Monthly Round Up – September 2016

For those in the know, September is the REAL new year. The drop in temperature serves as a sharp jolt to leave behind the dog days of summer as routine restructures our day-to-day lives. As the weather gets colder and people move indoors for get-togethers, conferences, and parties, our opportunities to meet new people change as well. The key is making the most of it.

How the Social Internet of Things is Revolutionizing Connectivity

Humans are both innovative and social beings leading to technological advances that are changing the way we interact. The desire to connect has inspired a global technological network linking people, data, and things.

Traditionally, our conception of cloud- or Internet-based social solutions has existed in the digital world. We send emails, conduct video calls, or share social media posts. But our collective need to use resources efficiently and information effectively has led to innovations that also link objects to this network. The inclusion of sensors and actuators are turning everyday devices into smart objects. This interaction of smart objects with people through the Internet is called the Internet of Things or IoT.

Read more about the the Social Internet of Things on our blog »


Around Me: The Next Generation of Social Networking

This month, we announced the launch of our latest feature, Around Me. Around Me is a phone-to-phone discovery feature that allows you to locate people in your proximity for spontaneous opportunities. Attend conferences and networking events with purpose by viewing the profiles of people you wish to meet and reading their Talk To Me About section to initiate useful interactions. In its first few weeks alone, Around Me enabled more then 450 proximity discoveries. Each day is an opportunity to meet people. Meet the right people.

Learn more about the next generation of social networking  »


Demonstrating the Power of Seamless Connectivity at TechTO

Our discovery feature Around Me is here, and we are thrilled to spread the word. The MeetVibe team headed down to the September TechTO MeetUp to rub shoulders with fellow tech enthusiasts and demonstrate the power of the Around Me feature. At networking events like these, finding the right people is vital for companies sourcing talent or individuals seeking creative partnerships. MeetVibe’s proximity technology combined with seamless scheduling and profile viewing allows users to make the most of their connections.

Mircea, Juliana, Neya


Madam Secretary: Make Yourself Available Even While Saving The World

When your job is helping the Secretary of State avert one global crisis after another, you do not have much time for sitting down and comparing schedules. In a season 2 episode of Madam Secretary, consistently busy press secretary Daisy discusses an app developed by her love interest, Oliver, that alerts them when there is a mutually available time slot in their calendars. Sound familiar?


Fill Out the Talk To Me About Section of Your MeetVibe Profile

We all want to meet people with common interests and goals. While it may be easy to make connections, it is not so easy to find like-minded individuals to build genuine connections. MeetVibe’s Talk To Me About section lets people know you are open to conversation and what you would like to talk about. Include a few lines about your desire to discuss your company, find an exciting new job opportunity, or even your love of world travel. Introducing yourself to new people is an important part of networking. Let others know your interests and start discovering like-minded people around you today.

Update My Talk To Me About section »

If there are two things every member of the MeetVibe team loves they are technology and connectivity. We are focused on providing social connectivity that is instant and effortless, which is why we are busily working away on bringing MeetVibe to Android. Stay tuned by following us on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Neya Abdi
Content Writer and Editor

How the Social Internet of Things is Revolutionizing Connectivity

Humans are both innovative and social beings leading to technological advances that are changing the way we interact. The desire to connect has inspired a global technological network linking people, data, and things.

Traditionally, our conception of cloud- or Internet-based social solutions has existed in the digital world. We send emails, conduct video calls, or share social media posts. But our collective need to use resources efficiently and information effectively has led to innovations that also link objects to this network. The inclusion of sensors and actuators are turning everyday devices into smart objects. This interaction of smart objects with people through the Internet is called the Internet of Things or IoT.

It is not enough to simply have objects connected: they need to achieve something or provide value with that connection. Objects like heart monitors and cars that were once distinctly separate objects are now connected to a network through the cloud. Doctors benefit by being able to regularly track patients’ heart rates. Patients benefit from regular oversight and monitoring without frequent office visits. Cars connect to GPS and anti-theft systems providing valuable information and protection for consumers. It is this real-time automated transfer of information providing accurate and actionable information with little or no human intervention required that makes the Internet of Things instant and effortless.

The Internet of People (IoP) takes the Internet of Things mobile with personal electronics. Mobile phones, fitness wrist bands, Google glasses, and any devices worn or embedded in textile products with sensors that communicate via the Internet with a human interface fall under this classification. The Internet of People already runs on billions of devices.

The Internet of Things

 

Both the Internet of Things and the Internet of People make big promises to benefit and enrich the lives of people. Despite claims that technology is making us more isolated and less communicative, we are actually at an exciting point for social networking and ubiquitous connectivity.

MeetVibe – The App Connecting People with the World Around Them

We believe that technology and social connectivity should be seamless which is why we provide instant and effortless access with technology that builds meaningful relationships. Relationships with our friends, families, colleagues, customers, and suppliers as well as with the environment around us.

In today’s world, networking is essential for success and oftentimes happiness. We want to meet the right people, however, networking is not as easy as walking up to a person and saying “Hello.” MeetVibe’s phone-to-phone technology allows users to view social profiles of people nearby, so we can discern who matches our aims and goals. Whether we are looking for a business partner or searching for love, it is no longer a game of chance where we hope to stumble across somebody compatible. MeetVibe facilitates connections so people never miss an opportunity to meet someone new.

