Here’s a little tip that I have been doing for years. Before I travel, I check my LinkedIn connections in the area where I’m going. It helps remind me who I’m connected with and it gives me an excuse to catch up with an old friend or colleague.
Here’s my step-by- step method for pre-trip connection planning:
1. Go to LinkedIn’s Advanced Search page. The link is in the upper right-hand corner, next to the search box.
2. Select the location where you’ll be, using a zip code, and a range (e.g., 50 miles) indicating that you’re looking for contacts within a certain distance of the zip code. Depending on where you’re going, you’ll want to adjust this setting.
3. Decide who you want to connect with. You can narrow your search by industry, members of LinkedIn Groups, and degrees of contacts. I usually opt to filter out everyone except for my first degree connections.
4. Review the list and reach out.
Online (social media) connections are great, but there’s nothing like a good old face-to-face meet-up. The nice thing about tools like LinkedIn is that they’re not only great for keeping in touch online, but they can facilitate an in-person meeting as well.