget that and next time will pick up from where you have left off.
Networking technology #3. Organizational apps.
There is nothing more frustrating than having a meaningful conversation with someone at a conference and never move forward. There are dozens of way to avoid that. You can schedule your next meeting for the time you both get back to the office and plug it in your Google (or other) calendar. There are also apps like Trello or Slack will help you take things to the next level and create a physical task or a next step you both can proceed with. Even if your interlocutor doesn’t know about those apps, they will be glad you have told them.
It would be great to have all these features combined in one app. Right now each event yields for a new app you will be forced to delete a month later because you need space. That is how you lose your contacts. Next year you re-download it and the circle starts again. That is the very reason 100AM was created. It has all the features above and works for all conferences, trade shows and more.