When scheduling a get-together, we want effortless access to information. MeetVibe connects calendars to show when friends are free, dynamic mapping sets the location with a tap, and GPS-triggered automated messaging keeps everyone informed. We combine technologies relevant for social interactions layered together into one app to simplify the processes associated with social engagement.

The Evolution

We all want the advantages of technical convenience without giving up control over the information we share. As the concepts of the Internet of Things and the Internet of People evolve, so do the demands and wishes of the users. Ubiquitous computing brings with it intrusive privacy concerns. We will connect, but we will also retain our autonomy and privacy.

The Social Internet of Things connects objects and people into networks defined and managed by the user. Such networks create a technological interface between people and both the physical and virtual world. This helps them to find resources, obtain contextual information, and become visible.

In a Social Internet of Things world, individuals define the parameters to take control of their privacy. Yet, humans and things operate as equals and can request or provide information while maintaining their individuality.

The MeetVibe app is an excellent example of Social Internet of Things technology. It combines socially relevant technologies into a platform that not only offers people-to-people connections, but also seamlessly interacts with sensors in the environment. We carry our mobile phones with us every day. Your mobile phone can now give you more access to the experiences you want.

The possibilities of inter-connectivity are captivating. On an intimate level, its potential for elevating our personal interactions by improving the ways in which we interact with the everyday things that impact our lives is worthy of excitement.

The Social Internet of Things

 

Events like conferences and festivals are places where we socialize. We attend to experience or learn something new and meet new people. Events are where we come together for either personal or professional engagement. But now we can also interact with the environment as well.

The Social Internet of Things is redefining our event experience. Cutting edge technology is ushering in a new era. Mobile innovation is enhancing the experience. Not only can attendees find and meet the right people with apps such as MeetVibe, but event organizers can offer additional advantages by incorporating physical beacons onsite as well.

People attending can receive welcome messages as they arrive with links to event mapping and schedules sent directly to their mobile phones. With beacons you do not need to buy exhibition headphones to learn more about each item. Instead, the information can be directly broadcast to attendees’ mobile phones as they approach an item. Festival organizers can also encourage attendees to explore less popular areas of a show by offering rewards or games that direct traffic.

The opportunities for interaction and engagement are vast.

Today, presentations need to be more interactive than ever. But this communication requires an interface and getting to that interface is often a slow process. Instead of posting a link on a screen for audience members to type into their mobile phones, the presenter can send everyone in the audience a link making the process instant and effortless. No delays, no interruptions. A simple click and go.

Presenters can also avoid being overwhelmed with administrative email requests for presentation slides after the show by automatically delivering a link to slide decks, websites, contact information, or e-books. Beaconing technology enables this type of instant communication, while the Social Internet of Things technology allows people to control if and when they choose to interact.

Mobile social networking platforms such as MeetVibe create an environment for this social interaction. Each event organizer does not need to create their own mobile app. And attendees do not need to download an app for each event. Instead attendees simply join events and start networking.

Event organizers are engaging and building meaningful relationships with their attendees by including Social Internet of Things technology. The brilliance is in its consideration of all the factors that affect interconnectivity – humans, objects, and information alike.

The Social Internet of Things is technology that enhances social connectivity, enabling a new way of engaging one another and building meaningful relationships with the world around us. The MeetVibe social network provides instant access to discovery, connectivity, and scheduling.

Join our platform today.

Get the App

Monthly Roundup – August

During the summertime, it’s not easy to stay focused on your goals. When it’s cold and rainy, it is somewhat easier to lock yourself inside and plough through various tasks. But it’s a lot harder to follow through when the weather is nice and BBQs beckon.

Dare to Dream Through Your Schedule

We all have our “traditional” goals related to work and family responsibilities. But we also have aspirational goals that often cross our minds and are rarely explored. No other line kills our hope of achieving these entrepreneurial ambitions, booking that dream trip, or learning a new language like:

“I’m just too busy.”

Blaming your schedule is simply passing the buck onto a tool that you control. Your schedule is a device meant to help you organize your time, but sadly it suffers from a serious misunderstanding of its proper usage.
Continue reading »

7 Tips for Making the Most of a Startup’s Time

Meet Mircea Baldean: the founder of MeetVibe. After spending more than 15 years within Toronto’s financial sector, he realized the careers escalator was jammed. When Mircea read The Start-up of You he began to consider whether there was a better way he could be spending his time. Always one to embrace change, Mircea began down the path towards entrepreneurship by welcoming trend shifts and positioning himself to be ready for change- the entrepreneur’s recipe to create unexpected opportunities.

Continue reading Mircea’s interview on the Upside Foundation blog »

Tip: Why You Should Update Your MeetVibe Profile Now

Discovery is not only about finding the next Pokémon. Real relationships are cultivated with time and attention. Never miss an opportunity to meet someone new while attending an event or share a lunch or coffee with colleagues in the most popular work lunch restaurant.

With our upcoming new feature, Around Me, you will be able to set your profile to Public or Private if you would like to connect with new MeetVibers or followers who are nearby. View the name and profile of those around you. Each user’s profile provides a brief bio and social media links. Find an ice-breaking topic in the Talk to Me About section to get your conversations off to a meaningful start.

MeetVibe, Inc. Turns 1!

Last, but not least, time surely flies by when you are having fun. MeetVibe, Inc. is officially 1!

