As someone who’s attended a few networking events before and attempted to network, I’ve noticed 2 main pain points.
First, trying to get into a small group to introduce myself and what I do is often intimidating, and I end up avoiding eye contact and therefore total verbal communication.
Secondly, carrying around a bunch of cards to pass out to people at the event is difficult because I don’t have a holder, I can never bring enough (I usually run out of them), and fumbling around to take them out is just outright awkward.
Now, however, thanks to modern technology, some Malaysian startups have come up with ways to do away with that wasted time and awkward networking practices by streamlining interaction through digital solutions.
Here are 4 of them and what they do, all in alphabetical order.
Appsaya is an app that’s meant to make large-scale B2B events more impactful by helping them create actual conversation amongst attendees and maximise their event ROI.
How it does this is through a variety of features like matchmaking, setting up face-to-face meetings, controlling the time and duration of meetings, and providing analytics to organisers to help them see what went well and what could’ve gone better during the event.
Using machine learning and AI, the app matches people with the best similarities so that attendees can easily set up in-person meetings at the event with the right people they need to talk to.
Appsaya also helps encourage participants to communicate with each other even before the event through personalised emails.
For face-to-face meetings, attendees using the app can manage their time and pick appointment slots with other leaders of their choice so they can avoid manually sifting through the crowd with small talk.
Throughout the event, organisers have access to real-time reports to analyse trends and adjust their performance accordingly, and can even use the data to host better future events.
At some events like exhibitions, exhibitors don’t usually get the time to interact meaningfully with visitors on the dot, so Appsaya’s instant messaging function aims to solve this issue by letting exhibitors and visitors connect before the event too.
Some of Appsaya’s notable clients in Malaysia have been SME Corporation Malaysia and Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS), and they have several global ones like Halal Expo Canada and World Startup Festival (WSF), to name a few.
You may know BEAMSTART (previously named BEAM) as that one networking app where you can meet fellow entrepreneurs, investors, and other key players in the startup ecosystem both locally and globally.
About a month ago, they’ve added on another feature to their app that solves another pain point I personally have: receiving multitudes of business cards that I have nowhere to put.
Yes, it’s my bad that I don’t have an organiser, but at the same time, that’s a lot of paper and ink that most people eventually lose or discard once they’ve taken down the contact details in their phones.
On BEAMSTART, you can now create business card QR codes to completely replace business cards. As long as your built-in phone camera app can scan QR codes, you don’t have to download another app for this.
Rather than grab a card that you might misplace somewhere (and forever lose the contact of the person), this feature automatically saves contact details to your phone with a simple scan.
On the top right-hand corner of the app, you should be able to see a scanner icon that you tap on to generate a QR code, and you can always update your contact information stored in the QR code.
Flipbizz is a new startup that hails itself as Malaysia’s first online to offline business networking platform.
But what does it say it does differently from other business networking apps out there in the market?
For one, it claims that what it does is help entrepreneurs grow a business community that’s related to their line of work, and within that community, they’ll strengthen their circle of contacts to bring the relationships offline.
As they build a community network, Flipbizz provides them with rewards and a return for their yearly investments into Flipbizz.
With Flipbizz, you’re not only creating your community—you’ll have to grow it through interacting with subscribers and proving that you’re an entrepreneur worth following.
Of course, Flipbizz will also be moderating the quality of your subscribers through a vetting process to ensure that networking within the community is productive and impactful, and that little cliques are not being created.
If you don’t want to create a community of your own, you can always subscribe to existing ones. The communities you can find on the app are based on events, businesses, interests, education, and expos, to name a few.
Like other similar apps and platforms, you’ll have to create your business profile that showcases your products and services as an introductory start.
Another feature that’s similar to BEAMSTART’s QR code business cards is Flipbizz’s e-Name Card, whereby there’s a QR code you can scan to save contacts immediately too when you’re at a busy event.
4. ZERO BrandCard
ZERO BrandCard was created in 2017 by a Malaysian technology company called CodeZero, which has a digital platform to connect people and businesses.
What they aim to do with ZERO BrandCard is, like BEAMSTART’s QR code business cards and Flipbizz’s e-Name Card, digitise physical business cards to reduce paper waste.
But there’s more reason to creating such a solution as well, as, in an interview with Vulcan Post, Amano Young, the co-founder of ZERO BrandCard said, “All companies have a unique identity, but the small dimensions end up restricting the amount of information and design of the paper business card.”
Other pain points of physical business cards are that you may run out of cards to give out, lose track of someone else’s cards, or find that you wish you had more information about the person other than their email and phone number.
Any company card that’s registered through ZERO BrandCard will be verified through an official company registration website like CTOS in Malaysia to ensure that the information is legitimate.
Rather than making this feature exclusive to users of the app, ZERO BrandCard actually enables users to share their contacts with non-users through external platforms like an SMS text, email, or social media too.
There’s also a convenient broadcast-to-all option within the app that can be used to share the digital card with everyone on a room.
- You can read more about other apps we’ve written on here.