Sitting next to a stranger in a long flight can be daunting. But if you are traveling with KLM Royal Dutch Airliner you can sit next to someone influential or someone who shares similar interest. It’s through their Meet & Seat program that integrates social networking with regular flight process. Finding mentors and VC funds is not easy, but if you get to speak to someone influential during the course of your flight then you might end up getting funds for your next venture.
Here’s how Meet & Seat works:
After booking your ticket simply connect your LinkedIn, Facebook, G+ or Twitter profile with the airliner, and they will show all the other passengers who have enrolled themselves in the program. After checking out their profiles you can get a seat next to someone who can benefit you professionally during the flight. KLM came up with this concept two years ago and since then more than 50,000 people have used this service. It is a great way to connect with people.
Will Meet & Seat work in India?
After KLM, Delta Airliner did something similar with their Innovation class where passengers could participate in the program via LinkedIn. This concept is really great especially for those who are looking to expand their professional network. In India people rarely get the opportunity to meet the industry influencers, and such a concept will help plenty of individuals especially those involved in startups.
In the regular environment of developing countries like India, you will either have to connect with someone through social networking websites or if you are lucky enough, then through some social gathering. In such situations the conversation might last for a minute or so, but 30,000 ft above the ground you will have all the time to talk and connect with professionals in a personal way.
In India the concept of venture capital funding or finding mentors for startup businesses and first time entrepreneurs is not a well developed eco-system yet as it is in USA. Many people miss out on the opportunity to get their ideas funded or even to just reach out to the right investors just because they are unable to meet the industry influencers.
To meet someone influential you have to contact their managers or agents, and if you are lucky then you will get to meet with them for a brief period of time. Even then you might not get their complete attention. With such flights professionals especially owners of startups will have a chance to meet with industry influencers. Not only will you be able to discuss about your project and get their inputs on the same but you will also stand a chance of getting funding for your project or a job offer.
KLM lets you share a part of their profile keep certain information to yourself which helps maintain privacy. If only airliners in India could maintain that sort of privacy then this concept will be really helpful.
It can also be an invasion to privacy, for most professionals these flights are a way to seek refuge from their busy schedule, and if someone talks business even in those flights they might get annoyed. But in case of KLM they let you drop yourself out from the program prior to the departure.
In India airline companies should properly notify the passengers about the seating arrangement so that passengers can save themselves from any embarrassing situation. It can also become an invasion of privacy, but if you do not want to get involved then you need not sign in at all. At the end of the day it can be quite an interesting experience. Even if you do not get funding for your dream venture or tips from an industry expert, you can still gain a lot by simply connecting to someone in a personal way.