It’s been one year since we became a Delaware-based corporation, headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area. A year later, MeetVibe team members span four countries across North America and Europe.

Innovation happens at intersections. Our geographically-diverse team from Silicon Valley, Toronto, Zurich, and Bucharest brings a dynamic mix of skills, experience, and cultural perspectives.

We are excited to celebrate this milestone with all of you. Stay tuned for more!

The MeetVibe Crew

Mircea Baldean @MeetVibe: 7 Tips for Making the Most of Your Startup’s Time

Meet Mircea Baldean: the founder of MeetVibe. After spending more than 15 years within Toronto’s financial sector, he realized the careers escalator was jammed. When Mircea read The Start-up of You he began to consider whether there was a better way he could be spending his time. Always one to embrace change, Mircea began down the path towards entrepreneurship by welcoming trend shifts and positioning himself to be ready for change- the entrepreneur’s recipe to create unexpected opportunities.

The Start-up of You written by Reid Hoffmann, founder of LinkedIn, talks about the importance of always having three plans, in business and in life: Plan A, Plan B, and Plan Z. Plan A is your current plan, Plan B is what you pivot to when you recognize an alternative or a higher potential opportunity, and then there’s Plan Z, the fallback position or lifeboat. The certainty of having a Plan Z backstop is what allows you to take on uncertainty and risk in your career.

“As soon as I had that Plan Z at the back of my mind, I started taking baby steps to ensure the lifeboat would hold water. The more time I invested in the idea, I realized it was becoming my passion project. Chance favours the prepared mind. When I had a chance to move on in my career, my Plan Z was quickly elevated into the next Plan A: MeetVibe”

MeetVibe is a platform that simplifies scheduling and enables you to spend more of your time focused on the people who matter most to you, and less on cumbersome organizational tasks.

Mircea has reflected a lot on how to make the most of your time, both from the perspective of his product and the needs of his customers, as well as in terms of the success of his own startup. Mircea was kind enough to sit down with me and share some of his tips on making the best use of your time.

1. Always be aware of how you are spending your time

As any entrepreneur knows, windows of opportunity come and go, and there is never enough time to accomplish all that you want to do. Being purposeful about how you use your time is the most important part of any entrepreneur’s planning.

“I did not fully realize the importance of time when I was a full time employee. Now that I’m out on my own, my time is limited for what I want to accomplish. There’s so much to do, so much opportunity — I’m always thinking about how I can accomplish more, how I structure my time so I can maximize what I get done”.

2. Do business with people who believe what you believe

While some opportunities may seem to align with exactly what your business needs, Mircea suggests that it is critical to ensure that you have the same vision and values.

“Our time is limited as entrepreneurs — you don’t have time to convince people to see things through your eyes”.

3. Be a selectively good listener

Advice on entrepreneurship can often be contradictory. “Be focused on what you do best” versus “listen to your customers”. “Seek out mentorship” versus “don’t let other people’s opinions stand in your way”. It can be difficult to know which path to follow.

“The entrepreneur’s paradox is the need to be resilient, perseverant and stubborn, while also remaining open to feedback. There is a danger that you become so focused that you can go too far ahead on your own without paying attention to what’s going on around you”.

Mircea suggests looking for trends in the feedback you receive, and paying attention to the input you receive multiple times- one off suggestions can often be a reflection of personal bias.

4. Approach partnerships with caution

Partnerships can make or break your startup. There are so many factors that need to be considered when deciding who to involve at what depth in your business.

“At the end of the day it’s a journey, and that requires commitment — the most important thing with partnerships is difficult to judge. You have to assess for yourself whether you believe people will make a long term commitment to your business; think through the scenarios that would trigger a drop-off along the way.”

5. Find people who will hold your hand

In Cirque de Soleil, the performers trust each other with their lives. If they let go of each other’s hands, there is a high probability of death — and of course, the brand will be extremely hurt.

The MeetVibe team operates around the world.

Startups operate in a similar fashion. Thankfully, human life is not usually at stake, but the life of the business is. At MeetVibe, the team works remotely from around the world. Each team member operates independently and knows what they are good at. Everyone has a responsibility to think about how their current work will impact the business, and to speak up whenever they see something that doesn’t make sense.

“Some people don’t understand how we can not work together physically. Our team really understands the ‘hold my hand’ mentality, and it inspires so much commitment and passion from our people”.

6. Be better tonight than you were this morning

The only way that your startup will continue to grow and accomplish new levels of success is if you the founder consistently invest in your own growth and development.

“You will learn a lot through building a startup — I think of it as a second MBA. My goal is to get better at what I do every single day. If I can accomplish something by the end of the week that I was stuck on before — that implies that I am working with intention, making mistakes, and making progress”.

7. Plant seeds to generate good karma

Sharing is ingrained in everything MeetVibe does. At the core of the MeetVibe app is opening your calendar up to those around you, to signal when you are free and invite others to take advantage of that. Mircea extends that sharing mentality into the company’s philosophy about their role in a larger ecosystem.

“When I learned about the Upside Foundation from chair and co-founder Rob Antoniades, it was a no-brainer to support the Upside Foundation’s mission. If we’re successful, we’re happy to share that. Being a part of the Upside Foundation will help me as well. Sharing is extremely important to create an ecosystem of seeds — you never know which one will pay off down the road”.

