partnering360: Yet another networking platform? 
Posted by Carlos on Nov 03, 2011

This week, our good “acquaintances” from EBD Group launched partnering360.

What is it? According to EBD:

partnering360™ is an online network of professionals in the life science industry, emerging from the global community of 14,000 executives that use EBD Group’s partneringONE® networking software at partnering events held in North America, Europe and Asia.

Steve Dickman from CBT Advisors posted extensive comments on the platform. We urge you to take a look at Steve’s comments, as we believe they are spot on.

Steve asks, “Do we really need another networking & social network?” Aren’t we already busy with LinkedIn & Twitter for professional use (and Facebook for personal use)? Haven’t we had about enough with social media?

We think there is a place for adding partnering360 to our online business networking toolkit. Here’s why.

One of the challenges with using social / business networking platforms is their lack of focus. For example, LinkedIn search tools are a very good way to drill down and find potential contacts. However, even narrowed results can result in hundreds of hits which one then had to wade through. More importantly, second and third degree connections can be a challenge to “meet” virtually if they have no interest in making connections online. In other words, just because a person has a profile on LinkedIn does not necessarily mean they actively use LinkedIn.

Enter partnering360. The strength of partnering360 is that the database of contacts is based on fellow conference attendees. Thus, that “missing networking link” is already established. By virtue of having attended the same conference, one has an excellent starting point for making a connection. This is quite different from LinkedIn, which depends on second degree connections or other commonalities for forming connections.

How could partnering360 be useful? We believe there are two key benefits for including this in your networking arsenal:

Re-engagement – Typically, we return from conferences with a pile of business cards. The days and weeks after the conference are filled with follow-up emails, conference calls, and so forth. But what happens after that initial excitement dies down? At Lacerta Bio, we try to stay in touch via our blog and monthly newsletter. However, these communications are quite general. A platform like partnering360 is better suited towards re-engagement, but in a less intrusive way than email.

Declined Meetings – There are times when attendees, for legitimate reasons, cannot or do not want to meet with you. partnering360 may be a useful tool to connect with those who could not meet at the conference, but who may actually be interested in making a loose connection. If the contact is not at all interested, then the connection will not occur, and everyone can move on.

We are surprised not to see Xing play a part in is platform, but that may also be a future offering. Facebook integration may be a future offering, but we are not convinced many business professionals want to mix their professional (LinkedIn) and personal (Facebook) profiles, especially since most corporate firewalls prevent Facebook access.

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