The constant advance of technology has turned networking into a fluid, dynamic process. It’s no longer meeting and shaking hands, or touching base via email, anymore, but rather a complex, ongoing effort to make and sustain connections across countless channels. Along with this shift, though, there are a lot of tools that can help businesses and business owners with the process.
Let’s take a look at some types of tools it’s particularly important for business owners to take advantage of in 2022.
In-person conferences may be a thing of the past (or at least not a thing for now), but apps such as Bizzabo, Hopin, and to some extent Zoom are making sure that we can still attend conferences online. With a few distinctions between them, these apps essentially facilitate digital meetings and conferences of all sizes. And given that just recently Bizzabo won the 2022 BIG Innovation Awards, it’s clear that there is still excitement about these types of services moving forward. For business owners concerned with networking, virtual conference platforms offer unprecedented opportunities to participate in events and meet-ups with limitless reach (and at the utmost convenience).
Calendar and Scheduling Tools
Booking time to talk to someone one on one is an excellent way to socialize and show that person that they’re important, and you want to make time for them. And while many in business are all too familiar with the process of linking up for this kind of meeting after 10-plus back-and-forth emails, the process has been made more convenient by tools like Calendly –– a platform that makes it easy to book time with people. While the scheduling app may have famously caused a kerfuffle on Twitter about the etiquette of asking someone to book time on your calendar, it is largely viewed as an extremely convenient way to get meetings set up. Needless to say, that makes it excellent for new business owners looking to make or strengthen connections.
On a somewhat similar note to that of scheduling one-on-one time, apps such as Common Connect are also making it easier for professionals to connect to like-minded people. The people you see on the app are selected based on similar interests, careers, or even proximity (though you can change this last factor for privacy reasons). With most networking tools and apps being geared solely towards professional connections, it can sometimes feel like we’re losing that social touch. Apps like Common Connect counter this trend and bring a personable, social approach back to networking.
Digital Business Cards
As paper business cards are slowly being phased out, platforms like Doorway are producing digital tools to take their place. Doorway’s digital business cards work almost like contactless payment apps, but transfer personal and business information rather than money. Essentially, a platform like this enables business owners (or employees for that matter) to design business cards that can be brought up on mobile devices and shared with others. A quick, contactless scan transfers relevant contact information to a recipient, essentially replacing the old process of doling out physical cards, and making it that much faster and more convenient to network.
Sending a personalized video message is a great alternative to emails, SMS, and other text-based communications. Recipients have the opportunity to see the faces and hear the voices of senders, even when there’s not an active conference call or virtual meeting underway. There are quite a few companies that offer software to serve this purpose, with Wistia being perhaps the most common. Through this platform, business owners can record videos and send links quickly and without hassle –– effectively broadcasting to intended recipients.
Naturally, there are far more tech tools than just these for businesses to take advantage of today. When it comes to networking and maintaining connections though, the apps and services outlined above can go a long way for any modern business owner.
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