img2Think about the number of people that pass through an airport each day. Heathrow, for example: on average 201,000 individuals grace its atriums and security controls on their way to both exotic and less exotic destinations every day of the year. The odds of one of those people being pretty interesting is high, don’t you think?

When it comes to business travel the last thing you want is to be put next to an obnoxious individual who spends the flight distracting you from the work you are trying to get done with senseless chatter, death-metal blaring out of their headphones and more body odour than a gent who just left the gym without showering. Uncool.

So how do we get through this? Imagine a new way of traveling, you’re up early, on your way to the airport chilling in the back of a taxi. You’ve got a little bit of time to kill when you get to there as you did most of your prep last night so you jump on your phone to have a look at what’s going on at the airport, and who you could possibly connect with. You find someone cool and you start messaging them. You’re both in the same industry, on the same plane, and you find out that there is an opportunity to partner up and build some business together. It all starts with reaching out, but sometimes we need help getting there as walking around treating an airport like a speed-dating event doesn’t always go down too well. Believe me, I tried it.

img1And airlines are starting to cotton on over in the United States and South Africa, with meet and seat services that give you the ability to sit yourself next to comely, interesting people who can add to your life, who can liven up your flying experience. Ideas like these can change the experience of hundreds of flyers in the sky, and Btrfly can change it while you are still on the ground. Let’s give you a few quoted examples, courtesy of an article in Inc.com:

  • Arnold Kalmer, CEO of KENT Bycicle, ended up in conversation with Shelly Fisher from Medical ID Marketplace when she spilled soda on the seat between them. They got talking, have been friends ever since and he even placed an order with them on that flight!
  • Alessandro Zampedri, a former pro Formula 1 racing driver and partner and CEO of Bowery House Hotel in NYC is working on projects with the CEO of a Recife coffee retailer after they met on a flight from Munich to New York. This was all thanks to a bit of luck and a shared passion for racing, and a goody-bag of the best coffees on Zampedri’s desk a few days after he got home…
  • Kendra Kroll, founder of Undercover Solutions, benefitted from a little extended networking when her friend hooked her up with a buyer of a large store in Colorado. This ended up with the gentleman placing an order from Kendra’s PortaPocket line.

If we change the way we approach the airport experience the opportunities are endless. With a little openness and 15 minutes before your flight you could end up changing the way you spend your time in the sky.

Happy networking!

Airports – a social hub
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