Upside Foundation Donors and Executive Director Janie Goldstein at the Salesforce World Tour, May 2015

Mircea found a very early payoff for his involvement with the Upside Foundation. Shortly after making the pledge, MeetVibe was selected to be profiled at the Salesforce World Tour in Toronto, alongside a few other startups.

“Seeing the MeetVibe logo on the big screen, in front of 3,000 participants, was a surreal experience for us while still operating in stealth mode at the time!”

Mircea is committed to carefully considering the merit of each potential initiative, the alignment of vision and values, and the process by which any undertaking is approached. Making the most of his time is what he has committed his life’s work to.

In both company structure and product, MeetVibe follows the same principled commitment. Company leadership is based around the world (Toronto, San Francisco Bay Area, and Zurich), a prospect which would have been impossible 5–10 years ago.

As Mircea pivoted towards MeetVibe, a former colleague shared with him his admiration for taking control of his career path. Taking control of your time, taking control of your career, taking control of your life — a common theme throughout Mircea’s story, and a lesson all entrepreneurs continue to learn every day.

Here’s to making the most of it!

For more information about how pledging with the Upside Foundation can support your mission to do well while doing good, check out our website at www.upsidefoundation.ca. Take the pledge today to ‘share the upside’!

Dare to Dream Through Your Schedule

We all have our “traditional” goals related to work and family responsibilities. But we also have aspirational goals that often cross our minds and are rarely explored. No other line kills our hope of achieving these entrepreneurial ambitions, booking that dream trip, or learning a new language like:

“I’m just too busy.”

Blaming your schedule is simply passing the buck onto a tool that you control. Your schedule is a device meant to help you organize your time, but sadly it suffers from a serious misunderstanding of its proper usage.

What is a schedule? Is it just a calendar? Well partly, in the way that it ensures you do not double book appointments, but this is not the full story. A schedule is what allows you to allocate and prioritize your time, which is a precious commodity in limited supply. Practically speaking, our schedules are how we use the valuable resource of time.

A number of successful people have achieved their goals by figuring out how to work time to their advantage. Some do this by using discipline to stick to a rigorous routine that breaks down how much time they spend on every activity. Others exploit an understanding of when they work best to do all their focused work early in the morning and save their networking for the evening.

This may be helpful to you – hearing how successful people structure their day is wonderful. But more importantly, how do you dust off your ideas that have been sitting on the shelf and get started? The answer is simple: schedule time for all your dreams.

It sounds obvious, but it is rather important to make time in your calendar for the tasks that will move you forward to achieving your aspirational goals. We are firm in our commitment to our work time or family time, but let the time for our dreams get lost in the shuffle of daily responsibilities.

We adapt our lives for unexpected moments, so why not adjust for our “dream” goals?

Think of your impossibly busy day for a moment. Now consider all of life’s interruptions that force you to adjust even on your busiest day. If you get stuck in traffic for half an hour longer than you expected or you get pulled into a meeting you cannot brush off, somehow you still manage to continue on without the rest of your day coming to a halt. Unexpected events and obligations pop up all the time and we make things work. If we can make our day work around the unexpected, why not find a way to make it work around our goals as well?

Injecting your life’s dreams into your schedule is like giving your day-to-day routine a shot of adrenaline.

The people over at Entrepreneur describe this forward-thinking use of your schedule perfectly:

“Any activity or conversation that is important to your success should have a time assigned to it. To-do lists get longer and longer to the point where they are unworkable. Appointment books work. Schedule appointments with yourself and create time blocks for high-priority thoughts, conversations, and actions. Schedule when they will begin and end. Have the discipline to keep these appointments.”

This does not require a drastic schedule adjustment. More a shift in thinking and some patience. To quote Bill Gates, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

So what is the difficulty with using this strategy? Getting started and staying committed. How long have you been saying you would start that non-profit? Run a marathon? Write that book? Begin by breaking your goal down into manageable tasks. Block off an hour a week to research the industry you want to start a business in. Attend networking events within this industry. Schedule a personal trainer to get you in the gym and prepare for that marathon. Book your next vacation at a writer’s retreat to start drafting your novel. Be fierce in carving out time for your dreams.

Block Off Time with MeetVibe

MeetVibe works perfectly to set aside time and reinforce the off-limits nature of this time to others. Simply schedule an appointment with yourself. Your contacts do not see the details of your schedule, only your available time (green) and your unavailable time (grey). This encourages meeting requests during your available time and avoids interruptions. Start using your “dream time” as serious “work time” and develop the routine of prioritizing the things that are important to you.

Harness your time and transform that unexplored goal from an idea into a reality. Make yourself available for your dreams. Join MeetVibe today!

Monthly Roundup – July

Make the most of your summer! Warm weather and sunshine bring lots of get-togethers. MeetVibe is a social networking scheduling solution to stay in touch with people who matter most to you.

Why Scheduling is More Social than You Think

Lunch dates, business meetings, and social gatherings sound like random events, but they all share two things in common: personal interactions and scheduling.

We interact with others throughout our day. Some exchanges are spontaneous while at work or on the go. Other meetings are scheduled in advance by saving the date and confirming an appointment. We schedule many things from doctor’s appointments to training courses and from vacations to video conferences.

Read more about how MeetVibe helps you build meaningful connections by cultivating a social dynamic that reflects value for the relationship and mutual respect.

