The average meeting plan takes nine nine apps, 22 app switches, 77 swipes, 13 minutes on the phone and 10 texts, according to PlanSnap – and 40 per cent of the time it still doesn’t happen! Here are some tips from the app’s founder and CEO Louise Doherty to get things flowing more smoothly.
The secret to making any plan happen – not just business meetings – is to suggest, first time, the plan that works for everyone. Ideally, you’ll take all the friction, hassle and thought out of the planning process and offer them something that is easy and quick to say yes to.
To do this you need to get people to agree on four things: who, what, where and when.
Decide what kind of activity is going to be attractive to the people that you want to attend. Is it a coffee, dinner or early evening cocktails? Or do you need a shared interest to bond over, like golfing or a gin tasting? Are you playing all-out impress, or going for an understated, personal vibe?
Get ideas from websites like Time Out, which has inspiration for lots of activities in most major cities, or on the go using the BarChick text message service which recommends bars in London (only) based on the vibe you’re going for.
Scheduling – this can be an absolute nightmare and get messy and long-winded. Sites like Doodle can help you work out who is available when. And there are services like x.ai, a robot assistant that claims to organise meetings for you.
Decide where your meeting will take place. Hopefully you know where the people involved work or live, and can mentally triangulate a location with accessible transport links that will be easy for them to get to. The fancier the occasion or venue, or the more important the other attendees are, the less you have to make the location work for everyone. Google Maps or Citymapper can help you work out venue locations and travel times.
Finally, ask people to confirm. If it’s a big event you could use ticketing website Eventbrite. Or for smaller gatherings you could start a WhatsApp group.
The tech start-up to watch out for is PlanSnap, which intelligently suggests plans that work for everyone, and sends that plan to your friends or colleagues even if they’re they haven’t got the app. It currently integrates with text messaging, and email and other integrations are on the way soon.
It is still in beta but is getting great feedback from early users and has had nearly 200 people, and companies including AB InBev, invest in it through Crowdcube.
Technology is assisting us with all aspects of our lives, and that’s only set to increase with the rise of artificial intelligence. So, let technology take some of the stress (and time) out of organising meetings and events and spend that time enjoying the event, not feeling too tired to take part!
Doodle – http://doodle.com/en_GB/
Time Out – http://www.timeout.com/
Google Maps – https://www.google.co.uk/maps/
Citymapper – https://citymapper.com/
PlanSnap – http://www.plansnap.com/
WhatsApp – https://www.whatsapp.com/
BarChick – https://twitter.com/HotBarChick
x.ai – https://x.ai/
Eventbrite – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/
Louise Doherty is founder of PlanSnap – an app that gets everyone to agree on a plan in just a few taps, even if users’ friends and colleagues don’t have the app. Louise is The Grocer’s Top New Talent award winner, and a Techstars graduate. PlanSnap is currently crowdfunding and has attracted investment form AB InBev. It is backed by Department for International Trade, London and Partners and Trampery Residents.