As more and more people work virtually, acquire clients globally and scramble to get it all done in a day, the concept of “a meeting” has changed. Of course much of this change is due to technology that enables us to interact in somewhat human ways while around the world or, for that matter, around the community.
Phone meetings, webinars, and now eLunches are a common and terribly efficient way to meet (maybe save a little piece of the planet too). I think the idea of doing lunch virtually adds a little more creative differentiation to your pitch.
The idea behind an eLunch is much like a lunch meeting you might do at the local deli, but both parties meet while sitting at their desk. In order to pull this off in a way that gives it some authenticity is to use a web video meeting technology (yes, you’ve got to get out of your pajamas and smile for the camera) such as Skype Video Chat, DimDim or iLinc Video Conferencing and food.
Because your guest might be anywhere in the world a safe bet is to set-up an account with a national chain such as Pizza Hut and send a pizza to your guest to enjoy during your eLunch. This might be a good way to get the meeting and stand out a bit.
Now I understand a chain pizza might not be your idea of way to impress a potential client so if you want to take this up a notch you can go for a more upscale chain that delivers, or if you want to really score points, see if your meeting prospect has a twitter account, blog or other social profile your can access and scan for mentions of local favorites or vegetarian leanings. Imagine how impressed your prospect will be when that shitake mushroom sandwich from their local vegan hangout shows up for your lunch.
Everyone needs an angle to get to the table and an eLunch just might be yours.
Photo credit: Joshua Rappeneker