Continue reading »

Scheduling Fatigue? Blame your Email

Managers and employees have been well aware of the productivity drain caused by email for a long time. Back in 2006, CEO Scott Dockter of PBD Worldwide implemented an interesting company initiative: no email Friday. All internal communication took place in person or over the phone. Only customer service could answer external email inquires.

Email inefficiency is widely recognized, and how we address this issue depends on our work style. Some opt for absolutist measures while others allocate specific time simply for answering emails. We like to think that email is less and less necessary for things like scheduling. We share efficient methods to reduce your Email fatigue.

Continue reading »

Tip: MeetVibe Concierge

Increase your peace of mind with MeetVibe’s SMS service, Concierge, an add-on that automatically sends a text message to parties when you arrive at the meeting location. Using this feature, you demonstrate a higher level of courtesy by informing guests or clients the exact time you arrive.

MeetVibe Concierge

Get the MeetVibe Concierge add-on for $14.99 which includes a pack of 300 text messages.

Coming Soon

Our developers are working hard to implement your suggestions and bring new innovative features to life. Coming soon is our Around Me proximity technology. It will help you gain an increased awareness of your surroundings for spontaneous opportunities.

With Around Me you will be able to set your profile to public if you would like to connect with new people. Or keep your profile private so that only your followers can see you are nearby. Never miss an opportunity to meet someone new at an event or share a lunch or coffee with colleagues in the most popular work lunch restaurant.

Make the most of your time by sharing it with the ones who matter most to you.

As always, a heartfelt thanks to you all!

The MeetVibe Crew

 

Scheduling Fatigue? Blame your Email

Managers and employees have been well aware of the productivity drain caused by email for a long time. Back in 2006, CEO Scott Dockter of PBD Worldwide implemented an interesting company initiative: no email Friday. All internal communication took place in person or over the phone. Only customer service could answer external email inquires.

Mr. Dockter tells Fast Company that he decided to try the idea out after noticing how much time he and his assistant were wasting by emailing back and forth when she was seated right outside his office.

So, what were the results of no email Fridays? The roof did not cave in, and the sky did not fall. Instead, the change improved communication between colleagues and team members. Employees noted that things got done faster without the back and forth. And Fridays had a looser feel with the increased human interaction. No email Fridays was so successful that nine years later, employees were still following the policy.

Without a no email Friday, busy people look for other strategies to reduce email fatigue. In the Harvard Business Review, Peter Bregman wrote about his experience clearing his inbox after a week long vacation. It took him three hours to reply to the backlog. During a regular workweek he would spend roughly three hours per day answering emails. A more targeted, focused approach to handling emails seemed like the way to go. Rather than read every email as they came in, he decided to dedicate a specific chunk of the day to responding to them.

A peculiar psychological effect makes putting off reading emails a tricky challenge. Psychologists call the underlying stimuli of email addiction operant conditioning. We cannot resist checking and responding to a ping or peeking at our inbox because opening a new message means that there is something waiting for us, like exciting news or an intriguing offer. As a result, we cannot get enough of it. Opening an email guarantees a specific consequence: a new message. Knowing there will be a specific outcome reinforces our behavior of constantly checking it.

To add to the problem, people tend to check constantly incoming emails on the phone in their pockets. Roughly 53 percent of email is opened on a mobile device, skimmed but then dealt with via computer later. This effectively doubles the effort of reading each message.

So if we talk directly with others as much as possible and acknowledge that we are better off going through emails during an allotted time, what are other strategies to reduce email fatigue?

In some situations we can remove the need for email altogether. Scheduling is an example of a process where we spend ample time going back and forth with our contacts to come up with a convenient meeting time and location.

MeetVibe‘s mobile application provides a shortcut that bypasses this tiresome email route to scheduling. A large number of these scheduling emails involve eliminating times that do not work. Much like in traditional business tools, with MeetVibe, calendar availability can be shared with others inside or outside of your organization. When looking for a good time to get together with an associate, client, customer, or supplier the organizer can avoid requesting times that are already booked for the other person. Now, that is a useful start, and considerably more helpful than blindly emailing a handful of time windows and hoping something overlaps. The organizer can propose a date and time based off known availability.

 

meetvibe-officetable-when-845x321

Moreover, MeetVibe tackles the other pesky challenge of sending meeting invitations via email. The probability of someone reading a meeting request over their mobile device and subsequently delaying or forgetting to respond without a reminder is quite high. Much of the back and forth is due to a lack of action on the part of one or both parties.

This issue of inaction has been masterfully addressed – MeetVibe invites expire after 24 hours.

With an imposed time limit and your calendar’s validation that you are available, there is more of a push to respond. Instead of opening an email with a mobile phone then responding later with an email, it is easier to simply click accept and finalize the scheduling process.

Likewise, the need for additional steps is gone. Receiving an invitation via email on your mobile device requires you to file it away for later when you can more comfortably access your calendar or cross-check against other email invites on your computer. MeetVibe’s invitations are delivered within a platform that has already accounted for your scheduling needs including everything from your calendar to your preferred meeting locations. This way, arranging appointments and liaising with contacts can be conducted efficiently throughout your day while you’re on the go.

Email inefficiency is widely recognized, and how we address this issue depends on our work style. Some opt for absolutist measures while others allocate specific time simply for answering emails. Whichever method you employ, a smart overall strategy is to stop throwing processes like scheduling under the auspices of email.

