ExpertFlyer Hot Topics – Where the Rubber Meets the Runway
We’ve learned a lot about moving and shaking outside of the US these past few weeks. In our final installment, we’ve curated a cool collection of online and offline resources to make your overseas networking edge even sharper! If you missed part one or two of this Hot Topic series, visit the links provided to catch up.
Many groups and associations have international cache and draw expats, as well as natives, in international markets. “Some of the advice I have been given by seasoned travelers is the importance of Rotary clubs overseas,” says Max Stewart, president, World Affairs Council of Central Florida. “When you are a Rotarian in the US going to Europe and the Middle East, you see an increase in the importance of Rotary. These are some of the most prominent business owners in their area. Being a rotary member in your home town in the US automatically gets you entrance into a club when you visit overseas.” Stewart suggests that membership in ClubCorp has its privileges, too. “Most larger cities abroad have an affiliate or club office. You can join in on some of their events and networking times,” adds Stewart.
According to business relationship and networking expert and author, Thom Singer, weeks before a trip you should canvas your social media contacts to see who you might be linked to in your destination city. “This might be people you are connected to on Twitter, LinkedIn or other online communities,” says Singer. “Beyond that, you should let your direct network know where you will be traveling and ask them if they have any interesting connections. If they do, get introduced in advance and set up a time to meet for lunch or drinks. Not only will you meet cool people, but the locals will usually take you to great restaurants or pubs you would not have found on your own.”
Put your Smartphone to good use…
With more than three-quarters of a million third-party apps available on the App Store, It’s no shock that there are a number of interesting networking app options available to business travelers looking to develop new business contacts outside of their home turf. “There have been multiple entrants into this space, such as HereOnBiz, Sumazi, Meet & Seat, Intro, Unsocial and IntroBridge,” says Adam Lewis, CEO of Pythio, and founder of IntroBridge, a global business networking app, which was successfully sold in 2011. “The market prefers traditional networking, and there’s still work to be done in perfecting an optimal paradigm for creating physical introductions in conjunction with privacy concerns.” Lewis says, the biggest obstacle may be that business people who would use these apps just aren’t ready or willing to yet.
Are you ready and willing? Check out these apps and web services, and let us know what you think: