If you’re setting up a large business meeting you’ll know it can be tricky to find a date, time, location and venue that suits everyone and ensures the right people attend.
Ideally, to save yourself a lot of grief, you want to suggest the plan that works for everyone the first time.
But, that’s easier said than done.
According to PlanSnap statistics, the average plan takes nine apps, 22 app switches, 77 swipes, 13 minutes on the phone and 10 texts. And 40% of the time, it still fails completely to get the right people together.
So, what’s the solution? Fortunately, there are some websites and apps that can help you to get people to agree on four most important things: who, what, where and when.
- What kind of activity is going to be attractive to the people that you want to attend? Is it a coffee, dinner, or cocktails? Or do you need a shared interest to bond over, like cycling, golfing or a whiskey tasting session? 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.
- Make sure the right people can make the time you choose. Something like Doodle can help you work out who is available when, though it can be tricky to get people to actually fill it out as it needs them to proactively engage. There are services like x.ai, a robot assistant that claims to organize meetings for you, but many users report their contacts being irritated by “computer says no” moments and the pomp of getting a robot to organize your lunch meeting.
- Hopefully, you know the people involved well enough to know where they work or live, and can mentally triangulate where’s a good venue 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 might help you work out venue locations and travel times.
- Get everyone to confirm. If it’s a big event you could use something like ticketing website Eventbrite. Or, you could start a WhatsApp group, but the amount of notifications lighting up your phone might be a bit overwhelming.
The new tech kid on the block is PlanSnap. It’s still in beta but is getting great feedback from early users and already has over 200 people, and companies including AB InBev, invest in it through Crowdcube.
PlanSnap intelligently suggests plans that work for everyone, and sends that plan to your friends or colleagues even if they’re they haven’t downloaded the app. It currently integrates with text messaging, but email and other integrations are coming soon.
Technology is assisting us with all aspects of our lives, and that’s only set to increase with the rise of artificial intelligence. If our robot overlords really are coming let’s put them to work doing the repetitive tasks like planning, leaving us far more time to do the things they can’t do. That said, we’re sure it won’t be long until an algorithm can hit a hole in one and really seal that deal.
Louise Doherty is the 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, a 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.