Naturally, this shift away from email necessitates a period of transition. MeetVibe works best when your calendar is synced to the app and your contacts are connected as Followers to view your available time. Your calendar entries or activities are never shared. Instead, followers view blocks of busy or free time. Adding your MeetVibe profile link when sharing your contact information will quickly become second nature.

For one CEO, tackling email inefficiency meant stepping outside of his office to chat with his assistant instead of emailing back and forth. For another it was dedicating a specific time exclusively for email. We like to think that there are better tools or alternatives to email. As our technology evolves, the ways in which we manage our business and cultivate our relationships change, too. MeetVibe’s scheduling solution provides a forward-thinking alternative that recognizes the importance of all these needs.

Make the most of your time – adopt the MeetVibe solution and join today.

meetvibe-app-store-168x40-1

Why Scheduling is More Social than You Think

Lunch dates, business meetings, and social gatherings sound like random events, but they all share two things in common: personal interactions and scheduling.

We interact with others throughout our day. Some exchanges are spontaneous while at work or on the go. Other meetings are scheduled in advance by saving the date and confirming an appointment. We schedule many things from doctor’s appointments to training courses and from vacations to video conferences.

Social dynamics include the behaviors, relationships and interactions of individuals and groups. Relationships play a role in every interaction, and individuals are influenced by one another’s behavior. Each get-together has a social implication for the organizer and the invitee.

If we take the time to book a date and come together with another person, there is an explicit understanding of shared time during the planned event. But there is also a time investment and social implication for planning. The act of scheduling is a process, and a rather inconvenient and time-consuming process at that. It can take upwards of seven phone calls or emails over several days for two people to find a mutually convenient meeting time and location. Getting a group of people together only compounds the effort required to secure a date.

It should come as no surprise that technology is running to the rescue to simplify this process. Google offers shared calendars and Doodle provides polls to vote on dates, but they have not alleviated the problem of unresponsiveness and inaction that plague the traditional scheduling process.

So what is the latest buzz term in the world of scheduling? Virtual personal assistants.

That is right. Virtual personal assistants (PA) supported by artificial intelligence (AI) have entered the scheduling arena. One company, x.ai, has introduced Amy Ingram (or her twin brother Andrew). Both are AIs that assume the role of a human administrative assistant. To set up an appointment, the organizer emails the invitee with details of a proposed get together and cc’s the virtual PA asking it to interact with the invitee to complete the scheduling process. From there, the invited party interacts primarily with the virtual assistant.

AI can reduce the time wasted by the original organizer. However, the virtual assistant does not eliminate the back and forth. Rather, the cumbersome ping-ping method of scheduling stays the same, and the burden of this process is placed on the person who is being invited.

Using a service like Amy is the same as directing your friends or associates to the email equivalent of an automated telephone system. It seems counter-intuitive to transfer people whose time you value to a system that mimics what is arguably the most irritating device in modern business. And like any automated telephone system, the AI is not flexible. If the initial instructions were not clear enough or not possible for the invitee then the organizer is also pulled back into the email ping-pong.

At some point in all our lives scheduling becomes a necessity. We have endured the hassle of scheduling out of respect because the person we are meeting is important to us. But saving time for ourselves while deferring a friend or associate to an automated service sends a different message.

Consider Lara O’Reilly’s test of x.ai for one week for Business Insider. When one of her contacts realized she had a “personal assistant” they replied, “Well if I would have known you had people I would have got my people to speak to your people.” Another colleague wrote, “Who is Amy?? Do you have a secret PA? Have you got dead senior and will forget all your friends and just hang out with really important people instead?”

These responses raise an interesting question: what does using a virtual personal assistant tell our contacts about our status and how valuable they are to us?

Sure, automated scheduling programs can make the user more organized by taking over for its “boss” and setting up meetings. But automated scheduling assistants also have unexpected implications for relationships. While scheduling carries the stigma of bureaucracy and boring administration, it is a rather personal activity. In most cases, you are planning to meet people you already know, are somewhat acquainted with, or who stand to benefit you in some way. As a result, there are a whole host of norms and expectations surrounding your interactions with that person, regardless of the length of your acquaintance.

We know the reason companies invest so much in automated systems is in an effort to save time and money. Is this the impression we want to give to our clients and colleagues?

O’Reilly ultimately decided that despite its advantages, she would not use x.ai. Her reason: the perceived “status” or sense of importance. In other words, outsourcing relationship management and appointment setting to a machine sets up an uncomfortable dynamic in which the sender implies that they are too busy or important to handle such arrangements themselves.

MeetVibe is a better alternative.

Our scheduling philosophy emphasizes the social and human element of coming together. MeetVibe integrates the latest technology to reduce the time required for the act of scheduling so that people can make the most of their time with the ones who are important to them.

The MeetVibe app syncs with your contacts and calendar to offer calendar availability viewing. No more emailing back and forth with or without a personal assistant. Neither person’s time is wasted suggesting dates that are already booked. With MeetVibe, people who are connected can easily scroll through times to choose an option when both people are free.

Giving equal control for 1:1 meetings, both the organizer and the invitee can update the meeting details. Since all parties are available for the suggested meeting time, all it takes is a simple click of “accept” and the date is saved to their calendar. MeetVibe invitations expire after 24 hours, which prompts users to take action, effectively finalizing the scheduling process quickly for everyone.

