I had lunch with 3 strangers last Friday at The Salad Stop, just 3 minutes away from where I work.
One of the ladies was local, the gentleman was from Frankfurt and his female colleague was from Austria.
4 hours before we met, I had no idea who these people were. By the end of an hour-long lunch however, we had traded numbers, learnt what each of us did for a living, as well as shared a delightful meal together.
And I met them all through the HeyMeet app.
What Say We HeyMeet?
HeyMeet is a new app platform that connects people in the CBD through spontaneous lunch and brunch activities. It is currently available on both iPhone and Android phones.
Anyone with experience using social networking apps in Singapore would likely find this situation familiar.
You connect with someone new and start chatting, and along the way make plans to meet up. But for reasons one or another, they always get cancelled in the end. A week later, maybe a month, you no longer have the motivation to meet them IRL.
Leveraging on the intrigue of spontaneity, HeyMeet wants to change all that. When an event is set up, there is a deadline of 6 hours to make it happen.
Each user has two profiles - casual and business. The casual profile is linked to your Facebook profile, and the latter to your LinkedIn profile.
Selecting from a range of F&B locations near them, apps users can either create a social event (lunch, brunch or drinks) or a business event meant for networking with others in an industry of interest.
After creating an event, you can flip through a list of people available on the app to send them event invites. You can also play with other filters such as age and gender to narrow down the search.
After that, it's all about waiting to see who joins your event - there is a maximum of 4 people per event - and then having a good time together.
HeyMeet For F&B Merchants
The app also works together with F&B businesses to organise events for app users. Companies will be able to create small events featuring special deals, to larger groups of up to 10 people.
This creates a win-win situation for both the F&B merchant - encouraging hungry crowds to look their way, while benefitting app users with a range of food promotions.
Motivating Face-to-Face Meetings
Mobile apps that connect people are hardly a new concept, but HeyMeet differentiates itself from the competition by banking on the idea of spontaneity.
The app seeks to address the woes of networking applications becoming an escape solution for chatting. As such, it brands itself as an enabler to facilitate meaningful face-t0-face conversations between people sans the barrier of technology.
According to founder Erik Lorenz, in a society that defines itself with intensive technology usage, many realise that face-to-face interaction are what forms actual human connections.
"The key lies in striking a balance in using technology as an enabler to drive this cause. HeyMeet was thus created as a catalyst to move virtual interactions back to face-to-face ones".
Lorenz reflects that food, coffee and drinks have always have always been "the common denominators that bring people together on many occasions", and therefore, all HeyMeet events will take place at F&B establishments.
Coupling that with the time-sensitive nature of the events, Lorenz and his team want to create an impetus for the CBD crowd to to break out from their usual routines and make new friends.
The Right App At The Right Time
The fact that there are plenty of networking apps available makes it a competitive market for new apps.
With that being said, perhaps the HeyMeet app has come just at the right time. It would not be farfetched to say that all of us have at one point or another, claimed that we would make a new friend.
Apps like Tinder, although used primarily for dating, have also become a place for networking and socialising. However, the eventual lack of motivation to meet up has no doubt killed the good intentions of many.
And HeyMeet might just be the answer to that.
Download the app on the Apple and Google Play store.