By Steve Mosco
Navigating a trade show or any networking event can be a daunting experience for someone in business looking to promote a service. In order to make a profitable business connection, one must sift through hundreds of people to find a link that will grow their company and make some money in the process.
Luckily, a team of Queens-based Web designers has invented a free application aimed at fostering those connections to build constructive business relationships.
Stephen and Neil Levin, of Long Island City’s Webline Designs, launched herematch in January because they had firsthand experience trying to market their Web design company to the right clientel.
“A lot of our business at Webline comes from networking and meeting people and going to trade shows and other events,” said Neil Levin, whose son Stephen invented the herematch app. “We were looking for a way to make the room full of people at these events more efficient.”
The app is designed to allow real people the opportunity to connect in real places in real time. The service targets the business community in general and is particularly useful to small businesses and business owners who market their products and services at group meetings.
The system has two components, according to Levin. The first, herematch.com, is a website where a user can sign up and create his or her profile, including general biographical information along with information on the services they offer and the services they are in need of. The second component, an app for iPhones and Android phones, is used to check in to places and events.
“I can usually convince myself that I can work a room and talk to as many people as possible and sell my services,” he said. “But the reality is, when you walk into a room of 100 people there are a lot of people that I won’t get to. And the people at these events aren’t walking around with signs above their heads telling me the services they need.”
To solve this problem, herematch allows the user to check in at an event and others with the app will see them and the services they offer. It streamlines the networking model so attendees can find exactly what they need.
“The goal of the app is to match me with people who need my business,” he said, adding that it differs from other “check-in” apps like foursquare in that it is about more than sharing pictures with friends. “It’s not about connecting with people you already know — it is about the people you don’t know yet. And that’s where the value is.”
The app came out in early January and Levin said the company, Tangletech Inc., is getting set to launch its next, even more advanced version. Levin said the company started with a local marketing strategy and now they are getting ready to go national.
“We have a road map of the things we want to add and how we can make the app richer and more beneficial to the user,” said Levin. “The response has been fantastic so far.”
The app’s inventor, Stephen Levin, tends to stay on the technical side of things, leaving the job of promoting the tool at trade shows to his father.
“Stephen is a really smart guy that went to Yale,” he said. “I’ve been involved in sales for over 40 years. I love talking to people and finding out what types of issues they deal with in their business. The chance to help people further their business has been a gift.”
And Levin believes the benefits of connecting on herematch will only get stronger as more businesses sign up for the services.
“It’s really easy to get on there and start getting the value from it,” he said. “Once that initial connection is made, the rest takes care of itself.”
To learn more about herematch and to sign up for its services, log on to herematch.com.
Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.