This emphasis on easing the cumbersome task of scheduling to focus on the human aspect of the interaction does not end after the invite has been accepted. MeetVibe’s Concierge adds a personal touch by taking the extra care to inform attendees that the organizer is arriving. This automation reduces the effort of the organizer while using technology to improve the experience of those attending.

Build meaningful connections and show them they are important to you. Reducing the time required for all parties to schedule cultivates a social dynamic that reflects value for the relationship and mutual respect. Whether you are booking that lunch date or arranging a business meeting, sign up today and schedule your next get together with MeetVibe.

meetvibe-app-store-168x40-1

Why Scheduling is More Social than You Think

Lunch dates, business meetings, and social gatherings sound like random events, but they all share two things in common: personal interactions and scheduling.

We interact with others throughout our day. Some exchanges are spontaneous while at work or on the go. Other meetings are scheduled in advance by saving the date and confirming an appointment. We schedule many things from doctor’s appointments to training courses and from vacations to video conferences.

Social dynamics include the behaviors, relationships and interactions of individuals and groups. Relationships play a role in every interaction, and individuals are influenced by one another’s behavior. Each get-together has a social implication for the organizer and the invitee.

If we take the time to book a date and come together with another person, there is an explicit understanding of shared time during the planned event. But there is also a time investment and social implication for planning. The act of scheduling is a process, and a rather inconvenient and time-consuming process at that. It can take upwards of seven phone calls or emails over several days for two people to find a mutually convenient meeting time and location. Getting a group of people together only compounds the effort required to secure a date.

It should come as no surprise that technology is running to the rescue to simplify this process. Google offers shared calendars and Doodle provides polls to vote on dates, but they have not alleviated the problem of unresponsiveness and inaction that plague the traditional scheduling process.

So what is the latest buzz term in the world of scheduling? Virtual personal assistants.

That is right. Virtual personal assistants (PA) supported by artificial intelligence (AI) have entered the scheduling arena. One company, x.ai, has introduced Amy Ingram (or her twin brother Andrew). Both are AIs that assume the role of a human administrative assistant. To set up an appointment, the organizer emails the invitee with details of a proposed get together and cc’s the virtual PA asking it to interact with the invitee to complete the scheduling process. From there, the invited party interacts primarily with the virtual assistant.

AI can reduce the time wasted by the original organizer. However, the virtual assistant does not eliminate the back and forth. Rather, the cumbersome ping-ping method of scheduling stays the same, and the burden of this process is placed on the person who is being invited.

Using a service like Amy is the same as directing your friends or associates to the email equivalent of an automated telephone system. It seems counter-intuitive to transfer people whose time you value to a system that mimics what is arguably the most irritating device in modern business. And like any automated telephone system, the AI is not flexible. If the initial instructions were not clear enough or not possible for the invitee then the organizer is also pulled back into the email ping-pong.

At some point in all our lives scheduling becomes a necessity. We have endured the hassle of scheduling out of respect because the person we are meeting is important to us. But saving time for ourselves while deferring a friend or associate to an automated service sends a different message.

Consider Lara O’Reilly’s test of x.ai for one week for Business Insider. When one of her contacts realized she had a “personal assistant” they replied, “Well if I would have known you had people I would have got my people to speak to your people.” Another colleague wrote, “Who is Amy?? Do you have a secret PA? Have you got dead senior and will forget all your friends and just hang out with really important people instead?”

These responses raise an interesting question: what does using a virtual personal assistant tell our contacts about our status and how valuable they are to us?

Sure, automated scheduling programs can make the user more organized by taking over for its “boss” and setting up meetings. But automated scheduling assistants also have unexpected implications for relationships. While scheduling carries the stigma of bureaucracy and boring administration, it is a rather personal activity. In most cases, you are planning to meet people you already know, are somewhat acquainted with, or who stand to benefit you in some way. As a result, there are a whole host of norms and expectations surrounding your interactions with that person, regardless of the length of your acquaintance.

We know the reason companies invest so much in automated systems is in an effort to save time and money. Is this the impression we want to give to our clients and colleagues?

O’Reilly ultimately decided that despite its advantages, she would not use x.ai. Her reason: the perceived “status” or sense of importance. In other words, outsourcing relationship management and appointment setting to a machine sets up an uncomfortable dynamic in which the sender implies that they are too busy or important to handle such arrangements themselves.

MeetVibe is a better alternative.

Our scheduling philosophy emphasizes the social and human element of coming together. MeetVibe integrates the latest technology to reduce the time required for the act of scheduling so that people can make the most of their time with the ones who are important to them.

The MeetVibe app syncs with your contacts and calendar to offer calendar availability viewing. No more emailing back and forth with or without a personal assistant. Neither person’s time is wasted suggesting dates that are already booked. With MeetVibe, people who are connected can easily scroll through times to choose an option when both people are free.

Giving equal control for 1:1 meetings, both the organizer and the invitee can update the meeting details. Since all parties are available for the suggested meeting time, all it takes is a simple click of “accept” and the date is saved to their calendar. MeetVibe invitations expire after 24 hours, which prompts users to take action, effectively finalizing the scheduling process quickly for everyone.

