Innovation That Matters

Enhanced networking for business travellers

Travel & Tourism

Following our post on airline KLM’s successful attempts at creating social network platforms for frequent flyers, we were alerted to a start-up that’s aiming to do something similar. While KLM’s Club China and Club Africa are destination-focused—connecting people who are doing business in specific regions—PairUp matches business travellers headed to any destination. How it works? Members start by uploading their current contacts from Outlook or whatever contact management tool they use, and can build their network from there. When planning a trip, users enter their travel data: departure and arrival dates and cities, and if relevant, the trade show or conference they’ll be attending. They can then select the contacts they’d like to track or meet up with: people in the destination city at the same time, those attending the same event, flying on the same day, or working for a specific company or in a particular industry. For example, if a member is flying out to Houston, PairUp will display people that he or she might want to meet face-to-face. Either existing contacts that will be in the city at the same time, or people who work in the same industry or are attending the same event. PairUp also makes it easy to share travel plans with colleagues and coordinate meetings with new contacts. A memory-jogging trip history feature keeps tabs on past business trips, meetings and contacts made at trade shows, conferences, etc. PairUp launched very recently, and as is always the case with social networks, the service will need to gain a certain level of active members before it becomes truly useful. Offering events organisers a ready-to-use networking tool dubbed ShowConnections, PairUp plans to get a significant number of users signed up soon. Like KLM’s clubs, PairUp is targeting a new audience for online social networks. Time to set up similar grown-up, hardworking versions of MySpace and FaceBook in other parts of the world? If you’re in the travel industry, now would be a good time to meet up with PairUp. Lots of opportunities for interesting partnerships 😉 Spotted by: Amanda Robinson



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