Never Eat Alone: Day 5 with Anna-Lena König

If you have a full schedule meeting new people is tough. It’s is hard to even squeeze in a coffee or a healthy snack, if you are running around like a maniac, hopping from meeting to meeting, from project to project. Getting to know somebody means spending quality time, listening, finding common interests, building up a relationship. A stressful day and an occupied mind are not the best foundation for successful networking.

And yes, today I technically did not eat with somebody but rather met new people by networking at Berlins new Blogger meetup. I arrived late, found a seat in the back and planned to blend in the background for a change. But hey, I should have known better! Right after I joined the gathering the talks ended and the networking began.

Tobias Schwarz, blogger at Netzpiloten, was the first familiar face. After a brief chat he introduced me to Anna-Lena König, We hit it off immediately after we realized that we had “met” online already. Anna-Lena is project manager at newthinking, working on droidcon, a developer conference for the android community. Funny enough, a few hours ago I gave droidcon some social media love since they are currently calling for papers. I knew the conference concept, I knew some of her colleagues, but I didn’t know her. We chatted about droidcon, the hackathon newthinking is planning, some common acquaintances. Since other people joined the group topics changed and we both moved on to connect with other people — of course after exchanging business cards.

Because that’s an important learning if you want to find somebody to spend quality time or eat with now and then: You have to stay in touch! Connect via LinkedIn, twitter or any other social media network, reach out and suggest lunch dates or a quick pitstop at a coffee shop next door. Invest time in growing the relationship you just started.

By change I will be at the newthinking headquarter tomorrow to talk about some other projects and be sure that I will stop at Anna-Lenas desk just to say “hi”. Because online contact is great but nothing beats a good coffee (or tea) and a scone with an interesting person!

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