This emphasis on easing the cumbersome task of scheduling to focus on the human aspect of the interaction does not end after the invite has been accepted. MeetVibe’s Concierge adds a personal touch by taking the extra care to inform attendees that the organizer is arriving. This automation reduces the effort of the organizer while using technology to improve the experience of those attending.

Build meaningful connections and show them they are important to you. Reducing the time required for all parties to schedule cultivates a social dynamic that reflects value for the relationship and mutual respect. Whether you are booking that lunch date or arranging a business meeting, sign up today and schedule your next get together with MeetVibe.

meetvibe-app-store-168x40-1

Five Concrete Strategies for Freelancers to Get Clients

Once upon a time starting a business required a loan and a lot of risk. Nowadays, online tools have made freelancing easier than ever. Nine-to-five professionals are running side gigs in their off-hours and others are ditching their old jobs altogether to forge independent careers that let them work on their own schedule.

Getting clients in the early days of your freelance business can seem daunting, but by employing a few key strategies you can get customers in no time.

Pull Together an Organized Portfolio

Pull together a portfolio that dazzles your prospects. A polished and curated portfolio will quickly demonstrate the value of your work and give your potential clients an overview of your offering.

Many new freelancers complete projects for free to add work to their portfolio and receive testimonials. But be mindful not to employ a “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” approach. Growing your portfolio does not equal taking on every job. Find your specialty and become the go-to professional for that niche whether it’s as a freelance corporate events planner or a wedding photographer.

Advertise Your Services with Tiered Pricing & Promotions

Create a shared value with tiered pricing. Tiered pricing and promotions are not restricted to phone companies and Internet providers. On the contrary, almost any business can use this technique to serve their customers and in return attract more business. Tradespeople provide much needed services, but oftentimes people will attempt to address minor issues on their own and sacrifice convenience to avoid fees. These odd jobs are a great source of income if secured. Plumbers and electricians can offer discounted second visits or packages for people who require multiple jobs. The latter option is particularly attractive for homeowners undergoing renovations who require regular assistance, but need an affordable price.

Solo business owners selling material goods like dresses or jewelry can offer express shipping at a higher price and advertise a limited time offer of free shipping on a certain number of purchases. Personal trainers trying to build a client base can offer various packages with different pricing. These options provide prospects with incentive to try your service. And if you deliver on your promise, it will be a surefire way to secure continued and referral work.

Establish an Engaging and Interactive Experience

The most successful freelancers are interactive, engaging, and authentic. Determine your niche and target audience and then proceed to start a dialogue. Your story can help to create that initial connection. Tell your story in a way that your clients can relate. Oftentimes this introduction begins online. Your personal digital marketing will help you get clients to come to you. But do not fall for the myth that digital marketing is the strict domain of media companies and large corporations; freelancers can benefit as well.

A number of real estate agents and real estate brokers are moving beyond traditional websites and billboards to advertise their services. Many are targeting existing homeowners or those who may be thinking about buying a home with blog articles that discuss useful topics. By providing helpful information, brokers and agents build an audience and establish a relationship of trust with individuals who will most likely turn to them when the time comes to buy a home.

Freelancers are also using online and mobile scheduling tools to publish their calendar availability online. Free services such as MeetVibe allow customers or clients to request an open time slot for an appointment. This makes it easy for customers to connect with you. The 24 hour time limit for confirmation ensures a responsive first-impression.

Designers or contractors supervising renovations can also provide homeowners peace of mind with MeetVibe’s SMS service called Concierge. Concierge is an in-app add-on that automatically sends a text message to parties when the freelancer arrives at a predetermined location. Using this tool, contractors can demonstrate additional accountability by informing clients on or off-site the exact time they arrive without interrupting their work.

MeetVibe’s Concierge feature is extremely helpful for real estate agents’ day-to-day work. An automatic text message can be sent to relevant parties such as the homeowner and listing agent when the real estate agent has arrived at a given location.

Take Advantage of Online Freelance Marketplaces

When you are unsure whether companies are even looking for your services, it can be hard to stay motivated.

Online freelancer marketplaces are especially helpful in this regard. Sites like Upwork create a community where clients and freelancers can connect. This way, instead of worrying about sales freelancers can search for postings that match their skills. Your pitches should include the following features:

  • A very brief introduction with your background (include the number of years, descriptors like award-winning, if applicable)
  • How you would tackle this specific project (focus on how you can meet this person’s needs)
  • Your MeetVibe name for full contact information and to show your current availability to discuss the project
  • Your rates

Upwork is terrific for beginners because it removes the stress related to advertising your services and handling payments.

Build Meaningful Relationships

Networking is one of the most useful methods of building relationships and landing clients. It can lead to a contract or referral work. In both cases, timing and context is everything.

Freelancers are often mobile and much of their work comes from networking and introducing new people to what their business has to offer. Wherever you are, at a conference or an event, make connections and follow up.

Relationship building and business development on the go is much more convenient with this mobile social networking tool. The MeetVibe app makes exchanging contact information and scheduling follow-ups easier than ever. After a productive introduction, business owners can bypass all the schedule checking and compare calendars to instantly arrange a follow-up meeting. Instead of exchanging business cards that get shoved in a drawer somewhere, you can capitalize on that positive response before a potential customer has moved on to thinking about something else.

Opportunities should fit into your schedule. Make yourself available today!

Once you have used these strategies I am confident you will attract the attention of potential clients. Best wishes for your freelancing success!